In recent years, customer experience has become a hot topic in the enterprise software world. And SAP is no exception, as it offers solutions for what it often refers to as “the experience economy.” In 2018, SAP introduced its SAP C/4HANA suite to help build trusted relationships between brands and customers.

ASUG interviewed the SAP C/4HANA Cloud leaders to learn more about each platform and how they work together to help build a better customer experience. We’ve discovered how the SAP Commerce Cloud provides customers with a complete digital brand experience. But before you can improve your customer’s overall experience, you need to first acknowledge how your sales force is equipped to contribute to individual customer interactions.

Giles House, GM for SAP Sales Cloud


Giles House, GM for SAP Sales Cloud, talked with ASUG News about how the platform offers sales teams the tools they need to deliver the experience that will win trust and keep customers coming back for more.

ASUG News: Could you walk us through how an SAP customer would use SAP Sales Cloud?

Giles: The challenges our customers are trying to solve, first and foremost, have to do with selling more and selling faster. So, being able to better execute deals is key.

SAP Sales Cloud allows customers to onboard and empower reps, channel partners, and bring to market new products. It allows them to drive the right performance and behaviors with incentives. Lastly, it provides our customers a 360-degree view of their customers. They can see everything in one central place, whether it’s information coming from activity on a website, from marketing initiatives, or social media engagement. They have a complete view.

ASUG News: How does the SAP Sales Cloud bring order to what can be the chaos of managing sales teams, leads, and closing business?

Giles: Traditionally, people have thought of a CRM platform simply as a sales force automation tool. They invest in new technology and then are surprised when no one wants to use it. But a sales force automation tool does not help the main user, which is the salesperson, do a better job in front of the customer. It doesn’t help them produce their quote or understand their incentives. They instead see it as an administrative task.

SAP Sales Cloud is different. It’s not only a place to store information about your customer, it’s also actively collecting data throughout all your interactions with that customer. Everything from quotes to discount levels and products you’ve proposed is automatically stored in the CRM. When you go through a contracting process, you can keep track of how many iterations of the contract there’s been.

A salesperson can track all the ways their customer has engaged, whether it’s watching videos on the company’s YouTube channel or downloading a white paper from its website. SAP Sales Cloud continues to collect and store data throughout the sales cycle so that the sales team isn’t duplicating these efforts.

This allows the salesperson to work the lead as opposed to manage the lead. Every touch point with the customer is captured on SAP Sales Cloud. A salesperson no longer needs to manually update the CRM with, “Had a great meeting today,” or manually move the probability of closing the sale from 10 percent to 15 percent, or from qualified interest to evaluation. The automatic collection of that data is what separates SAP Sales Cloud from competitive products.

That’s what helps bring order to the traditional rep-driven chaos. SAP Sales Cloud gives salespeople the tools they need to get the job done.

ASUG News: As a past CMO, what have you learned are the biggest pain points when aligning marketing and sales? How does SAP C/4HANA help alleviate those?

Giles: One pain point is not understanding what really qualifies as a lead. This is key. Salespeople will never say they’ve got too many leads, but the problem is that they’re not always good leads. So, this ruins the reporting and the CMO then begins the finger pointing.

Once you have a foundation for understanding what makes for a good lead, then you can actually begin to track how many of these qualified leads sales is accepting. You can then understand how many of them the team is working, and how many of them are converting into real opportunities and then closing.

SAP C/4HANA includes SAP Sales Cloud, SAP Marketing Cloud, SAP Service Cloud, SAP Commerce Cloud, and SAP Customer Data Cloud. It allows intelligent applications to come in and help capture, sort, and prioritize leads. It makes for a better conversation than, “Here are your leads, and now go sell.” With the SAP C/4HANA platform, you know the health of that lead and you can begin to have better sales conversations.

ASUG News: How much of CallidusCloud has SAP Sales Cloud integrated into today’s offering? What’s the road map for bringing these together?

Giles: Thinking back to when each was a separate company, SAP was, in fact, a customer of CallidusCloud. Together, they rolled out incentive commissions to the global sales teams, and then they worked on the journey to Configure Price Quote (CPQ) software. The two already had a head start on the integration. By the time SAP purchased CallidusCloud, a number of these products were already integrated. Today you can have an integrated SAP Sales Cloud experience. The goal is to make the integration tighter and more seamless. We plan to work on that over the next 12 months, but we’re already in pretty good shape now.

ASUG News: How does SAP Sales Cloud fit within SAP C/4HANA?

Giles: With SAP C/4HANA, businesses have a full suite to engage with their customers, whether it’s through marketing, sales, product, or service—regardless of the channel they come through. SAP Sales Cloud gives the salesperson a 360-view of those customers and that engagement.

There are several different starting points for a customer’s journey. Being able to keep track of them across all these different channels is critical for success. The SAP Marketing Cloud lets us know what’s grabbing someone’s interest and what they’re engaging with. The SAP Commerce Cloud lets you know what your customer is buying or thinking about buying based on their online actions. The SAP Service Cloud gives you a view into your customer’s pain points and an opportunity to solve them with something better. And the SAP Customer Data Cloud gives your customers control over how you collect their data and how you can use it. All of this information gives the salesperson the tools they need through SAP Sales Cloud to start that conversation and close that deal.

The winners in this experience economy are going to be the organizations that can provide a great customer experience. Two of the biggest ingredients of that great experience are trust and speed. If a business can get those two things right, that’s what will separate the winners from the rest of the pack.

ASUG News: How can the SAP Sales Cloud work with other SAP offerings to help organizations become intelligent enterprises?

Giles: We just talked about the start of the journey, which is what we usually refer to as the front-office experience. But the back-office experience is also a key part of the customer’s journey.

For example, you may have a customer who is trying to purchase something from you and asks if you have it in stock or wants to know when it will be delivered. You want to give your salespeople the tools to be able to get and deliver that information quickly.

I think the biggest thing about an intelligent enterprise is having an intelligent sales process and sales team. That means giving them the right tools. It means connecting the back office with the front office—SAP S/4HANA with SAP C/4HANA. As a leader or manager, you need to make sure your teams can see the full picture.

If you missed our sales and e-commerce sessions at ASUGFORWARD, you can catch up by viewing them on demand. ASUG members will have unlimited access to all of the week’s sessions on-demand, while nonmember registrants can view them until Sunday, June 28 at 11:59 p.m. CT/Monday, June 29 at 12:59 a.m. ET.

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