SAP Options for Field Sales Optimisation
James Hough
By James Hough

Improve the Bottom Line with the Right SAP Field Sales Solution

Solutions that help you sell

Anyone working in sales will have seen sales support systems that do not really help sales teams to sell. Traditionally “CRM” tools were there to collect data, provide reporting to management, and afford a degree of control during the sales cycle, rather than supporting the sales person with tools and guidance to win sales.

This blog identifies some of the key capabilities that sales teams are looking for in a fields sales solution, and provides an overview of the 6 options from SAP and a starter-for-ten on how to evaluate the best solution for you.

So what are sales teams looking for?

Against a tradition of poor user adoption for sales support tools, the continued explosion in mobile device use is changing sales teams' expectations about the tools they want to support the sales process. First and foremost, experience of easy-to-use Apps in the consumer world is leading to much higher expectations about how easy to use a solution for the sales team needs to be. Even more than easy to use, a solution needs to be something that the sales team want to use. Just as consumers find some phones (such as the iPhone) and operating systems (such as the Windows Metro system) more desirable to use than others, so too there is an element in sales teams looking for a solution that is professional and represents the brand they are selling.

Key things that AgilityWorks see Sales Organisations looking for are:

  • Collaboration in context
  • Source and share sales wisdom
  • Be better informed with less effort
  • Do all of the above on the move!
  • Spend more time selling and winning

SAP solutions for the sales team

So how can SAP help sales organisations improve the bottom line? In response to customers looking for better, easier-to-use, and mobile sales solutions, SAP has expanded the number of solutions for field sales.

But while having options is great, it’s important to understand which solution best fits your needs. Or solutions in plural, as it may be that there’s a winning combination for your specific requirements. At last count, there are 6 distinct SAP solutions for sales professionals. These are:

1. SAP Cloud for Customer
2. SAP Sales Manager
3. “Other” SAP Mobile Applications
4. SAP Fiori
5. SAP Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
6. Bespoke using the SAP Mobile Platform (SMP)

The pros and cons of SAP’s solution options

In summary, if you are looking for a fully-fledged field sales solution, then look at SAP Cloud for Customer. SAP Cloud for Customer has a great user experience – put this in front of a sales team, and they will want to use it; built-in collaboration tools and helpful presentation of key information to sales users; end-to-end process coverage; extensive reporting out of the box; mobile apps as standard with on-line and off-line capability; and can be standalone, so you don’t need SAP CRM or SAP ECC.

If you have more extensive off-line requirements than SAP Cloud for Customer can provide, then you should evaluate SAP Sales Manager or creating a bespoke application on the SAP Mobile Platform.

SAP’s other mobile applications offerings – including SAP Fiori – offer point solutions for sales teams to boost productivity or improve customer insight. They are designed to complement -not replace- whatever field sales solution you have in place.

SAP Cloud for Customer

SAP Cloud for Customer (C4C) is a cloud-based solution from SAP designed primarily for sales and service functions. The key points about SAP Cloud for Customer is it’s great user experience designed specifically for the sales uers, with collaboration and contextual information tools that support rather than hinder the sales person. It comes with mobile capability as standard, including offline. Integration to SAP ECC and/or SAP CRM requires SAP HANA Cloud Integration (HCI) or SAP PI, which include standard integration templates.














SAP Sales Manager

The SAP Sales Manager application offers end-to-end sales process functionality, and has off-line capability. In comparison to SAP Cloud for Customer, SAP Sales Manager is really an extension of SAP Customer Relationship Management (CRM) as a field sales tool, rather than a standalone sales solution. This means that while there’s a good set of functionality for field sales operations, users will not benefit from collaboration and reporting features available in SAP Cloud for Customer. SAP Sales Manager requires a SAP CRM and SAP Mobile Platform to run.









“Other” SAP Mobile Apps for the sales team

SAP offers a number of other point solutions for sales teams, designed to complement whatever field sales solution you have chosen to deploy.








The prerequisite for all of these apps is either SAP ECC, SAP CRM, or SAP Customer Engagement Intelligence (CEI), and in general they require SAP NetWeaver Gateway or SMP for connectivity. More information can be found at

SAP Fiori

SAP provides a number of Fiori apps relevant for sales teams. These are point solutions, rather than a full-scale end-to-end sales solution. On the ECC side, SAP Fiori applications include solutions like “Check Price and Availability”, “Create Sales Orders” and “Track Shipments”. Fiori apps that integrate to SAP CRM include “My Accounts”, “My Leads” and “My Opportunities.” SAP Fiori applications require SAP NetWeaver Gateway to integrate to SAP ECC and/or SAP CRM.

SAP Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

SAP Customer Relationship Management (CRM) provides the richest sales, service, and marketing functionality in the SAP product portfolio, and has extensive standard integration to SAP ECC. SAP CRM is available as a Rapid Deployment Solution (RDS) which leverages best practices to enable a rapid solution roll-out.

However, the usual reaction of a sales person when they see the user interface is to run a mile: while the solution gets full points for depth of functionality, the user interface does not meet the expectations of sales teams. And there is also no mobile or off-line capability unless you extend with SAP Cloud for Customer, SAP Fiori, or SAP Sales Manager.

Bespoke development using SAP Mobile Platform

Bespoke development using the SAP Mobile Platform (SMP) provides an opportunity to customise completely the user experience, the user interface, functionality and integration. Bespoke development will create a longer project implementation and using SMP requires more infrastructure setup than SAP Cloud for Customer.

Find out more

If you would like to know more, contact us at or meet us at CRM 2014, the premier event for organisations looking to realise sales, service, and marketing potential with SAP solutions. Situated in Las Vegas and running from 1st to 4th April, you can register here for a special discount.

James Hough
By James Hough

James is the Customer Engagement and Commerce Capability Lead at AgilityWorks. He advises clients in IT-enabled sales, service, and marketing business transformation, and has recently led a series of global projects leveraging cloud and digital solutions.

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