SAP Digital Moves Customer Engagement Beyond CRM

seven months after it first introduced SAP Digital for Customer Engagement, SAP has rolled out an enhanced version of the CRM Relevant Products/Services (customer Relevant Products/Services relationship management) tool that adds new capabilities for e-mail marketing Relevant Products/Services, sales Relevant Products/Services forecasting and other tasks. The updated solution is designed to help sales and marketing professionals better connect with the growing number of businesses using digital channels for work-related purchases.

The update aims to help CRM professionals better meet the needs of today's business-to-business (B2B) buyers, according to SAP. With the increasing use of digital touchpoints, those buyers also have increasingly high expectations for seamless, omnichannel and personalized services, SAP said.

Released earlier this month, the enhanced SAP Digital for Customer Engagement is available at the SAP Store either for purchase, or as a free 30-day trial. After the trial period expires, businesses can continue to use the tool for $29 per user per month, and they are assured of receiving ongoing updates with every new release, the company said.

B2B Revenues Driven by Digital

Some 70 percent of business-to-business revenues are now generated by customers using digital channels such as online stores, according to a study released by Forrester Research in October. The study, "Mastering Omnichannel B2B Customer Engagement," was commissioneed by Accenture Interactive and SAP hybris.

While ever-more business buyers expect to find what they're looking for via digital channels, many of the B2B offerings they find fall short of their expectations, the study found. That's because the solutions used by B2B sellers often come with a number of limitations for sales professionals and marketers, the report noted.

"B2B sellers understand the importance of seamless omnichannel customer engagement but are inhibited by company silos -- both in terms of data and processes," according to the study. "Sellers report challenges across all stages of the customer journey."

Twitter-Based Social Help Desk

In addition to new e-mail marketing and sales forecasting functionality, the enhanced version of SAP Digital for Customer Engagement also provides access to a Twitter-based social help desk that lets users ask questions of and receive feedback from other real-world users of the tool.

The latest version also comes with native mobile support for iOS and Android devices -- in addition to the previous support for Windows devices -- to give users the "ability to sell anywhere." It also adds easier onboarding to teams, enhanced data-access management options for leaders and new built-in reports for better insights into sales and service issues, SAP said.

The free trial version of the tool features all the capabilities of the production version available for purchase, an SAP spokesperson told us.

Since the tool was initially launched in May, the number of users of SAP Digital for Customer Engagement has grown 18-fold, the spokesperson added. Karthik Sj, who heads up the product for SAP, said, "We want to go in the all-in-one direction, as sales teams need basic marketing automation and service capabilities," the spokesperson noted.

SAP Digital for Customer Engagement been ordered online by B2B clients more than 3,000 times so far, according to SAP. The solution has since been recognized as an innovation award winner by the integrated media company TMC.

The TMC awards recognize industry solutions displaying "innovation, superior quality and unique features which have had a positive impact on customer related technologies," according to TMC CEO Rich Tehrani.

SAP described its solution as a "simplified cloud Relevant Products/Services customer relationship management solution designed to meet the needs of individuals and small teams, but with enterprise-grade capabilities for both sales and customer service." B2B users of SAP Digital for Customer Engagement can set up the system within minutes of purchase to begin answering customer questions and providing service tickets, SAP said.


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