As of enhancement pack 1, SAP CRM Sales 7.0 refined your options for configuring sales territories and structures for sales force assignments. SAPexperts advisor and CRM 2013 speaker Christian Matz of ecenta took questions on those changes in a recent online Q&A in our CRM Forum discussion thread.
The discussion was moderated by Amy Thistle, conference producer for CRM 2013. You can review the entire thread or read our edited transcript here:
Amy Thistle, SAPinsider Events: Thank you for joining in our CRM Forum today! I’m very happy to have Christian Matz of ecenta joining us today to take your questions.
Christian is CTO at Ecenta and an SAP CRM expert. He is a SAPexperts advisor for their CRM hub, and I've worked with him as a valued speaker at SAPinsider’s annual CRM conferences.
Today, he’ll be taking your questions on managing your Sales assignments and territories with SAP CRM, and the features that have come with release 7.0 and the latest enhancement packs.
Christian Matz, ecenta: Hi all,
Also from my side thanks a lot for joining today. I will try to answer as many of your questions, time permitting. Looking forward to a lively discussion!
acanella: Hi Christian
Is it possible to remove territories from SAP CRM?
I know that SAP is suggesting using dates or the merge functionality if it applies, but my concern was if there is the deletion possibility, via a report.
Thanks in advance,
Christian Matz: Hi AndreaA,
Yes, deletion is possible, even from the UI. You would of course still have to make sure all relevant accounts are still to some territory.
Ken Murphy: Hello Christian, can you give a few ideas about how customers are integrating the Territory Management functions with other SAP CRM processes? Thank you!
Christian Matz: Hello Ken,
Typically the main reasons for using Territory Management are to control/restrict access and to use territories for reporting, either within CRM or in BI. Some CRM functionality, such as Pipeline Performance Management come with integration to TM built in
Another functionality companies want to use TM for is to assign their sales to territories and based on the calculate commission. Of course this works best, if orders are created in CRM. Typically there is additional effort, if the orders are created in ECC only or at least in parts.
Amy Thistle: I know there are a few questions already waiting, but as folks join us, I wanted to ask:
Can you start out with a few basics on the functionality in SAP CRM 7.0 for creating and managing sales territories? What changes came with SAP CRM 7.0 and the latest enhancement packages?
Christian Matz: Hi Amy,
The biggest change with territory management was changing from attribute-based territory assignment to rule-based.
Also the SAP provided additional maintenance functions, such as reports to discover gaps in the territories where introduced. Plus TM was integrated into other CRM functionality, such as Claims & Funds Management.
acanella: Hi Christian,
Is it possible use the merge functionality with territories that have been created in the past and are already assigned to accounts?
Can you clarify it there are time limits and/or relationships that have been already created, that in such case can prevent the normal working of the merge territories functionality?
Is there any prerequisite for merging territories?
Thanks in advance,
Christian Matz: Hi AndreA,
One way this is typically handled is to expire/delimit the existing rule and create new ones with the adjusted territory assignment. Ideally you do this well in advance, so that all changes happen on a defined (and communicated) date in the future.
So far I have not come across anything that would prevent this process from working.
LuzGon: Hello everyone,
Here are our questions:
1. Does the new Territory Management functionality allows to reactivate the territory nodes´s validity in order to reuse them? Currently, this is not possible when a node is deleted or it is expired and you can´t use it again.
2. Does the new version contain new scenarios with security authorization checks using territory management? Do the current scenarios (CRM 7.0) stay without changes in their security authority checks?
3.Do you have detailed information regarding of the new reports?
Thank you for your help,
Christian Matz: Hello Luz,
Regarding q1: this is also the last functionality I have seen - you cannot reactivate territories that have been expired. What you can do, assuming you have only expired the rule, but not the node itself, is to create a new rule for this node.
LuzGon: Thank you Christian, We don´t use rules in our business scenarios, so we will review your recommendation. Anyway, it might not be useful for our business case.
Christian Matz: Hello Luz,
I was just reviewing this in our system, using territories without rules, trying to expire and reactivating them. The CRM system does not let me enter dates in the past, but for expiration dates in the future I was able to change them again afterwards.
Can I assume the nodes you are talking about have been activated for a past date?
Christian Matz: Hello Luz,
Regarding q2: Comparing CRM 7.0 with the subsequent enhancement packs, there haven't been a lot of changes when it comes to authorizations/security, especially when it comes to TM.
Any PFCG roles or ACE rules that have been created with CRM 7.0 will also work when adding the enhancement packs.
Regarding q3: The reports are not visible by default, and can be activated e.g. through Solution Manager. Some information about their functionality can be found here:
Let me know if you need additional details.
Dave Hannon: Christian,
Thanks for taking our questions. I'm curious about the benefits you have seen with the business rules-based territory definitions vs. the prior method. It looks a bit more streamlined in the demos I've watched but are there limitations to it?
Christian Matz: Hello Dave,
I have seen both: customer being positive about the rule based approach and others being less so.
The new approach definitely provides a lot of flexibility, and for those familiar with BRFplus it is even easier. Also being able to define exception more easily is a great plus.
One limitation I have seen is that customers, who have been using TM prior to CRM 7.0 and who have build their own functionality e.g. to read from the TM attribute tables directly. Now, with BRFplus, you have to use the respective APIs, and there is rework.
Another limitation I have seen is that the number of rules that can be assign to one node is limited. However SAP does provide a fix to overcome this limitation if needed.
Amy Thistle: From your discussions with attendees and customers, do you have any advice on avoiding potential pain points when building your first sales territory structures?
Christian Matz: Hello Amy
That's a tough one, and also one I am being asked a lot.
I guess one important thing to do is to familiarize yourself with the way rules are being created. For instance, because of BRFplus, you cannot keep changing your rules constantly to test things out, since you expire rules and don't delete them. So you cannot make changes effective today multiple times.
Also I recommend thinking about what you really want to represent. Setting up TM is easy, doing mass-changes less so.
Amy Thistle: Thanks to all who followed the discussion today!
A transcript of all the questions will be available here in the CRM Forum and posted on Insider Learning Network.
For more CRM advice, don’t miss our past podcasts with Christian on CRM 7.0 adoption. For those of you who registered for today’s Q&A, you also were able to get a sampling from one of Christian’s terrific sessions at CRM 2013.
Finally, I want to thank Christian Matz of ecenta for taking the time to join us today. Thank you, Christian!