SAP CRM is a solution for the customer relationship management of companies. In our article we explain the functions for customer relationship management in detail.

What is SAP Customer Relationship Management?

Behind this are several tools and methods for the targeted management and shaping of customer relationships. On this page we will explain to you in detail and comprehensibly which application possibilities, functions, characteristics and advantages SAP CRM has in detail. We will also discuss the new SAP CRM solutions from the cloud.

What is the SAP CRM module?

SAP CRM is part of the SAP Business Suite. It supports companies in numerous customer-related business processes. This does not only include the pure administration of customer data such as name, address and contact data. SAP CRM also offers a wide range of solutions for marketing, sales, and service. In addition, some extensions for modern channels such as online shops and mobile applications are now available.

What is SAP CRM used for?

At its core, SAP CRM is used by companies to stay in touch with customers. The aim is to evaluate customer expectations and meet them through the targeted placement of products and services. In addition, the SAP component helps companies to realize a uniform customer approach - regardless of which channel the customer uses to contact the company. We are also talking about the so-called "One Face to the Customer", whereby only one employee is the customer's contact person. All in all, SAP CRM ensures a comprehensive view of the customer, which also goes hand in hand with an optimized customer relationship.

How does SAP CRM work?

When people talk about SAP CRM, they usually mean the on-premise component of SAP Business Suite (for more information on other solutions, see "Other CRM Solutions from SAP"). From a technical point of view, the classic CRM component is detached from SAP modules such as SD, MM, FI and CO. The exchange of common data takes place via middleware. Because of this decoupling, however, SAP CRM is also open to integration with third-party software.

Which core elements does SAP CRM include?

Altogether, the logic of SAP CRM is based on three important elements:

  • Master data (especially business partners)
  • Customer-related processes
  • campaigns

In addition to products and sales structures, an important element in SAP CRM isbusiness partners. Unlike classic ERP modules, these do not only consist of debtors (customers). Interested parties, competitors and contact persons can also be managed.

SAP CRM also goes beyond standard order management in ERP when it comes to customer-related processes. The component also offers solutions for mapping opportunities, leads, service orders, tasks and communication processes of all kinds (mail, letter, fax, appointments, etc.). Other transaction types can be defined individually if required.

Campaign management, on the other hand, is responsible for controlling customer-related activities. This includes, for example, advertising flyers and e-mail dispatch. To differentiate these actions, the company can define target groups in SAP CRM in advance.

In which business areas is SAP CRM used?

Basically, SAP CRM is suitable for all business areas that have contact points with customers. These include, in particular, sales, marketing and service. Based on these three target groups, SAP has divided its Customer Relationship Management into three core components:

  • SAP CRM Marketing
  • SAP CRM Sales
  • SAP CRM Service

Let us take a closer look at these building blocks in the following.

SAP CRM Marketing

SAP CRM provides several functions for marketing. Among other things, the component supports market research, marketing planning and budgeting, cost planning, brand awareness monitoring and the administration of marketing projects of companies. It is also possible to simulate campaigns in advance in order to predict their effectiveness. It is also possible to set special prices for the duration of campaigns. Integrated analyses can also be used to identify potential customers. This can be used, for example, to generate lists of customer data for sales support.


Employees in sales can also be supported by SAP CRM in a number of ways. In this area, for example, the software provides forecasts by feeding in market data. These can be carried out both globally and in relation to specific regions and product groups. This simplifies the planning of activities. At the same time, users can optimize their product availability.

In addition, the sales component of SAP CRM enables you to create quotations, orders, and contracts. The pricing process is also supported. Sales representatives also have access to the current account and receivable details of their customers. The system also contains functions for commission settlements and for time and travel logistics.

SAP CRM Service

This component of SAP CRM is responsible for mapping all business processes in a company's customer service. This includes complaints as well as repair and installation procedures. Maintenance contracts including the associated services can also be managed in the system. The billing of the services provided is also part of SAP CRM Service.

What additional components are available for SAP CRM?

In addition to the three core components mentioned above, there are several "enhancements" for SAP CRM. In summary, these are as follows:

  • SAP CRM Interaction Center: Teledistribution and telemarketing functions (call center and customer support)
  • SAP CRM Web Channel: Functions for displaying products, services and locations on websites (incl. online shops)
  • Mobile applications: Applications for field staff for access to relevant customer and product data; also used for mobile recording of orders, sales opportunities, appointments and minutes of meetings
  • SAP CRM Partner Channel Management: Functions for managing resellers, wholesalers, and distributors, including commissions, partner selection, partner training, certifications, and sales forecasting.

More CRM solutions from SAP

In addition to the classic on-premise variant for the SAP Business Suite, there are other SAP products for Customer Relationship Management. The new CRM on-premise solution is called "SAP S/4HANA for Customer Management" (short: S4CRM). As a component of the new SAP S/4HANA product generation, it uses the same database, so that middleware is no longer necessary compared to the previous approach.

CRM tools from SAP are also available in the cloud. The SAP C/4HANA solution deserves special mention. Due to the high relevance (Cloud-First-Strategy of SAP) we would like to describe this product in detail.

For more information, see SAP S/4HANA Roadmap, S/4HANA Cloud and SAP Schulung.

What relevance does the SAP C/4HANA cloud have for Customer Relationship Management?

With C/4HANA, SAP focuses not only on customer relationship management, but also on optimizing the entire customer experience. In addition, the e-commerce environment is increasingly being supported. The C in C/4HANA stands for Customer and the 4 for a CRM system of the 4th generation. All in all, the cloud-based software consists of five interconnected CRM and marketing applications:

  • SAP Marketing Cloud
  • SAP Sales Cloud
  • SAP Commerce Cloud
  • SAP Service Cloud
  • SAP Customer Data Cloud

SAP Marketing Cloud

SAP Marketing Cloud is intelligent software for marketing automation. It independently recognizes which products customers want to buy at which point in time. On this basis, employees can then develop Omnichannel campaigns tailored to their needs. The required customer data is merged from different sources in order to achieve a uniform customer view. Technologies such as advanced analytics and machine learning are used in this process. Overall, a much better understanding of behavior, moods and intentions in the customer base develops within the company.

SAP Sales Cloud

This is a mobile tool for sales. It helps salespeople build relevant customer relationships and respond more quickly to opportunities. The so-called Sales Dashboard ensures transparency. Predictive analytics is also used to identify prospects and leads and to find influencers to conclude ongoing negotiations. In addition, all relevant information such as sales KPIs is provided.

SAP Commerce Cloud

SAP Commerce Cloud is an e-commerce application. Its goal is to develop and deliver personalized e-commerce experiences for customers. For this purpose, the activities of each customer are analyzed. For example, it is possible to show and hide certain elements in an online shop based on the customer's search activity.

SAP Service Cloud

Customer service is another important CRM element and therefore also part of SAP C/4HANA. In this context, the SAP Service Cloud provides sales representatives with all relevant functions on a mobile device. This includes, for example, appointment management, the localization of required spare parts, technical documentation, travel routes to the place of use and travel data recording.

SAP Customer Data Cloud

The SAP Customer Data Cloud enables customers to independently monitor and control their personal data in e-commerce and online applications. Among other things, the Data Cloud offers a solution to meet the requirements of the EU DSGVO (Basic Data Protection Regulation).

Conclusion: Clear differences to conventional CRM platforms

While conventional SAP CRM and many other CRM systems concentrate on the sales process, SAP C/4HANA focuses on the customer. SAP CRM offers solutions for a consistent and positive customer experience. A strategy that is of great importance today. In addition, C/4HANA relies on trustworthy relationships and secure customer data. On the one hand, this allows comprehensive knowledge about customers to be generated and on the other hand, compliance with data protection requirements is guaranteed.

Meinolf Schaefer01 1444x1444px

Meinolf Schäfer, Senior Director Sales & Marketing

Do you have any questions? I will be glad to help you.

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