As CRM solutions become increasingly sophisticated yet user-friendly, more and more managers in the region are realizing that these solutions allow them to run their businesses with an unprecedented level of insight. The global CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software market has grown significantly in the past year, with Asia Pacific experiencing the fastest rates of growth. Salesforce has emerged as the leader of this highly fragmented market, with SAP in second place.

If you’re in the market for a CRM solution, you’ve surely heard of SAP and Salesforce. Traditionally, Salesforce was the go-to solution for those seeking a cloud-based CRM solution, as opposed to SAP’s CRMs which were hosted on site. But, what you might not know is that SAP has jumped on the cloud computing bandwagon, and is now offering a new, cloud-based CRM solution called SAP Cloud for Customer. While both solutions offer the basic benefits of a cloud-based CRM solution, you may want to consider their pros and cons before choosing between the two.

Integration

As the worldwide leader in the ERP market, 74% of the world’s transaction revenue touches an SAP system. This means that at some point, your business will probably be using an SAP solution (if it isn’t already). SAP Cloud for Customer is ideal if your business wants a CRM that can be integrated with an SAP ERP or other solution. While it is possible for Salesforce to be integrated with these solutions, integration is more difficult and time-consuming.

SAP Cloud for Customer comes pre-integrated with other SAP solutions, such as SAP Business One. While Salesforce and SAP Cloud for customer both focus on sales, service, and marketing, Salesforce is limited to these aspects. SAP itself has a broader scope, which allows for SAP Cloud for Customer to be integrated with a wide range of functions such as digital commerce. Implementing SAP Cloud for Customer with other SAP solutions will integrate your front and back office operations with little to no effort, which can bring significant benefits to your company. If you are looking for a true omni-channel experience, then SAP Cloud for Customer is the way to go.

Extensions

As the dominant company in the market for CRM solutions, Salesforce is often praised for their ability to offer specific applications that are added to their solutions. Salesforce relies on external parties to work on their apps, and while this is a disadvantage in terms of integration, it is definitely an advantage in terms of application development. The open-app market allows for the development of many different applications for the Salesforce CRM to meet specific business needs. With the Salesforce App Builder, development of apps is open to the public. This means that development partners, but also ordinary people, can create their own, customized apps. You might want to check to see if there is a relevant app available on the Salesforce AppExchange if you have very specific requirements that you need your CRM to meet. If you are technically inclined and interested in building your own app to extend the functionality of your CRM, then Salesforce is definitely the way to go.

While SAP Cloud for Customer develops extension add-ons, SAP is still the “new kid on the block” as far as cloud-based CRMs go, and specific add-ons are being developed internally (throughout the SAP ecosystem). While it is expected that SAP will offer more industry and task specific add-ons as time goes by, the extent to which they will be developed is still unknown.

Price

SAP Cloud for Customer and Salesforce may seem expensive when you compare them to some of the newer, cheaper CRMs on the market (such as Pipedrive), but the truth is, you get what you pay for. Both SAP Cloud for Customer and Salesforce offer much better support, interface, and functionality than these cheaper alternatives.

So, here is the price breakdown:

SAP Cloud for Customer- SGD $65 per user per month.

Salesforce Sales Cloud Lightning Professional -USD $75 (approximately SGD $102) per user per month.

Both of these CRMs can have set-up/training costs, but these costs will vary depending on the size and scope of your company. Both companies also have a few different versions of their cloud-based CRMs that increase in price with a widening range of features. In terms of an “apples to apples” comparison, Salesforce Lightning Professional is comparable to the base version of SAP Cloud for Customer. When comparing the prices of these two companies for their various versions, it seems that SAP Cloud for Customer is more affordable than Salesforce for similar functionality.

So what’s the final verdict?

SAP Cloud for Customer and Salesforce are really some of the best in class cloud-based CRMs, and both can offer you:

  • Extensive mobile features
  • Clean, user friendly interfaces
  • Excellent functionality

Both CRMs also offer offline capabilities, so you can update your information if you lose your internet connection. While many used to complain that the Salesforce mobile apps had limited offline capabilities, Salesforce has recently updated their mobile apps to address this issue.

We leave it up to you to decide which solution is right for your company, since it is clear that they both have their advantages. If you are concerned about cost or back-office integration, then SAP Cloud for Customer is the way to go. If you need a certain task specific functionality or customization, then you may want to check the AppExchange and go with Salesforce. It is also important to remember that while SAP continues to offer their traditional CRM solutions that are hosted on-site, Salesforce only offers cloud-based solutions. So, if you want to host your own CRM, SAP is the way to go.