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SAP America - Sales Operations Team of the Year

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Company: SAP America, Newtown Square, PA
Company Description: SAP is the world leader in enterprise applications in terms of software and software-related service revenue. Based on market capitalization, we are the world’s third largest independent software manufacturer.
Nomination Category: Sales Awards Team Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Sales Operations Team of the Year

Nomination Title: Creating and Running a Successful Global Sales Operations Model

Tell the story about what this nominated team achieved since the beginning of July 2016 (up to 650 words). Focus on specific accomplishments, and relate these accomplishments to past performance or industry norms. Be sure to mention obstacles overcome, innovations or discoveries made, and outcomes:


For 40+ years, SAP supported a decentralized approach to sales execution, allowing each Region, Market Unit and Line of Business (LOB) to operate independently. This approach led to locally-defined sales processes, tools, reports and applications to drive business outcomes by each team. Therefore, executive management focused on one thing—measuring sales performance to budget.

However, as SAP grew and our business model shifted toward a new strategy to “Become the most innovative Cloud Company powered by SAP HANA”, we knew we had to drastically change how we operated. We needed increased levels of Go-To-Market (GTM) agility, compressed time to execution and differentiated levels of customer management to compete with smaller, more nimble cloud providers.

These needs magnified as SAP initiated an acquisition strategy to accelerate time-to-market with cloud-based solutions. Quickly assimilating these businesses into a unified SAP sales approach motion was paramount to achieving accretive revenue goals.

Yet, each new acquisition brought its own sales processes, tools and metrics. We quickly realized our autonomous approach to sales execution had become a liability.

To effectively lead the Cloud industry, we needed a sales execution approach built upon common principles and processes to drive global sales consistency, repeatability and predictability, while also maintaining agility.

A new, cross-functional team of 150 sales operations professionals from around the world embarked on a multi-year journey to radically simplify and standardize how we ran our sales organizations.


With the sponsorship of SAP’s executive board and Global Sales Chief Operating Officer, sales and operations leadership began meticulously planning a new approach. We hosted frequent conference calls, met monthly and hosted quarterly workshops to understand each sales team’s roles, responsibilities and core practices.

This collaboration led to SAP’s first-ever a global sales operating model, Franchise4Success (F4S).

The F4S model centers on Six Operating Areas, each aligned to SAP’s overall strategy and led by its own cross-functional Global Process Executive (GPE) and Center of Expertise (CoE) team, that incorporate globally-standardized business practices, enabling technologies and defined metrics to measure business outcomes (sample metrics below; details in Supporting Material).

  1. Go-To-Market - Quota carrier participation rate
  2. Sales Planning - Completion rate of account and territory plans vs. target
  3. Demand Management - Rolling 4 quarter volume and value
  4. Deal Execution - Pipeline conversion rate
  5. Forecasting - Forecast coverage
  6. Performance Management - Quota carrier productivity



Franchise4Success, (which rolled out in 2014) has transformed the sales organization and helped bring company-wide recognition to our team for enabling and accelerating SAP’s sales strategies and objectives.

First, we applied the same metrics to each part of the business, whether market unit, region or acquisition. This “Health of the Business” view provides insights into where we are succeeding or need to make changes.

WQe measure team success using two scoring criteria:

Franchise4Success Performance Scorecard— Combines 12 KPIs measuring sales organization execution efficiency and effectiveness.

Franchise4Success Maturity Rate—measures practice adoption, tool utilization and enablement activities.

In a year’s time (7/1/16 to 7/1/17), the Franchise Performance Score grew from 61% to 73% and the Maturity Rate grew from 54% to 80%--both clear indications that:

-The practices are better understood and more thoroughly implemented across the globe
-We are operating more consistently and efficiently in Sales

These advances contributed to better business performance across each region. In addition, this improvement included an astounding 22% growth in quota carrier productivity! Further, this standardized operating model means we do more with less: we grew sales organization headcount while keeping operations headcount almost flat.

The Franchise4Success team has gained company-wide recognition from Board members and our global operating model, now viewed as an SAP best practice. Teams like Marketing, Deal Support and our Services business are adopting our model to improve their performance and drive measurable results – the surest sign of team success.