Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Marketing using call lists

When thinking of customer service, we automatically think of a callcenter that processes inbound phonecalls, emails, letters and in some cases even chat. This is a logical thought, because throughout history, service was always initiated from the customer asking for service. Also, from a cost perspective, inbound calls are cheaper than outbound calls. Last but not least, the probability of the customer wanting service is bigger when he asks for it.

When thinking of sales, we are more likely to think of a salesperson visiting the customer, or calling the customer to inform him on the new product. This is a logical thought, because a sales process is more often initiated by the selling party.

If we combine these two worlds we can think of cross selling during service, so first servicing the customer making him happy and then doing him a good offer. If we take this a little further, we could consider triggering service (like for instance offering the customer a check-up of his product, or evaluating his satisfaction of the product) in order to maybe generate a new sale. A service offering is most likely to be done via a multichannel marketing campaign.

Let’s say we sell motorcycles. We know that customers are likely to buy a new motorcycle every 2 or 3 years. The likeliness of a customer responding to a normal marketing campaign (direct mail) is less than the likeliness of a customer responding to a personal sales offer. The likeliness of the customer responding to a personal (free) service offer is probably the highest.
So, we decide to plan a continuous multichannel marketing campaign where we weekly select all customers that bought a motorcycle 2 years ago, and we send them a personal letter and the service offer. During the week, we also call the customer to ask if he is interested in the offer. We are now in contact with the customer, which can lead to a sale.

In the example above, in SAP CRM, we would use the following tools:
  • Marketing to create and execute the campaign.
  • Segmentation to select the customers.
  • Interaction Center to call the customers via a call list.
There are of course many examples of such processes (call-me-buttons on sites, calling customers that have visited a product page on your site, calling customers that have a product that has known issues, contract renewal processes, etc).

Call lists in the Interaction Center
Calling customers based on a selection can be done using call lists in the Interaction Center in SAP CRM. Depending on the process, you can consider using an external interface push customers to an existing call list, or you can add customers to a new call list during campaign execution, or you can add customers to a call list using custom actions in activities or orders (for instance if the status of an opportunity has changed, or a certain period after a sale).

Call lists are created in the IC Manager role, and can be assigned to organizational units (departments) or directly to certain employees.

Call lists are processed in the Interaction Center. You can choose to allow the agent to choose the next customer himself, or you can choose to implement the ‘call list dispatcher’, which is a powerful tool that allows the assignment of the next call to the agent based on your own business rules (so maybe the hottest leads first, or FIFO, or last contact longest ago etc). Implementing the call list dispatcher will also allow you to have multiple agents working on the same list at the same time (as the dispatcher handles the dispatching).

The status of calls in the call lists are synchronized with activities that are attached to the call and vice versa. This way, the status of the call is also visible in the customer overview, and a change to the activity will also trigger a change in the call in the call list.

In order to improve performance, you can also consider implementing a mechanism to archive (move the calls to a disabled call list) calls once they have been processed. I will explain how to do this later.

Also, when implementing call lists, you might consider implementing that a call is not to be processed again on the same day (or in a few hours), to avoid calling the same customer over and over again when the call list is almost empty. This is done in a BADI, and I will explain this later as well


  1. Hi Pieter,
    thanks a lot for your great blog. I am also working on Call Lists at the moment. We let the user select the customer himself and also switched off the automatic removal of calls from the list.
    My expectation would be that the call only gets removed from the list, once I set the corresponding activity to complete. So I go to "Interaction Record" and set the activity "Planned call" to complete. Unfortunately, the customer stays in the call list. I configured "Define Call State Mapping Profile", but still the same issue.

    Do you have any ideas how to solve this issue?

    Thanks a lot

  2. Dear Nicole,
    Have you maintained the action on the activity to synchronise the activity status with the call list?
    This action should be triggered immediately (or on save) and an unlimited number of times.

    The call status should then be automatically updated when the status of the activity is changed. The mapping of activity status to call status should be maintained in customizing as well.

    Hope this helps. If not, feel free to ask again :-)


  3. Hi Pieter,

    thanks for your feedback! I did not have the time yet to test the functionality again. Will do soon and let you know if this works.

    Thanks, I appreciate your time

  4. Hi Pieter,

    actually, I had this action configured. I wonder if I use the correct activity, but it should be PCAL "Planned Call", right? I use a copy of the action CALL_LIST_SYNCHRONIZATION with method CRM_CLM_BTX_SYNC. I also tried action CL_TM_CLM_INTERACTION.

    The mapping of activity status to call status has also been maintained under 'Call lists' > 'Business transaction synchronization' > 'Define Call State Mapping Profiles'

    Under 'Status Mapping' I mapped User status E0003 and E0007 with Call State 'Complete'.

    Still, when I set the activity to complete, the call is not getting removed from the call list.


  5. Hi Pieter,

    seems like my previous post wasn't published...too bad. So actually, I had all other settings configured as you suggested it. I also assigned the action to transaction PCAL, which is the standard transaction, right?

    I did not configure Call List Types and Call List dispatcher though.


  6. Nicole,

    Call list synchronisation can af far as I know only be done if you create the transaction at the same time that you create the call in the call list.

    The synchronisation action profile should be assigned to the transaction type you use with the call. It doesn't matter if this is PCAL or any Z-transaction type.

    I don't think it is mandatory to have call list types or call dispatcher customized, so that should be ok.

    You can by the way also email me on if you like.


  7. Pieter,

    I checked my settings and made some tweaks on the Status Mapping for Calls and Activities. It works now!

    Thanks a lot

  8. hi Pieter,
    I have executed telephonic campaign, script& campaign message also with this call list, I have seen call list which we can see thru transation code crmd_tm_cldist,
    how call list assign and use in interaction center pls help

  9. Joshi, your comment triggered me to write a new blog on the topic. Check the blog here:

    The assignment is done in crmd_tm_cldist to either a user, position or organisational model.

    Note that call lists that are not activated or that do not contain calls will not be shown in the interaction center, even though you might be assigned to the call list.


    1. thanks for writing new blog, its useful,
      if you have any link related to interaction center pls provide (I am searching how call list works in Intraction center and generate reply/leads thru call .Then the purpose of campaign execution will be solve in marketing )

  10. Hi,

    I remember that in 4.0 release (interaction center winclient). While executing the call list, when the call was selected, the business partner was identified and confirmed, and also the business transaction that was generated by the call list was displayed under the tab for Business Transactions maintenance on CIC0 transaction.

    I am now on 7.0 release (Business Role IC_AGENT). I am able to display the call lists, and the respective calls. When the call is selected the business partner is also confirmed. But I am not able to see the business transaction that was generated and is associated with that call.

    Is this functionality missing in 7.0 or am I missing some configuration?

    Thanks a lot.