Three Ways Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015 Will Speed Up Quoting
Regardless of whether your organization offers products or services, quickly putting together an accurate proposal is crucial to winning business. Often times, however, the process of physically quoting out those components can be quite frustrating and slow.
The upcoming December release of Dynamics CRM 2015, for which Microsoft recently published a preview guide, hints at key updates that will help make the quoting experience much more positive and intuitive.
Easily Add Multiple Related Products
When pursuing a deal and quoting out products, the reality in Dynamics CRM has been that I'm stuck adding products one-by-one unless we've done customization work or bought a CPQ tool. Each additional product requires 5 or more clicks, resulting in a process that is prone to errors and omissions.
The 2015 release brings the concept of related products to out-of-the-box Dynamics CRM. When a product is set up in the system we can now define product relationships as well. Each relationship can be an Cross-Sell, Accessory, or Upsell, all of which will be available in-line as a suggestion when adding a product to a quote. Each related product can be selected with a single click, then once I've made my choices I confirm "Add to Quote" and they're all added in one pass.
Instead of searching for each related product or service that fits the proposal, I multi-select from a list of suggested products saving time and hassle.
See Inside of a Product Bundle
Sales bundles help reduce the laborious nature of creating quotes while helping ensure accuracy of the items quoted. To date, Dynamics CRM has had "kit product" functionality, which is a container of several other components. Unfortunately, it's been tough to see what's actually inside of that kit product. To find this detail I've had to click through multiple screens which interrupts the flow of building a quote.
Dynamics CRM 2015 adds product bundles which ratchet up the capability that kit products aimed to fill. When I add a product bundle to a quote, I can see the components and the quantity of each that roll up into the bundle. Plus, if I don't want to see all of that detail, I can show/hide that information for each product bundle I've included in my quote.
Instead of wasting time confirming what's in a bundle, I will quote with confidence and move along.
Set Properties in a Product or Product Bundle
Another limitation of the product (and kit product) in previous releases has been that it's not very flexible. It has a very rigid list of components that forced users to sift through a list of nearly identical products and kits. Combined with the lack of visibility inside of the kit product, this meant potentially dozens of clicks to figure out "which one is the right one". Needless to say this was a hassle and very prone to error.
The upcoming Dynamics CRM 2015 release addresses this by introducing properties to products and product bundles. When a line item is added to the quote, I will be able to set properties specific to the items that have been included.
Instead of choosing between myriad similar bundles, I can choose the basic bundle and confirm the pertinent properties for this particular deal.
Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015 brings powerful improvements to products, which in turn will translate into a more intuitive, guided experience for users. This is only one of the many improvements Microsoft has planned for the release in December. It is a very exciting time to be a Dynamics CRM customer.
Disclaimer: Per the Dynamics CRM 2015 Release Preview Guide, these features and functions are not final and still subject to change as of their final release. Image Source: Dynamics CRM 2015 Release Preview Guide