Improve Forecasting with Dynamics 365 For Sales 2020 Release Wave 1

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If your business is sales, your number one asset is your customers. And customer satisfaction will determine your ultimate success or failure. There are many philosophies and many tools promoting sales efficiency, and in a competitive marketplace, it’s vital to choose the tools that add value and efficiency to your business.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 for CRM (Customer Relationship Management) is the foundation for a suite of productivity applications for your business. This innovative solution breaks down the silos between CRM, ERP, and productivity to offer one comprehensive, integrated system. Dynamics 365’s purpose-built applications for Sales, Customer Service, Field Service, and Project Service Automation, can empower all of your teams to do more, every day, in concert.

Dynamics 365 Sales enables sales reps to build strong relationships with their customers, take actions based on insights, and close sales faster. Use Dynamics 365 Sales to keep track of your accounts and contacts, nurture your sales from lead to order, and create sales collateral. It helps you understand customer behavior and preferences, create useful marketing lists and effective campaigns, and even follow service cases associated with specific accounts or opportunities.

Included in the updates included in the Dynamics 365 2020 release wave 1 are several enhancements designed to enhance your forecasting capabilities. Forecasting sales targets is not easy in times of uncertainty and a rapidly changing market. Yet, accurate forecasting is vital if you are to prepare for product demand and make strategic choices as you move ahead.

CEOs must predict the demand for their products so they can instigate strategic business transformations. COOs must understand the scope of future demands so they can allocate resources efficiently.  CFOs need visibility into future cash flows so they can formulate financial plans for the organization’s growth. However, organizations often struggle to develop accurate sales forecasts that can genuinely inform their strategic decisions.

Dynamics 365 Sales now offers a forecasting solution that is flexible enough to meet the needs of diverse businesses and presents it in an interface that is intuitive and user friendly. Intelligent forecasting is the goal of the features in the next Dynamics 365 2020 release wave.

Here are some of the features you can expect to see in the update:

Customize Forecast Models

Although most businesses adopt a common methodology of requiring sales teams to forecast the best case, likely, and worst-case revenue, they will have different approaches depending on industry, product, and geography. Dynamics 365 Sales’ forecast capabilities provide flexible configurations and filtering to support multiple types of forecasting, rollup categories, and measurements.

New features include:

  • Flexible column modeling: You can create custom rollups and calculated columns.
  • Alternative organizational structures: You can create forecasts based on territory, reporting hierarchy, or other specified criteria.
  • Improved quota management: You can enable quotas in the forecast grid or upload quotas for entire forecast time periods using an Excel template.
  • Advanced filtering: You can use filters to identify specific opportunities included in the forecast with the new query builder.
  • Security modeling adapted to business needs: You can choose who will have access to defined forecast models and fields.

Improve forecast accuracy

Although bottom-up forecasting is based on existing opportunity data, sales managers know that in many instances, they are called on for subjective judgment. Sales reps may not have the expertise required to predict the value of a deal accurately. To ensure that they can provide leadership with trustworthy forecast numbers, sales managers have the flexibility to adjust any of the enabled forecast values.

What you can do with the new features

  • Adjust forecasts seamlessly: Easily change any forecasted values that are propagated based on existing forecast or organizational hierarchy, including deleting adjustments or reverting to an older adjustment.
  • Gain a deeper understanding with forecast adjustments: Identify the underlying records that contribute to changes and capture the reasons for the changes to analyze the history of modifications. 

Forecasting with precision pipeline management

A forecast can contain a lot of information. Often, an organization’s forecasts and opportunities are disjointed. Sales reps and sales managers need to understand where forecast values are coming from in order to introduce necessary changes that can help to resolve these gaps. In the forecasting capabilities of Dynamics 365 Sales, both the forecast and the underlying opportunity data are part of one fluid experience, allowing sellers to modify deal information in the flow and to see changes to the forecast instantly.

New features include:

  • Responsive forecast grid with visual cues: You can enable a visual representation of the whole forecast hierarchy and quota attainment in each cell, directly from the grid.
  • Editing of participating records inline: You can view and edit underlying opportunities for any calculated metric to modify the forecast instantly.
  • Pipeline management and visualization: You can manage and update the full forecast with the drag-and-drop feature to move opportunities across different stages and instantly update forecast data.
  • Get near real-time updates: You can automatically recalculate forecast values to ensure data is always as fresh as possible.

As a Microsoft Gold-certified partner, BroadPoint understands that when it comes to a new software release, ease of use and education are essential to high user adoption. We can provide training for your staff and ongoing support through cloud management, help desk, and other customized options.

To learn more about Dynamics 365’s next release, Contact our experts at BroadPoint

By BroadPoint, Inc,

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