A key component in any D365 sales enablement/BI/B2B2C strategy

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If you're using Dynamics 365 Sales, you're also hopefully using a CPQ (configure, price, quote) solution therein (single sign-on, ideally, like this CPQ for Dynamics).

More importantly, you are using that CPQ solution to do a whole lot more than simply create and send sales proposals. Because what you may have thought of as simple sales quote software is in fact one of the best sales enablement weapons in your arsenal.

Not only that, but the right CPQ solutions is also a killer business intelligence (BI) tool and "direct to consumer" solution for B2B companies (call it B2B2C).

Let's dig into that first one: CPQ as a sales enablement tool.

CPQ = Sales enablement for D365

Dynamics is modular: add what need, use what you will. Modules exist for nearly every need: consolidation, auditing, nurture campaigns, compliance, French fries (ok, so not yet... but soon!).

Adding CPQ to your D365 instance is adding a module, but more importantly, it's adding sales enablement POWER. Sales reps are now enabled to make professional looking quotes with only the most recent pricing and bundles with just a few clicks.

On top of that, you've also added a tool that can help close more sales (by some accounts, CPQ improves closing rates by more than 20%). But it's not just about the professional look/feel of your quotes and the speed in which you can make them. It's also about the smarts. Which brings us to BI.

More actionable BI in your closing processes

At its beating heart, the whole mission of any sales enablement solution is to help you close more sales. And by providing a deeper dive into every critical step of your quoting process, CPQ lets you do exactly that.

In far too many CRM-type systems, data in and around your closing processes (after a sales proposal is sent) is limited to quote sent; quote signed (deal won); quote not signed (deal lost). If you're serious about selling, you're going to want to know a whole lot more about this part of the process.

Your CPQ solution should be able to let you know about any and all updates in that process (to the quote itself, to the contacts therein, to the timeline), and more easily enable your sales team (see what we're doing there?) to spot bottlenecks, learn from past mistakes and successes, and move more quotes through more quickly. And all without leaving Dynamics.

Finally (for now), let's explore one more facet of CPQ as a sales enablement tool: its use in helping B2B organizations (e.g., wholesalers, manufacturers, etc.) create direct to consumer solutions.

CPQ + B2B = Direct to consumer

It's all about that C in CPQ: configure. Leveraging CPQ's product and pricing configuration engine provides an easy means of creating a system that enables B2B customers to "go shopping." You can create an interface (using D365 Commerce or Power Pages) for a customer self-serve portal, and allow customers to configure and buy products without any outside help.

Let's be clear: Most B2B sales are complex and require a lot of hand-holding from start to finish. In fact, it's hard to think of one initial B2B sales that can be done without a rep present. But the keyword is initial.

Imagine this: you're a manufacturing company with 10,000 or more SKUs. You close a customer and stock their warehouse from top to bottom, a six- or seven-figure deal. However, going forward, they likely and often have to re-order some SKUs from time to time (e.g., new lug nuts, fasteners, piping, etc.).

Do you really want a rep to hand-hold them for every order under $1000? No. But with a CPQ configuration engine embedded in a customer-facing portal, you can let those customers serve (and even sell) themselves. Not only does it save you time and money, but it also increases customer satisfaction as they can get what they want and faster. It's a classic "win-win."

So if you're on a "sales enablement mission" as so many are, add this critical functionality to Dynamics. Better looking proposals, more actionable intelligence, less heavy lifting for your team, happier customers, more revenue... we just went from win-win to win-win-win-win-win.

 

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