The missing piece of the D365 pie

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To be fair, it’s not technically missing: there are options for making sales proposals in Dynamics without adding a dedicated app. Just like there are options for making pie: apple, cherry, EEL. (Yes, it’s a thing.)

It’s about choosing the right option, the one that best completes your solution and best serves your business. You can add CPQ to Dynamics (what we do), but it needs to complete the picture rather than disrupt it. It needs to be a strategic fit.

When your CPQ and CRM are a strategic match, they’ll have a two-way data feed, a similar (or better, EXACT) look and fee for users, and single sign-on (SSO). To continue our analogy, users need to be able to bite into that apple pie and not chomp down on any eel. 

Here are a few things to consider when completing Dynamics 365 Sales by adding CPQ. 

The contacts context

If you’re like most businesses, you want to have a single source of truth for customer information: accounts, contacts, etc. If you’re like most businesses, sadly, you probably don’t. The information comes from all over and sometimes stays there, too. 

While your CRM should be the primary repository for all this info, it’s not necessarily on the front lines of every customer interaction, especially during the closing process when a rep is cranking out quotes and doing a lot of work on the fly (e.g., outside CRM).

The good news is that this is an opportunity to confirm the accuracy of customer data in your CRM. Because while that CRM data may be dated, you can rest assured that the contact information in the sales quote being sent is not.

Take advantage of this time and these quotes and cross-check against the data in your CRM. Make sure your single source of truth isn’t inadvertently “lying” due to outdated info.

Double down on data 

Funnels and forecasts, dashboards and data. D365 is your revenue forecasting powerhouse. From the tippy top (list of random prospects from trade shows or third parties) to lifetime value of your most valued clients, Dynamics can help you track the connections and campaigns that convert relationships to revenue.

But… there’s a bite of eel in this apple pie (apologies for once again returning to a somewhat awkward and downright disgusting analogy). It’s that critical time frame between “quote sent” and “quote signed.”

Those are typically the only two metrics most CRM systems capture, but–as any sales rep can tell you–there’s often a heck of a lot going on between sent and signed. This is where CPQ helps fills the gaps, by providing granular data within the closing process that can help turn sent quotes into signed ones. 

There’s no business in the world that wouldn’t benefit from a deeper dive into a double-dip of this downstream data.

UX excellence

We mentioned SSO as a critical piece of this equation in adding CPQ to Dynamics. But that is literally and figuratively just the start.

Once a sales rep is in there (CPQ app) making a quote, they should feel like they never left there (Dynamics). Solutions providers like to talk about seamless integration, and that’s all well and good. But it’s a seamless user experience that’s as, if not more, important.

Dynamics has some native tools for quote building, but not a native, full-featured CPQ. With iQuoteXpress added, the experience feels absolutely native to users. Like a feature more than an outside app, creating a solid experience for users. And a good user experience is a productive user experience, and productive = revenue.

Thanks for reading! If you’re hungry for apple pie, we did good. If you’re hungry for eel pie, seek help.

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