How Sales Teams Benefit from Modern, Agile CPQ in Dynamics 365

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The evolution of businesses has posed challenges for companies using legacy CPQ (Configure, Price, Quote) solutions to meet growing customer demands. In the contemporary CPQ landscape, customer-centricity calls for personalization, self-service capabilities, visual configuration tools, and seamless data synchronization.

Legacy CPQ systems, however, often lack these vital features. Their rigidity and difficulty in customization require substantial effort even for basic changes.

These systems are struggling to keep pace due to their incompatibility with current business practices. As the business landscape transforms, sales teams face the dual challenge of meeting customer expectations while ensuring efficient deal closures.

Recognizing this, it's crucial to weigh the pros and cons of legacy versus next-gen CPQ solutions to make informed decisions that align with future growth.

Today, companies are turning towards agile, innovative CPQ solutions that can swiftly adapt to market dynamics and modern customer expectations, enhancing both service and sales efforts.

Agile CPQ with Dynamics 365 Helps You Deliver What Today’s Customer Wants

Modern sales teams require tools that boost efficiency. They gravitate towards streamlined processes, real-time data, and personalized experiences for customers.

Customers, in turn, desire simplified, seamless buying experiences. They expect products tailored to their individual tastes, self-service options, and much more.

Today’s customer demands convenient access to product catalogs and pricing, personalized experiences tailored to their needs, preferences, and past interactions, visual configuration tools for dynamic product exploration, and swift, accurate quotes that align with today's fast-paced business environment.

Meeting these expectations necessitates a CPQ solution that bridges the gap between sales and customer demands and integrates with your Dynamics 365 solution. By aligning with these evolving customer needs, businesses can better serve their clients, enhance sales performance, and remain competitive in the marketplace.

Advantages of Agile CPQ Solutions in Microsoft Dynamics 365

Amid evolving customer demands and the struggles of legacy CPQ software, next-gen B2B CPQ solutions offer compelling advantages to drive revenue increases and enhance productivity.

Enhanced Sales Team Productivity

Legacy CPQ systems often entail tedious manual processes that hinder sales team productivity. Agile CPQ solutions automate routine administrative tasks, liberating valuable time for teams to concentrate on cultivating new client relationships and expediting deal closures.

Streamlined Sales Processes

Agile CPQ simplifies the entire sales cycle by automating crucial processes. From configuring products and calculating prices to generating quotes and handling approvals, the automation tools in agile CPQ minimize errors, reduce response times, and establish uniformity for the entire sales team.

Improved Data Integration

Unlike legacy CPQ systems, agile solutions facilitate seamless data flow by dismantling data silos and enabling integration between Microsoft Dynamics CRM and ERP systems as well as other vital tools. This integration keeps your business data both accurate and current.

Real-time Data and Reporting

Agile CPQ equips sales teams with real-time data and reporting capabilities, providing clear visibility into the entire sales lifecycle. Insights into customer preferences, product performance, and sales trends empower sales teams to make data-driven decisions and adjust their strategies to cultivate stronger bonds with customers and finalize more deals.

Streamlined Sales Cycle

Agile CPQ software streamlines the sales cycle by identifying and removing holdups and reducing the need to intervene manually. Automated workflows, streamlined approvals, improved order management, and real-time access to product information give both sales teams and customers a smooth journey through the entire process.

Accelerated Quote-to-Revenue

Prompt quote conversion is imperative to drive revenue. Agile CPQ solutions accelerate this process by eliminating delays, automating approvals, and providing instantaneous quotes, all in a seamless workflow within the Dynamics 365 solution you already use. Faster processes allow sales teams to stay on top of every opportunity and thus ensure higher revenues.

Why Legacy CPQ Harms Productivity in Dynamics 365

A closer examination of the pros and cons of legacy and next-gen CPQ software reveals critical insights:

Legacy CPQ software boasts a proven track record, offering stability and reliability from years of widespread use and testing. Nonetheless, its primary drawback is limited flexibility. It may lack customization options and scalability, impeding adaptation to shifting business needs and market trends. Integration with contemporary tools and technologies, most of them in the cloud, can also pose challenges, demanding substantial time and effort.

In contrast, next-gen B2B CPQ solutions embody agility and inherent flexibility. Cloud-based architecture ensures continuous updates, enabling teams to harness the latest features as they are released. The latest CPQ software has become highly configurable while scaling from small to large operations, empowering businesses to adjust to evolving market demands and adapt the software solution to the way they do business.

While adopting and transitioning to a next-gen CPQ solution may entail a learning curve and initial hurdles—such as data migration and integration with a company's Microsoft Dynamics ERP and CRM—the payoff of greater flexibility and access to industry-leading features render it a clear-cut choice for businesses looking to equip their sales teams with the best technology to help them keep pace with the modern customer.

Factors to Consider When Migrating to Next-Gen CPQ in Dynamics 365

Migrating from legacy to next-gen CPQ software starts with careful preparation, considering key factors to ensure a seamless transition and successful implementation. Taking these factors into account and strategizing before execution will facilitate setup and onboarding.

1. Aligning Business Goals and Needs

It is paramount to choose CPQ software with functionality that will help you meet your business goals. Before committing:

  • Assess your specific needs, both now and in the future.
  • Determine if the solution will continue to meet those needs in the long term.
  • Consider the potential advantages of a solution that is industry-specialized, easily integrates with other applications, and is fully configurable.

2. Implementation and Training

Prepare for the transition's support and training aspects. Factor in the implementation timeline, potential operational disruptions, and the available support and training for your team. A smooth migration requires meticulous planning and effective change management.

3. Data Migration and Integration

Assess the simplicity and accuracy of data migration from legacy systems to the new CPQ solution. Examine integration capabilities with existing Dynamics CRM, ERP, and other essential tools. Better integrated CPQ enables more efficient workflows and greater data integrity – all factors helping you get the most from your solution.

4. Cost and ROI

Look beyond the initial cost; analyze the total cost of ownership associated with migrating to next-gen CPQ software. Evaluate upfront and ongoing costs like licensing fees, implementation, training, and customization. Also, look closely at the return on investment (ROI) you’ll see, along with the long-term benefits offered by the new solution.

Emerging Trends in CPQ That You Can Use in Dynamics 365

As forward-thinking organizations shift from legacy CPQs to agile solutions, several emerging trends are noteworthy:

1. Agile CPQ

Next-gen CPQ solutions are gaining traction due to their adaptability and flexibility in catering to business and customer needs.

2. Cloud-based CPQ

Cloud-based solutions are rising in popularity due to ease of access and rapid scalability. They are easily deployed, regularly updated, and reduce maintenance demands, lightening the load on internal IT teams. Other advantages include remote access, enhanced collaboration, and real-time data synchronization.

3. Mobile Operability

CPQ solutions are aligning with the mobile trend, offering an improved handheld experience. Sales reps can access CPQ tools and customer data even when out of the office, enabling real-time quotes and customer engagement from any location.

4. AI and NLP Integration

AI and natural language processing (NLP) are disrupting CPQ. AI-driven algorithms analyze data to provide personalized product recommendations, while NLP enables conversational interactions for enhanced user experiences.

5. Visual Buying Experiences

Visual configuration tools allow customers to interact and configure products virtually, through immersive experiences. Virtual and augmented reality technologies can further enhance product customization, expanding the environment and context of the product they’re viewing.

6. Integration with CX Platforms

CPQ is becoming a more seamlessly integrated tool within modern CRM and marketing automation systems, such as Dynamics 365 for Sales and Dynamics 365 for Marketing, ensuring seamless data sharing and personalized recommendations based on customer behavior.

7. Advanced Analytics and Predictive Insights

CPQ systems now incorporate advanced analytics and predictive insights, enabling data-driven decisions and accurate sales forecasting.

8. Configurable Commerce

CPQ solutions are expanding to offer end-to-end configurable commerce capabilities, integrating with e-commerce platforms for a cohesive buying journey.

9. IoT Integration

Integration with IoT devices enhances customer service and drives sales. CPQ systems can leverage IoT data to recommend accessories, handle diagnostics, and offer usage-based or subscription pricing.

Wrap Up

As the CPQ landscape evolves, now is the ideal time to explore next-gen solutions. By understanding sales team and customer needs, evaluating legacy and next-gen software pros and cons, and considering data migration factors, businesses can make informed choices about their use of Microsoft Dynamics 365 and an agile CPQ solution that fuel growth, increase efficiency, and elevate customer experiences.

Embrace the future of CPQ – contact us today to unlock your sales team's potential!

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