Advanced Sales Processes

Most organizations concentrate first on developing the Lead through Opportunity close process.  Advanced Sales Processes in Dynamics 365 focuses primarily on the incorporation of the product catalog into Opportunities, as well as potentially the use of quotes, orders, and invoices in your sales process. The products, quotes, orders, and invoices in Microsoft Dynamics 365 are designed to mirror and integrate with financial software or ERP systems.  Consequently, they incorporate some complexities of ordering processes that sales people usually do not touch.

For this reason, some organizations seek simplicity by abandoning the built-in products and quoting capability and creating their own within custom entities. However, these companies often find out later that ordering and invoicing is often unavoidably complex and end up nearly recreating the built-in functionality to support their processes.  Therefore, if your organization needs to use the advanced sales functionality in Microsoft Dynamics 365, consider using the built-in functionality and initially stripping away anything that is not needed.  It can always be added back later without reinventing the wheel.

Jump to the following sections to learn more about advanced sales processes in Dynamics 365:

Using the Product Catalog

The use of the product catalog is not required.  If it is used, products can be added to an Opportunity. For instance rather than entering in an estimated revenue, the revenue can be calculated from the products.  Products from the product catalog also form the basis of the quotes, orders and invoices in Microsoft Dynamics 365. The product catalog in Dynamics 365 is most often used by companies that sell a catalog of items; although it can also be used by those who sell services in precise bundles.  It is not often used by companies that sell complex services engagements.   Benefits and features of the product catalog include:

  • Pricing can be calculated automatically on opportunities, quotes, and orders
  • Product pricing is centralized so everyone is using the same list
  • You can promote special offers, seasonal deals, and product launches through price lists
  • You can give specific customer types special offers
  • You can provide volume pricing through Discount Lists
  • Products can be associated with Campaigns

Before you can start using the Product Catalog, you will need to understand these basic components:

Products. Products are the items you sell. Typically, products are created via integrating with an ERP or another inventory system. The prices entered for the Product are reflected in Opportunity, Quote and Order pricing.

Price Lists. Price lists are a required component of the Product Catalog. They are groupings of products using special pricing. The discounts or markups entered on the Price List directly affect the product pricing. Products can be added to as many price lists as necessary. Once added to Price Lists, Products are called Price List Items which can then be used in Opportunities, Quotes and Orders. The following are examples of price lists uses: seasonal offerings, product launches, and wholesale customers, among others.

Discount Lists. Discount lists are not required. They are used with Price List Items to employ volume discounts. They can be applied to each item within a price list. For example, you can use discount lists to automatically apply discounts for instances when customers buy a specific number of items. Discount lists can be comprised of multiple Price List Items.

Unit Groups. Unit Groups are the quantities in which a product or service is sold. For example, beverages may be sold as 6-packs, 12-packs or cases. Services sold by the hour may be grouped by day, week or month.

When building the product catalog, the components of the product catalog must be built in the following order:

  1. Unit groups (required)
  2. Products (required)
  3. Price Lists (required)
  4. Discount Lists (not required)
NOTE: Unit groups can be simplified to only having one unit, making an implementation of the Product Catalog simpler. If you already have another system maintaining your products, it is a best practice to build an integration with that system wherein all products are created automatically and synced with the master inventory system.

Working with Opportunities and Products

      1. Create a new opportunity. This can be done by either converting a Lead to an Opportunity or creating a new Opportunity by clicking the New button (Note: Opportunities must be linked to either an Account or Contact).

        This is what it looks like to create an Opportunity by qualifying a Lead:


        Create New Opportunity by Converting a Lead in CRM 2011

        And this is what it looks like to create an Opportunity by clicking the New button:


        Create an Opportunity by clicking New Button in CRM 2011

      2. Under the Product Line Items section set the Revenue field to System Calculated.
        NOTE: The default value for the Revenue field can be set by System Customizers.
      3. Click on the lookup next to Price List


        View Price List look up in CRM 2011

      4. Select the appropriate price list.
        NOTE: Selecting the Price List makes all of its associated Price List Items available to be added to the Opportunity

        CRM2013_Select-Price-List
        View Price List selection in CRM 2011

      5. Click Save on the Opportunity command bar.
      6. Once the new opportunity has been saved the Product Line Items subgrid becomes available to use. Click on the + icon on the subgrid to start adding individual products.


        View Add New Opportunity Product in CRM 2011

      7. Click on the Existing Product lookup. This brings up the list of Products that were added to the Price List you selected in step three
      8. Select the Product.


        View Selecting Product in CRM 2011

      9. Enter value for Quantity.
        NOTE: Based on how the product catalog is configured, we can have suggestions for other products populate based on cross-sell, accessory, upsell, or substitution configuration and the relationship between the selected product and other products in the catalog to help sales representatives offer relevant additional products.

        View add quantity in CRM

        10. Clicking on Recalculate Opportunity on the command bar at any time will automatically saves and populates the Est. Revenue based on the Products and quantities selected.
        NOTE: The user can enter a Discount on the individual product line item, or Discount (%) or Discount in the fields below the Opportunity Products sub-grid. Entering values in these fields affects the Est. Revenue. These fields can be removed from the form if necessary.



        View Recalculate Opportunity in CRM 2011

Working with Quotes

The use of Quotes is optional. If you choose to not use Quotes, it is recommended that you disable Quotes for all users in security roles. Quotes can be created two ways: from an Opportunity using System Calculated pricing or from the Quotes area by clicking on New in the command bar. Multiple quotes can be created from one Opportunity to reflect special pricing offers. The Quote Lifecycle looks like this:

DRAFT > ACTIVATE > ACTIVE  > REVISE > DRAFT  > ACTIVATE  > CREATE ORDER / WON OR CLOSE QUOTE / LOST

When a Quote is first created, it is automatically in a draft state. While in draft, the Quote can be edited. Once a Quote is ready to be presented to the customer, the user must activate the quote. At this point, the Quote is not editable unless the user chooses to revise it, thereby putting it back into the draft state. The quote can be revised multiple times. The Revision ID will automatically increment with each revision. Activated quotes can be printed using mail merge by selecting the Print Quote for Customer button in the command bar. There is an out-of-the-box mail merge template or you can create your own. You can optionally use the out-of-the-box Quote report. Choosing the Create Order button in the command bar will automatically close the quote as Won. Using the Close Quote button in the command bar changes the quote status to Revised, Lost or Canceled.

  1. Open the opportunity.
    NOTE: The opportunity must have system calculated pricing and a price list selected.
  2. Click in the Quotes sub-grid. This brings up the New Quote form.

    CRMBook_2013_Create-Quote-From-Opp
    View Quotes in sub-grid in CRM 2011

  3. The new quote automatically pulls in the relevant data from the opportunity, including the price list, estimated revenue, and all other data points affecting the total amount of the quote.
  4. Users can optionally enter the effective dates of the quote, giving it an expiration date. Users can also enter any pricing changes specific to this quote.
    NOTE: At this point, the Quote is still in draft.


    View Add New Quote in CRM 2011

    5. Click on Activate Quote when you’re ready to provide it to the customer.
    NOTE: Once activated, the quote is not editable. And must be revised to be changed.


    View Activate Quote in CRM 2011

  5. If the customer requires you provide the quote in paper or electronic form, click on Print Quote for Customer to create a mail merge document which can then be emailed or mailed to the customer. You can also use the quote report to create multiple quotes.


    View Print Quote for Customer in CRM 2011

  6. If the customer chooses to not purchase the items on the quote, click on Close Quote and proceed with the close quote process. This will allow you to close the associated opportunity.


    View Close Quote in CRM 2011

  7. If the customer purchases the items on the quote, click on Create Order. This will automatically change the status to Won and also allow you to close the associated opportunity.


    View Create Order in CRM 2011

Create a Quote from Scratch

  1. Within the navigation bar, click on the Sales area
  2. Select Quotes.
  3. Click on New on the command bar.


    View new quote from scratch in CRM 2011

  4. Populate the NamePotential Customer and Price List fields.
  5. Save the quote.


    View Save the quote in CRM 2011

  6. Click on the + icon in the Products subgrid to add items to the quote.
    NOTE: The items available will be limited to those which are on the selected price list.
    NOTE: Each product must be added separately and will be calculated in the quote totals.


    View new quote product detail in CRM 2011

  7. Click on Activate Quote when you’re ready to provide it to the customer. NOTE: At this point, the quote is not editable. And must be revised to be changed.
  8. If the customer requires you to provide the quote in paper or electronic form, click on Print Quote for Customer to create a mail merge document which can then be emailed or mailed to the customer. You can also use the quote report to create multiple quotes.
  9. If the customer chooses to not purchase the items on the quote, click on Close Quote and proceed with the close quote process.
  10. If the customer purchases the items on the quote, click on Create Order. This will automatically change the status to Won.

Working with Orders

Orders are accepted quotes, and document what specific products or services the customer is buying. Orders can be created by selecting the Create Order button on an active quote. It is optional to use orders, and if they are used it is common to integrate them with an ERP system. You can create orders from quotes or by navigating to the Order section and selecting the New button.

  1. One way to create an order is to convert an active Quote into an Order. Select the Create Order button on the command bar within the quote form. A new window will open.


    View Create Order in CRM 2011

  2. On this new window you can choose whether to close or not update the associated opportunity.


    View close or Don’t update in CRM 2011

  3. After you have made your selections, click OK, and it’ll close that window. This will now load the order window.
  4. Required fields on an order are: Order ID (read-only and auto-calculated), Name (carries over the quote’s name), Customer (carries over from quote), currency and price list.


    View required fields on order in CRM 2011

  5. When the order has been completed and you have provided the customer with the products or services ordered you would fulfill the order by selecting the Fulfill Order button on the command bar.

    View Fulfill Order in CRM 2011

 Working with Invoices

Invoices are the final stage of the sales cycle. Invoices are how you bill your customers. Invoices are created after an order has been fulfilled. Microsoft Dynamics 365 for CRM is not meant to be a complete financial management system. If Invoices are being used in CRM, CRM is typically integrated with a financial management or ERP system. Similar to Orders, Invoices can be created by two different methods. You can create an invoice directly from a specific order screen, or you can navigate to the invoice section and select the New button. You are able to create more than one invoice for an opportunity or an order.

  1. To create an invoice from an order, open the specific order form and on the command bar select Create Invoice. This will open a new Invoice form.


    View Create Invoice in CRM 2011

  2. The fields on the invoice and order are identical. All the data will be carried over from the order to the invoice.
  3. Use the Confirm Invoice button in the command bar to update the status of the invoice to billed.
    NOTE: You can also update the status manually.
  4. In order to close the invoice, you need to either mark it as paid or canceled. To close the invoice as paid, on the command bar select Invoice Paid. This will pop open a new window, and click OK. Now the Invoice’s status will be Paid instead of Active.


    View close invoice in CRM 2011

  5. To cancel the Invoice, on the command bar select Cancel Invoice. This will pop open a window, and select OK. Now the Invoice’s status is Canceled.