Product Catalog in Dynamics 365
Microsoft Dynamics 365 allows you to maintain a Product Catalog with multiple customizable price and discount lists for all your business needs. This allows your sales representatives to create quotes, invoices, and orders all from Dynamics 365.
There are many use cases for Product Catalog such as territory based price and discount lists, bundles, product relationships to facilitate product substitutions, accessories, highlight cross-sell and up-sell opportunities, write-in discounts, and more.
Navigating the Product Catalog
To unlock the potential of Product Catalog, navigate to Settings, then Product Catalog. You will first need to create Unit Groups, then Products, next create Price Lists and optionally Discount Lists. For a detailed description of the Product Catalog enhancements, visit PowerObjects blog, The product structure includes Product Families, Product Bundles and (individual) Products.
Product Families and Child Products
Product families provide a way to group, classify and categorize products for more streamlined product management. You can even view the family and child product relationships using the CRM 2015 Hierarchy Visualization feature. Both bundles and individual products can be included in a product family tree.
Product bundles provide a superior way to group common products together to be sold with more attractive package pricing (using price lists). Bundles are replaced previous kit functionality. For example, unlike kits, bundled products are visible to the salesperson on the opportunity, quote, order or invoices as they are entering line items. Additionally, the quantities and properties of the bundled products can be edited on the line items.
A limitation of bundles does exist. Because of the new ability to define and customize product properties, nesting of bundles isn’t an option (adding a bundle within a bundle).
Inherited Product Properties
Product properties can be created for product families. Product Properties describe attributes or values that apply to the products in the family such as color, size, user count, version, etc. These product properties are then inherited by all bundles and products created within the family and further can be updated by the salespeople when they are adding them to opportunities, quotes, orders, and invoices.
Product properties can be created with the following data types: option set, decimal, floating point number, a single line of text or whole number. They can also be set to read-only, required and/or hidden when viewed on the product line items.
Relationships between products can now be defined to facilitate cross-selling and up-selling by sales representatives! These relationships appear as “suggestions” for the sales reps when entering opportunity, quote, order and invoice line items.
Sales Operations Managers can create four types of relationships between products: Up-sell, Cross-sell, Substitutes, and Accessories.
Product Life-cycle Management with Versioning
Now you can manage the state of products throughout the lifecycle of the product. Only Active products with valid price lists are available on opportunities, quotes, orders, and invoices.
Sales operations managers can maintain products as they are being prepared for release. Available product statuses are Draft, Active, Under Revision and Retired. Revised product versioning exists to ensure that existing opportunities, quotes, orders, and invoices are not impacted by products under revision.
Preview and Clone Products
Sales operations managers are able to copy an existing product using the Clone button to create a new product. Save even more time using the Preview button to see how the product will be rendered from the salesperson’s perspective. No need to create a test opportunity to preview how line items will display.
Import and Export Products with the Configuration Migration Tool
The Configuration Migration Tool that was introduced with CRM 2013 can support import and export of the product taxonomy.
Territory Based Price Lists
Sales operations managers can now link Dynamics 365 territories to price lists. This directly benefits salespeople by defaulting the appropriate price list to opportunities, quotes, orders and invoices created by the salesperson based on the territory assigned in the salesperson’s user record.
Benefits of the Product Catalog for Sales
All of these features of the product catalog benefit the salespeople in your organization by making them more efficient when working with product line items on opportunities, quotes, orders, and invoices! When used in conjunction with Business Process Flows, there’s virtually no limit to how much more effective they can be at getting your product or service out the door. Here’s how these new product catalog features play out for the sales team:
- Capture Product Properties on Opportunities, Quotes, Orders, and Invoices
Salespeople have the ability to review and update the property values defined for the product line item using the “Edit” properties hyperlink. For example, the salesperson could change the “color” property if a customer requests it. The line item cannot be saved if required values are not updated ensuring that no important line item information is missed during the opportunity, quote, order or invoice process.
- Cross-sell and Up-sell Product Suggestions Based on Product Relationships
Product suggestions are available for any product line items where product relationships have been defined. Click on the “Suggestions” hyperlink to pick products suggested for up-sell, cross-sell, and substitutions or as accessories. The items picked are added as new product line items.
- View and Manage Components of Bundled Products Inline
All of the components of bundled products are visible as line items on the opportunity, quote, order or invoice. Properties and product suggestions are editable for both the bundle product and the components providing for great flexibility.
- Override Default System Pricing Engine and More…
In the past, there was no way to prevent the default pricing engine from overriding custom calculations on sales opportunities, quotes, orders or invoices. There are a number of system settings on a Sales tab in the System Setting area that relates to the product catalog features discussed here, including the ability to override the default pricing engine. This means custom plug-ins can now be successfully implemented to support your organization’s unique pricing needs!
- Define Line Item Discounts
Another pricing feature is the ability to define how line item discounts are calculated when using the default system pricing engine. Options are to apply the discount at the Line Item [(Qty*Price per item)*Discount] or Per Unit [(Price per item*Discount)*Qty].
Sales in Dynamics 365
If you want more information on opportunities in Dynamics 365, check out Dynamics 365 University’s Sales for Dynamics 365.