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Feature Overview

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In the previous step, we demonstrated navigating Dynamics 365 and provided a brief overview of Sales Hub. In this step, we will look at the features available in Sales Hub.

Dynamics 365 for Sales is made up of a set of core entities that facilitate customer engagement and allow organisations to manage the end-to-end lifecycle of a sales or engagement.

Customer Records

Within every organisation, there are people or organisations of people that are serviced. Whether the organisation is a retail store, a consulting organisation, a non-profit organisation, a telecommunications company or an entity that receives goods or service, the recipients of the products and services are called customers within Dynamics 365 for Sale.

Businesses and organisations differ greatly so the definition of ‘customer’ may change from one to the next. Within Dynamics 365 for Sales there are two types of customer records:

  1. Accounts are records that track organisations in the business to business or B2B sales or support scenario and represent customers. An account can be a company, government entity, non-profit organisation, club or any other organisation. Accounts tracked in Dynamics 365 for Sales commonly include customers, vendors, partners and resellers.
  2. Contacts are records that track people. A contact can be a customer, consultant, service provider or other individuals. In business to business scenarios where customers refer to accounts, a contact generally represents an employee of the account. In business to customer or B2C scenarios, contact is generally the customer.

Dynamics 365 for Sales can also track organisational hierarchies using sub contacts. This feature can track professional relationships within an organisation.

Leads

In Dynamics 365 for Sales, a lead represents potential. For example, a potential sale or a potential contract or account with which an organisation might do business.

Many organisations implement a lead qualification process during which leads are contacted, more information is gathered and at some point, a decision is made about the lead status.

Generally, leads should be considered temporary records with the goal of converting them to some combination of account contact or opportunity record at the end of a qualification process.

Opportunities

In Dynamics 365 for Sales, an opportunity is a qualified potential sale. An opportunity record is used to track a qualified potential sale through the sales closing process.

A qualified potential sale indicates that the potential customer has been contacted and information has been gathered about their interest. The organisation has determined the likelihood of the customer buying and decided that the potential is worth pursuing.

Opportunities can track very detailed information about potential sales including the following:

  • Competitors for the opportunity
  • Products selected from the product catalogue
  • Estimated revenue or estimated probability of closing the deal
  • Estimated close date
  • Records the opportunity is associated with, which can be either an account or a contact
  • Activities involved in closing the sale such as phone calls, letters, faxes, appointments and emails sent
  • Series of notes about the opportunity.

Sales Pipelines

In many sales organisations, potential sales are reported using a sales pipeline and sales managers use sales pipelines to determine where they might be able to close off at the end of the period. A sales pipeline is populated by opportunity records within Dynamics 365 for Sales.

Quotes

Dynamics 365 for Sales quotes help inform potential customers about the products and prices associated with the opportunity. Another way of understanding a quote within the application is to think of it as a proposal or an estimate. A quote that a customer accepts converts to a sales order.

If a customer accepts a presented quote, a sales representative can use Dynamics 365 for Sales to create an order with the information contained in the quote record with a single click.

Additionally, from within the application, users can quickly revise quotes and even track a history of the quotes presented to a customer.

Orders

In Dynamics 365 for Sales, an order is recorded and placed when customers confirm requests for the product or service. Organisations receive and process orders which then convert to invoices and revenue.

Additionally, some organisations integrate the sales order process into an accounting application such as Dynamics 365 for Sales for finance and operations.

Commonly, within an integrated environment, organisations have Dynamics 365 for Sales users create sales orders within Dynamics 365 for Sales and then submit them into the accounting application.

This illustrates how companies can leverage the application to support and streamline their entire sales lifecycle and fulfil their customer relationship management strategies.

Invoices

In Dynamics 365 for Sales, invoices are a request for payment from a business to its customers. Invoices are related to orders. Depending on the payment terms, an invoice can be generated from an order after it is fulfilled or when it is placed.

It is important to note that although there is functionality that supports invoices and sales orders within Dynamics 365 for Sales, it should not be considered an accounting application.

Product Catalogue

Within Dynamics 365 for Sales, organisations can track and manage the list of products and services they provide their customers. Additionally, they can establish different levels of pricing options and discounts based on various organisational criteria.

For organisations that transact in multiple currencies, Dynamics 365 for Sales can track pricing for each product in different currencies and with different pricing options.

There are four primary components of the product catalogue within the application:

  • Products
  • Units of measure
  • Price lists
  • Discount lists

Dynamics 365 for Sales also has bundle and product families functionality that allows you to group products that are sold together.

In the next step, we will explore an overview of the sales process.

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Dynamics 365: Customer Engagement for Sales

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