Post-COVID selling using D365

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In all of its communications, Microsoft hammers home the message about how Dynamics enables a 360-degree view of your customers — and it’s true.

With D365 Sales, D365 Customer Insights, D365 Marketing, and D365 Finance — as well as connectors to platforms like LinkedIn and extensions to automate customer touchpoints ranging from social posts to sales quotes — Dynamics can deliver enough customer data to make it feel like you’re right there in the room with each and every one of them.

What Microsoft doesn’t trumpet quite as loudly is how Dynamics also empowers department leaders and managers with a 360-degree view of their teams (and not just in Teams). It’s this strength that will serve sales teams best as they navigate selling in a socially distanced, post-COVID era.

Simple practices to build on as we navigate improving sales management (and thereby improving sales) in the coming year include the technology stack a company team shares enterprise-wide, and the way that stack may be extended at an individual level.

We’re going to make what we hope is a safe assumption and it’s that everyone in your organization is using Dynamics 365, Office 365, and every essential tool they require via the cloud. (If you’re not already running your business on Azure, it’s well-past time.) It’s absolutely ok to BYOD (bring your own device), but it’s not ok to bring your own platform.

Yes, we know that some companies make exceptions for departments such as accounting and finance — citing security concerns and the like. But with D365’s multifactor authentication and ID management solutions, these concerns are as dated as file cabinets and rolodexes.

With everyone on the same Azure platform, your primary deliverable (other than providing leadership) is ensuring constant access to LOB (line of business) applications for every member on your team.

A common excuse (in the pre-COVID era, let alone now) for slips in remote productivity is to blame the tech: it was slow, it was outdated, it “didn’t work.” But with everyone integrated into the same technology stack, a manager can remove those variables from the productivity discussion, and eliminate that excuse entirely.

Most importantly, with everyone on the team enjoying the same level of access and functionality, a manager can measure productivity far more easily. While “old-fashioned” tools like funnels can get part of the job done, it’s when you roll in active monitoring and reporting solutions (e.g., via PowerBI integrations) that a manager enjoys a near omniscient level of oversight, no matter where they or their employees may be.

Want to truly empower your remote staff? Let them extend their Dynamics instance as they see fit.

For example, if you’re a manager, there are dozens of workflow monitoring and management tools you can add to Dynamics that make spotting and addressing clogs in the pipeline a task you can handle on your phone.

If you’re a sales representative, you absolutely need a way to extend D365 to automate your sales proposal processes. A configure, price, quote tool (CPQ) can help a rep send out 5x as many proposals over a manual process. Not only that, but as a manager of that rep, you’ll get analytics on the process of each proposal in the pipeline (here’s a link to one the best CPQ solutions for Dynamics).

The key thing in keeping a remote workforce happy and effective is empowering them to work as they see fit. For sales reps, the job is mostly about one thing: closing. By extending Dynamics with CPQ, they can enjoy higher closing rates regardless, and that’ll give them something to smile about in these trying times, whether they’re on the road or in the (home) office.

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