Microsoft has introduced a new product structure with its release of Dynamics CRM 2015. The introduction of Product families is the first feature I will discuss in my Dynamics CRM 2015 series. This feature promises to improve selling effectiveness and provide more effective product management capabilities by linking products based on relationships.
Up-selling and cross-selling are two simple ways to improve customer service and drive sales numbers. However, far too often we see opportunities to increase sales revenue and improve service being missed. This could be because your sellers are unaware of products that complement their customers order, or maybe they just don’t want to come off as pushy. Either way, you’re leaving money on the table. Money your customer would have willingly spent with you had your sales team known how a related product or service would bring added value to that customer. The new features of Dynamics provide sellers with quick access to the related product information they need to increase value to the customer and to your bottom line.
The introduction of Product Families is one of the latest updates to the Product Catalog available in Dynamics CRM 2015. Product families allow for products to be grouped, classified and categorized for simple product management.
With Product Families you can create product groups and categories in a way that is most meaningful to your organization and to your sellers. Sales managers can now organize product offerings that bundle related products together so sellers can position the best products at the best prices. Sales teams will be more effective thanks to the new features for bundling and establishing relationships between products within and across product families.
How to Create a Product Family
To create a product family open your product catalog and select Add Family. Fill in your product family information.
You will see two fields, Valid To and Valid From, these fields make a product valid for a limited amount of time.
Once you’ve filled out your product family information click Save. You can then go into that product family and assign properties, for example color and size (or for this example it could be Subscription Duration) and their values to that family. By default these properties will be inherited by any child product, product family or product bundle within the parent family.
To stop this simply select Yes under the Hidden setting of that property.
What are Product Bundles?
Product bundles were also introduced in the updated product structure of Dynamics CRM 2015. Bundles allow you to set an attractive price for a group of individual products (using list pricing). Typically organizations provide a discounted rate for a package of products, making it easier for sellers to prove value in an upgrade – while increasing sales revenue.
How to Create a Product Bundle
You can create a standalone bundle by selecting Add Bundle or create a bundle within an existing family by selecting the product family in your product catalog first, then selecting Add Bundle.
Fill in the information required. Add products to the bundle by selecting the + button. You can search for a specific product to be added to the bundle. When you click Save it will be added as a line item in the bundle. Save and publish the bundle to make it active for users to begin selling.
If you’re familiar with Product Kits (which are still available in Dynamics CRM 2015 and have not been updated or removed) you’ll probably notice product bundles are very similar, however, they provide a superior method of grouping products. A seller is now able to select a product bundle and view all products in the opportunity, quote, invoice or order. Users can remove optional items in the bundle or sell individual items. Learn more about the difference between kits and bundles.
What are Product Relationships?
Product relationships are one of the most critical sales-driving features of Dynamics CRM 2015, if set up effectively. Product relationships will let sellers know which products and services complement each other, which can be upgraded, which can act as substitutes and which could be easy add-ons, all boosting sales revenue.
To set a relationship simply go to your product catalog and open the product you would like to edit. Under product relationships select the + button. Search for an existing product in your product catalog, choose the relationship type (Up-sell, Cross-sell, Accessories, or Substitutes) and the direction (Uni-Directional or Bi-Directional).
Products are then suggested to the seller based on these pre-defined product relationships. While creating an invoice, for example, a seller can select the Suggestions link next to a product chosen and browse through related products. This quick access facilitates up-selling, cross-selling, and add-ons. When selected these products are automatically added as a new line item. Your sales team will have all related products, product details and pricing readily available to offer their customers giving them ample opportunity to increase revenue of each order or invoice.
Still contemplating the upgrade? For more information on how Dynamics CRM 2015 can increase sales revenue in your organization contact firstname.lastname@example.org today or check back next week to find out about the next sales driving feature, the Sales Collaboration Panel!
For those of you who are new to Dynamics CRM, check out my CRM guidebook, Microsoft Dynamics CRM Customization Essentials!