How Manufacturers Can Drive Operational Excellence Through Front-End Strategies in Dynamics 365

By Adam Hallbeck | March 23, 2020

Front-end strategies for manufacturers in Dynamics 365

Manufacturers are constantly finding ways to optimize production and run leaner operations but many times, front-end strategies are left out of the equation. While modernizing your technology solutions on the production floor is important, so is putting the right systems in place in your front office so your sales and customer service teams can close deals faster, negotiate better contracts, and fulfill orders to dealer and distribution sales channels in record time.

Empowering a Mobile Work Force

Manual entry often consumes more time in a workday than most people realize. By utilizing a fully integrated and connected solution, manual entry is completely eliminated, freeing up time so your employees can concentrate on tasks that are more important.

We all know that your sales team is frequently on the road at tradeshows or visiting with potential clients. With an integrated system, they’re able to not only record their conversations, meeting notes, and other important contact details directly on an app on their phone, but that information is then synced directly back to the core CRM system. Additionally, they can access previous orders, item information, fulfillment details, and more - no matter where they are. This gives your team members the power to speed up the sales process as they are able to answer questions on specific product information at any time.

Outside of the Dynamics 365 app, there is an integration into Outlook so your team can track conversations, meetings, and schedules back into Dynamics 365. Having this history saved within Dynamics gives your team insights to conversation and order history, so if a salesperson leaves your company, you have knowledge of what has been happening with that account or prospect.

Data Insights

An end-to-end solution includes software that spans your company and integrates each department, empowering your team with visibility into data and information from multiple sources. The benefits of this integration span across roles but are especially important when your sales team is negotiating contracts with distributors. With visibility into previous order history, lead time, fulfillment time, pricing, and more, your team can take advantage of previous wins and use those as selling points when negotiating new contracts. Having this information available on-demand gives your team a leg-up and brings facts to the table in discussions.

Data insights not only help in contract negotiations but also in recurring sales. Dynamics 365 automatically predicts when sales of specific items will occur based on each client. This enables your account managers to proactively reach out to contacts, speeding up the sales process and increasing customer satisfaction.

Lead-to-Opportunity Speed

Moving leads through the funnel and transitioning them to opportunities quickly is another top priority for manufacturers. Being able to easily filter through open leads, assess status, and lead score allows your sales team to focus on closing top tier leads with the highest potential.

Once those leads have been qualified, they transition into an opportunity. Within this stage, sales team members have the ability to not only track account details, conversation notes, and history, but also the opportunity type, probability of closing, sales process, products, and more. This data can then be directly tied into Power BI reports and graphs, giving your team an overall view of what is coming down the pipe and what production should start to prepare and plan for.

Once that opportunity is won, you can easily generate proposals and sales orders directly from the system with information that has already been inputted.

Marketing Prowess

Successful marketing campaigns and strategies focus on reaching a specific audience with a resonating and personalized message. Dynamics 365 marketing automation allows you to segment your audience types (leads, accounts, contacts) by any number of filters. This gives you the opportunity to tailor specific messages and deliver those directly to the right people.

For example, if you have an over-abundance of a specific item in your warehouse inventory and you need to increase sales, you can pull a list of all previous customers who have ever purchased that item, or a similar item, and send them an email with information on your promotion.

When you’re able to filter by purchase history or the product pages your customer or prospects have been looking at, you’re able to increase the effectiveness of your marketing efforts and generate more leads for your sales team.

By utilizing modern technology solutions, you can empower your sales, marketing, and customer service teams to close more business and be strategic in their efforts. Learn more by contacting Stoneridge Software.

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