Microsoft Dynamics 365 Sales Process
The “Collateral” entities in the Sales module consist of Quotes, Orders, Invoices and Products. The first three of these can also be thought of additional stages of the sales cycle from an operational perspective, especially if the organization uses the full stack of sales entities to manage their business. See figure 1 below for the operational stages as represented through entities.
Figure 1 – Stages of the Microsoft Dynamics Sales Cycle, starting with a Lead and ending with an Invoice
If Microsoft Dynamics is used in the way in which the designers of the system envisioned, the sales team begins with a Lead, then “Qualifies” the Lead, which then creates the Opportunity. From the Opportunity, it’s possible to create the Quote (which conveniently pulls all information from the Opportunity, including line items and their values) by scrolling down on the form to Quotes, and clicking the small “+” sign to create the Quote. From the Quote, once it’s activated, it’s possible to create an Order with a single click in the same way that the Quote was created from the Opportunity. Finally, from the Order, the user can create an Invoice using the same one-click feature, and with the same result, where information is pulled from the Order and placed on the Invoice.
All along the way, it’s possible to generate documents to support these artifacts, mainly starting with the Quote. For instance, figure 2 below shows a Quote that was created from an Opportunity with line items, and the menu has been selected to run the report named “Quote”.
Figure 2 – Generating a PDF Quote using the Microsoft Dynamics 365 Quote record.
Once the icon has been chosen, a screen appears that represents the standard layout for a quote document (as everywhere else, this is configurable), and which allows the distribution of the document in several formats as shown in the screen shot below.
Figure 3 – Choosing the Output of the Microsoft Dynamics 365 Quote
Choosing “Word” from the list above provides a Word document with the information from the quote, which can then be edited, formatted further, and distributed either as a Word document or a PDF. (Recommended in this context is to save the report as a Word Document, make the formatting changes, and “Save As” PDF for PDF distribution instead of choosing “Acrobat (PDF)” as shown above.)
An alternative to this method is to use the “Word Template” menu choice from the Ellipses on the Quote as shown below.
Figure 4 – Using the Word Template for Quote Summary Generation
The same alternatives apply to Order and Invoice.
Status Actions for Sales Entities
Operationally, it’s important to understand the various actions, stages and implications of what we can call “status actions” on the sales entities. This is important because each of these actions “unlocks” further actions to lead to other stages of the sales cycle. For instance, you can’t work on the Opportunity until you have Qualified a Lead (if your organization is using Leads), you can’t create an Order from a Quote until you have “Activated” the Quote. These various actions are found in the menu of each respective entity form, and are first shown in tabular format, followed by screen shots so you can be aware of where to find these actions.
|Lead||Qualify||Closes Lead, Creates Opportunity|
|Opportunity||Close as Won||Closes Opportunity, Read-Only|
|Opportunity||Close as Lost||Closes Opportunity, Read-Only|
|Quote||Activate||Read-Only, Exposes “Revise” and “Create Order”|
|Quote||Revise||Creates Draft Copy, Increments Revision ID|
|Quote||Create Order||Creates Order, Closes Quote and Potentially Closes Opportunity (this is a choice)|
|Order||Create Invoice||Creates Invoice|
|Order||Fulfill Order||Closes the Order (read-only)|
|Invoice||Confirm Invoice||Reveals the “Invoice PAID” icon|
|Invoice||Mark Paid||Closes the Invoice and sets status to Paid (read-only)|
Table 1 – Sales Statuses for Microsoft Dynamics 365 Sales Entities