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The Professional Version of Microsoft CRM manages the entire process of generating Quotations, Orders, and Invoices. The order and invoicing portions will be integrated with the several accounting systems supported by the Great Plains division of Microsoft, so you need not only the Professional Version of Microsoft CRM, but also the right accounting system.
Chapter 10 covers setting up your Product Catalog in detail. Setting up this catalog is an essential ingredient in developing Quotes. The Product Catalog contains your list of Products and their related prices and discount structures. Microsoft CRM’s Quotation system draws from these files to create pricing specific to each customer.
After you generate a Quote and give it to a customer, it (you hope) comes back as a signed Order. The second-best scenario is that the Quote comes back for revisions (hopefully, not too many times). Even after a Quote is converted to an Order, it can still be revised until it has been manually sent off to the accounting system.
After an Order goes to accounting, it becomes an Invoice. In a completely integrated system, your Invoice information is also transmitted back to Microsoft CRM Professional, so all authorized Users, and most important, the salesperson who was responsible for the deal, can see the accounting history.
In this chapter, I cover how to use Microsoft CRM to create a Quotation, turn it into an Order, and turn Orders into Invoices.
130 Part II: Managing Sales
Creating and Managing Quotes
Most Quotes go through more than one iteration. Figure 11-1 shows the typical lifecycle of a Quote.
Initially, you create a draft of your Quote. You can continue editing your draft Quote until it’s ready to be sent to the customer. Then, the Quote is activated and sent. It is now read-only. Multiple revisions of the activated Quote can be made, but each is stored as a separate Record for historical purposes. The Quote is either accepted if it’s won or closed if it’s lost. If it’s accepted, it is recorded as part of the Order history.
Creating a new Quote
Quotes, Orders, and Invoices are all sub-areas of Sales. Most significant Sales are preceded by either a series of Quotes or Proposals. Proposals are Quotations on steroids, including a great deal more background, discussion, and analysis in addition to the more typical one- or two-page Quotation.
To create a new, customized Quote, follow these steps:
1. Go to the Sales area and select Quotes from the panel to the side of the main display.
A List View Grid appears, showing all your existing Quotes.
2. Click the New Quote button from the Actions Bar.
The Quote Record appears, as shown in Figure 11-2, with General, Shipping, Addresses, and Administration tabs.
Chapter 11: Generating Quotes, Orders and Invoices 131
Developing a new Quote.
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The Quote ID, the first field of the Quotation Record, is a unique, systemgenerated number that can later help you identify this Quote. If you don’t write it down or remember it, you can also recall an existing Quote by referencing its name, which is the first field you can actually enter. The Revision ID, the second field of the Quotation Record, is also created and maintained by the system and enables you (and the system) to track all the various versions of Quotes that you have created and activated.
The Quote ID is not calculated or put into its field until you save your Quotation. Clicking the Save button, in the Actions Bar, after you enter the Name, Potential Customer, and Price List is a good idea. You do not need to Save and Close until you have filled in all the relevant fields in each of the four tab areas. If you are entering a new Quote, the system sets the Revision ID to 0.
1. Select Quotes from the panel to the side of the main display in the Sales Area.
In the General tab for all Quotations are several system-required fields. The first is the name that you must fill in. Ultimately, this name field shows up on the List View Grid, so it is useful to create a short, meaningful, and unique name for your Quote.
2. Select a Potential Customer (an Account or a Contact) to associate with the Quote.
The magnifying glass just to the right of the Potential Customer field brings you to the Look Up Records dialog box for Accounts and Contacts. Select either Account or Contact Records in the Type field.
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3. In the Find field of the Look Up Records dialog box, type some letters of the name of the customer and then click Go.
A list of available Records appears.
4. Select the appropriate customer from the list that appears and click OK. The system returns you to the Quotation you are working on.
5. Select the Price List you want and then click OK.
The Price List field makes use of the same magnifying glass/find function as does the Potential Customer field.
6. In the Totals section of the General tab, enter the Quote Discounts and Freight Amount.