Integrating Microsoft Dynamics with Salesforce CPQ

By Henning Lund - January 14, 2020

Microsoft Dynamics and "Configure Price Quote" systems are often integrated by businesses to simplify their processes and become more efficiently.

Many companies have a need for guided selling and product configuration as part of their selling processes. There are quite a few good tools out there that can help companies accomplish that, but my favorite is Salesforce CPQ.

On the Microsoft Dynamics side there are several good options available. There are built-in applications like you have in Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations. There are also add-ons such as the e-Con and Experlogix solutions.

 

what is CPQ?

CPQ stands for "configure, price and quote". CPQ software helps businesses provide accurate pricing easily. This facilitates the job of salespeople .

When a customer asks for a quote, a salesperson can use the CPQ solution to find the price without any stress or extra research. The software can be programmed to take into account various things, including discounts, quantity and customizations.

Without CPQ software, it could be time-consuming and difficult for a salesperson to provide an accurate quote. Rather than focusing on building relationships and growing revenue, salespeople get caught up in the detail of working out pricing. What's more, they're at risk of getting it wrong and actively damaging the relationships they have built.

While Salesforce isn't the only software with Configue Price Quote capabilities on the market, it is the natural choice for any business using Salesforce as their CRM. It sllows Salesforce CPQ guided selling. There are a number of useful similar tools for Salesforce that make using the system beneficial.

Salesforce CPQ MS Dynamics ERP integration

 

Salesforce CPQ integration: what you should consider

In the past, it has been common to add the Configure Price Quote functionality to the ERP systems from in a CPQ integration. This has been the case for Salesforce CPQ - Dynamics integrations. The ERP is where you process order fulfillment and related financial transactions such as invoicing.

However, from a conceptual standpoint it may not be the most effective in terms of process optimization and user experience.

CPQ systems are not necessary very complex products. Today, it can be easy to implement Configure Price Quote (CPQ) software solutions. Therefore, many companies are using it.

Employees that can do all of their work in one system only are more productive. I am also more motivated to do my sales process documentation. It saves a lot of time and reduces the need to switch between systems to find the information I need.

Integrating Salesforce CPQ with Microsoft Dynamics ERP gives yourself exactly that - one single system. Everything can be done in one place, with no need to look up information on different systems or copying information manually.

Integration makes your work processes simple and streamlined. You can focus on your clients and prospects.

Read also: Salesforce CPQ and data integration: how it can help you increase sales

 

CPQ best practices: what data you should synchronize

Many customer-facing processes related to sales and customer service can be moved to the CRM system.

Most businesses can benefit from a CRM - ERP integration. Many implement a Salesforce - MS Dynamics integration. Often, a sales team works mostly in their CRM system (for example Salesforce Sales Cloud). That's where they want to take care of their quotes, proposals, etc.

If their system is integrated with their ERP (for example, Microsoft Dynamics), information can be synchronized so that they only need to work in one system, quickly and accurately. It can also improve sales cycles.

Salesforce - Microsoft Dynamics ERP integration can include the synchronization of data such as:

  • Customers and accounts
  • Contacts
  • Products and prices
  • Open sales and service orders
  • Sales history
  • Payment history
  • Additional master data to make our reporting more consistent

And in order to automate the entire quote-to-cash flow we’ve also integrated:

  •  Sales quote in CRM to sales order, service order or sales invoice in ERP

Doing advanced product configuration and guided-selling in the CRM system can be done easily with the integration. This is because integration brings the product and basic pricing from the ERP-system to feed that.

Do not hesitate integrating ERP and CPQ because you think it'll probably be too difficult or time-consuming. There are many benefits to it. It can even be done as a real time integration.

Read also: Should data integration be complex?

 

HOW TO SUCCESSFULLY SET UP A MICROSOFT SALESFORCE CPQ INTEGRATION?

A good model is to create new products and basic pricing in the ERP system. This will give you more details on a product there in order to make sure that the financial transactions go where they should and with the right dimensions etc.

This information is then synchronized automatically to the Sales Cloud where the Salesforce CPQ is configured to handle your product configuration and pricing. This includes utilizing special offers, enabling specials bids within defined frames etc.

When new quotes are made in Salesforce CPQ, the end result on item line level will overwrite the default pricing in the ERP when the quote is converted to an order. It is a powerful and flexible solution that gives a great user experience.

What if you company is already integrating CPQ functionality in their ERP system? From an integration perspective we can set up additional synchronizations that utilize the ERP CPQ functionality from the CRM.

This only works if you just need to calculate the exact pricing. If you need to make manual choices during the process you would need to do this in the ERP system. This means that the process is not fully automated, and the benefits would be more limited.

Trying to duplicate CPQ functionality in both the ERP and the CRM system is usually not a good idea. It is best to choose one of the two options. Product configuration tools are sometimes complex to configure during setup and you are limited/enriched with the specific design/logic of the CPQ system.

Practically, you will have a very hard time trying to keep two different CPQ systems working in exactly the same way. In that case, you would have to work with the lowest common denominator instead of utilizing the full potential of one CPQ.

The integration can work just as well either way, so you can simply choose whichever you prefer. Think about what your usual work processes are, where your focus is and then decide which might suit you better.

Using Salesforce CPQ in combination with Microsoft Dynamics as the ERP system should benefit your business.

You can read more about integrating Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics here.

 

How to successfully set up a Microsoft Salesforce CPQ integration?

Read this guide and understand how you can easily integrate your Microsoft Dynamics and Salesforce CPQ with the Rapidi integration platform:

Rapidi-eBook---Data-Integration-Handbook-min-1

 


About the author

Henning Lund

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With over 25 years’ experience in strategically propelling businesses forward, Henning is considered a business development entrepreneur with a passion for transforming businesses, sales and marketing operations through out-of-the-box thinking, concepts building and process automation to improve overall performance and scalability.

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