As I prepare for my Dynamics 365 certification in sales (MB2-717), I am creating blog posts based on my revision. I hope that collectively these posts may prove useful to anyone also preparing for the MB2-717 exam. This time I will cover the concepts around sales literature.
You can see the section of the skills measured statement that relates to sales literature below. Notice it also references competitors. I provide additional information on competitors in a future post.
Dynamics 365 offers the capability to centrally store all of your sales literature / collateral. These documents might include product brochures, terms for discounts / pricing, details about competitors and anything else that might be needed to support the sales process.
Sales literature is viewed by searching it directly or by viewing whilst working on an opportunity.
It can be associated with products, such as detailed specifications for a given product. Or maybe the sales literature has been created to support a specific marketing campaign. Also sales literature can be associated with a competitor.
Sales literature can be looked up in context of the marketing campaign, product or competitor it has been associated with.
Sales Literature can be attached to emails and sent directly from Outlook.
You access the sales literature option from the sales area of Dynamics 365, as shown below;
Users may search for sales literature directly in this sales literature option or navigate to related literature when viewing a campaign, product or competitor.
You can see an example I have created below.
- Each sales literature record has two mandatory fields, “Title” and “Subject”. (Subject is the subject tree entity that we also see used on other Dynamics 365 entities. Including cases, articles, knowledge articles and products.)
- We also have a “Type” field, I set mine to “Sales Literature”. The default is “Policies and Procedures”. Multiple other options exist such as “Presentation”, “Product Sheet”, “News” etc. This might be used to group related sales literature by type.
- Notice that once the sales literature record has been created one (or more) attachments can be added. Meaning the sales literature record is really a collection of documents. To illustrate this I have added two Word documents and one PowerPoint.
- Also note that sales literature can be associated with multiple products or competitors as required.
As sales attachments are added you give each document a title. Additionally the author, keywords and a document abstract can be added.
Don’t forget that sales literature can also be associated with campaigns. This is done from the campaign entity when you can link one (or more) sales literature records to the campaign.
Out of the box the navigation exists to add sales literature to a campaign. Out of the box a relationship exists to support sales literature on the campaign activity entity. However this isn’t included on the campaign activity form but you could quickly add a sub grid if required!
Associating sales literature with a campaign might be useful. Maybe you have some marketing material that relates to a specific campaign, this might be the artwork for an ad campaign etc etc.
Sending Sales Literature
There is an easy way to send sales literature to customers, simply select the literature and use the “SEND AS EMAIL” option. (Shown below.)
Doing this will open an email that you can then send on to whom ever you like. Notice that all of the literature has been added as attachments on my email.
Note: It is also possible to attach sales literature to any tracked email directly with the Outlook email client.
Sales Literature v SharePoint
This is a very valid question! Often SharePoint will be your tool of choice for storing this type of information. To be honest, in the real world, I often suggest looking to store documents in SharePoint! However the way Sales Literature groups related documents may be a benefit. So you will need to consider what is best on a case by case basis.
At the end of the day, sales literature is “just” a document repository. So why not use SharePoint instead? After all, SharePoint offers document versioning and check in / check out capabilities not available in the Dynamics 365 sales literature.
SharePoint also has very powerful searching capabilities when compared to sales literature. And SharePoint can be associated with any record type. Out of the box Sales Literature is only be linked to campaigns, products and competitors. (Plus campaign activities.)
Another thing to consider might be the storage location and capacity. Sales literature will reside in your Dynamics 365 instance. Whereas SharePoint will be on your SharePoint server. This might be significant if using Dynamics 365 in an online environment when storage limits / costs might apply.
Access to documents may also be a consideration. Sales literature will only be available to the those users that have Dynamics 365 licenses. In some organizations more users could have access to SharePoint, some of which might not be users of Dynamics 365. Therefore SharePoint can potentially make the documents available to a wider audience.
I hope this post has given you an overview of the basic concepts associated with sales literature that you’ll need to understand for the MB2-717 exam. As always, please please please ensure you try these things out and become familiar with using the product.