MB2-717 Certification: (Microsoft Dynamics for Sales) – Product Catalogue (Product Relationships)

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. In this post I will review product relationships.

Product relationships can be used to “link” products for a variety of purposes including up-sales, cross sales, accessories or substitutions.

I recently bought a new touring caravan, I will use that as a suitable product to explain these options;

  • Up-sale – An up-sale would be any improvements / additions someone might want to buy. In terms of my caravan purchase, this could include many items such as alloy wheels or a higher specification of kitchen appliances.
  • Cross sales – Cross sales are any additional products someone might want to buy. For example someone who recently bought a caravan maybe interested in picnic chairs, a cycle carrier or a BBQ.
  • Accessories – these are anything additional I could use in conjunction with the product. In my caravan example, maybe an awning, gas bottles or a leisure battery might fall into this category.
  • Substitutions – these are items that could be swapped. With my caravan purchase, maybe I could substitute a standard caravan for a deluxe one. Or possibly swap the 2018 model for the 2019 one.

Having created all of my products, in the relationships section I can add multiple related products. And then say if each one is an up-sell, cross-sell, accessory or substitute part.

With each related product you can also define if the relationship is one way or both ways. (Uni-directional to bi-directional.) For example: Someone who bought a caravan might be open to a cross-sell to a BBQ. But someone who bought a BBQ is unlikely to immediately need a caravan. Meaning this would be a uni-directional sales relationship.

To give you another example, someone buying some picnic plates might be interested in some picnic bowls. And someone buying some bowls might be interested in plates. This product relationship would therefore be bi-directional.

Note: Accessories would normally only be unidirectional. A battery might be an accessory to a caravan but a caravan can never be an accessory to a battery!

When adding products to an opportunity I have the option to look for suggestions (see below) …..

Clicking suggestions will show all of the products related to the caravan and give me an option to quickly pick which items to add to the opportunity.

The suggestions are all related products that are available in the price list (as price list items) that is assigned to the opportunity. So in my example, all of the items will exist in the Caravan and Camping Equipment price list. This fact might force a little planning when considering how to best organize your product catalog / price lists.

Below you can see what the suggestions screen will looks like. As you hover over each suggestion an option appears to pick that item. When you click “Add to List” all of the “picked” items will be added to the opportunity.

Having picked the items and selected add to list the list of products on my opportunity now looks like this.

Something that is worth mentioning and also quite significant for users at this point, the product sub-grid on the opportunity form supports inline editing. I could, for example, manually enter a discount on the BBQ without having to open the BBQ product page. This approach makes searching for suggestions and amending products a very fast process.

Just think about this process a little deeper for a second! Now I’ve added Gas BBQ to the caravan I could click suggestions again and add some BBQ fuel, lighter fluid etc. Or clicking on suggestions for the battery might offer a battery charger. By carefully configuring related products in the product catalog you give the operators a powerful tool to help promote products / services.

Hopefully this post has given you a good understanding of product relationships and suggestions. Next time I will continue my revision by looking at product families. Isn’t revision fun???

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