Microsoft Dynamics CRM offers a rich set of features and a data model for sales force automation and marketing activities. Each industry (and each company) requires some configuration changes in order to make it work according to their business processes.
For government contractors, here are some of the most common customizations:
- Change the focus from individuals to organizations. You are likely selling to agencies (accounts) rather than consumers (contacts). Add the relevant fields to forms and views. For instance, marketing list members doesn’t show the account name by default.
- Define the sales process in opportunities. Define all the steps that an opportunity goes through before becoming a contract, such as sources sought, request for information (RFI), request for proposal (RFP), down-select, orals, best and final offer, and verbal approvals. Be sure to allow for all your proposal review steps.
- Add fields to track contract vehicles and types of competition.
- Add your own metrics. For instance, we often track how many users a software system will have in order to calculate license costs.
- Update reference table values if needed, such as the reason for an opportunity loss. Do you want to add an option to show you decided not to bid?
- Update dashboards to show what you really care about. Win ratios? Proposal activity?
- Decide how to add the documents which accompany an opportunity, such as solicitations, amendments and proposals. You could store them in SharePoint, in attachments to Dynamics CRM or in other repositories.
- Add your bid team to the opportunity, showing the roles for each person in the proposal.
- Allow for teaming if you pursue contracts as a subcontractor or if you hire subcontractors.
- Decide how to use the Leads entity. Do you want to start there for the sake of email marketing campaigns? Do you prefer to build out the list of targeted accounts and contacts instead?