Quotes from prospects: possible?

Moin: Is it possible to create a quote to a prospect? Or is it mandatory that the receiver of a quote has to be a customer? Regards Uwe

Nope, a quote MUST have at least one customer. (You can have up tto three, including the bill-to, ship-to, and sell-to customers.) You probably could modify the software to allow you have a Prospect on your quote, but a much better solution would be to tell your client to get a ****ing life. Seriously, though, the Navision way of doing things is to create a Customer record BEFORE you issue a quote. If the quote never results in an actual order or invoice, then you simply have a Customer who hasn’t bought anything yet. There’s nothing wrong with that at all. And, it’s not hard to create a Customer record from a Prospect: there is a button on the bottom of the Prospect Card form which does this for you, or you could write a custom batch job to do this. Am I right in assuming that your client said something to the effect of “Oh, no, we don’t want to create a Customer card for this company before we know for sure that they actually want to buy something from us!!!”? ------- Tim Horrigan

As one of those obviously annoying customers, I take exception to your recommendation of getting a ****ing life. There is a good reason to seperate Customers, (people who have purchased), and Prospects (those who have not yet purchased). In our example we have 20,000 prospects and 2,500 customer. Prospects are included in direct mail and telemarketing campaigns and therefore quotations are regularly required to these Prospects. Our industry is very competitive and there is alot of price checking and tire kicking from our prospects. Our customers fall under the responsibility of our outside sales force and our prospects under the inside sales force for follow up. Many of the quotations are lower value and therefore we do not want to convert them to customers. If the quotation is of significance we do convert prospects to customers, however we would like the ability to follow up on smaller quotations through prospect quotations, using our inside sales department. Furthermore, as an end-user I really do not understand the need to knock the request of the customer. You may be an expert in your field, but the customer is an expert in his business. I would think you would be reasonable to first understand the need and the business case before determining the functionality was not needed. We converted to Navision one week ago and have had great difficulty finding solutions to some of our problems. Our provider is new to Navision as well, and we have had to solve many problems or find workarounds ourselves. I was hoping this forum would provide some good ideas for people wiht similar problems and I was expecting to better suggestions than your reply.

Parker, I do understand that you, as the customer, are an expert on your business. And of course, your particular business is unusual in that it is “very competitive,” unlike most businesses which are not competitive :slight_smile: At the same time, you should understand that sometimes you DO needs a consultant to come in and ask naive questions. You may THINK that everything your company does is based on extensive rational analysis of your company’s needs— but that may not be the case. Oftentimes, companies do stuff which makes no sense simmply because no one wants to take the risk of trying something else. In your case, for example, I see that your company has erected a firewall between two very separate marketing teams. You have an “outside” sales force which deals with existing customers and an “inside” sales force which deals wuith prospective customers. Does such a firewall HAVE to exist? Maybe— but maybe not. Also, you can leave this organizational firewall up while still placing BOTH sets of customers in the Customer table. All you have to do is flag which sales force the customer belongs to— either by using one of several existing Posting Group fields, or by adding a field to the Customer table. I’m speaking from a developer’s standpoint here: I would much rather find a solution which does not require making major revisions to the basic logic of the program. I see a way to solve your problem WITHOUT changing a line of code (and which requires an hour or two of implementation specialists’ time at $100/hr instead of 40-100 hours of solution developers’ time at $125/hr.) But I do agree that this is not the only way to solve the problem. ------- Tim Horrigan

Okay Guys!! For those using the US or Canadian version of 2.60 check out the Customer Care stuff. As it allows you create “proposed quotes/orders” for prospects or customers. Once you have entered the information and the prospect or customer decides to place the order, you can use the Function button to convert the proposed order to a sales order. Alternatively, if the prospect or customer is not sure, or needs a written quote, you can convert the proposed order to a sales quote. If the prospect is not yet a customer when this occurs, the customer number series is used to create a new customer from the information in the prospect record plus information set up in the customer care setup table.

Horrigan, I was hoping I could make my point and leave it at that, however your replies continue to frustrate me. You seem to have an incredible knack of missing the point, and demonstrating your arrogance. First of all, I did not say that our industry was unique because it was very competitive, I merely stated that it was. I am sorry if my extra rhetoric threw you off course. The result of the competitive nature is a large number inquiries that need to be dealt with. Because we use direct marketing from a large database of prospects, many of the quotes we need to generate are not for Customers, but rather for prospects, and I want them identified as such. I see a need for this distinction and so does Navision, but perhaps you know more than all of us. Maybe in the future we all should contact you before we jump to such conclusions. I do however agree with you that there is nothing wrong with asking questions, we do not proclaim to have all the answers, and often (as you have pointed out) “naive” questions can help with “outside the box” thinking. Your reply however was not posed as a naive question, but rather as a rude comment based on incomplete information. If you are often finding people resistant to your ideas, (as I suspect you might), perhaps a little tact and diplomacy will help. You may think people are not willing to take risks, however they would probably rather slit their wrists than listen to someone telling them what they do or don’t need. As far as the “firewall” between our outside and inside sales forces, I am just following the advice of our developer. All I want to do is identify customers from prospects and then create different activities for each group. In our case, all of our customers have been set up as prospects, rather than all of our prospects set up as customers. To me it makes no difference as long as I get the functionality. I am sure there are good arguments for either design. Finally, I want to call a truce. I am not looking for an argument, and I am too busy for this sort of discussion. I appreciate the response from Wendy Oconnor, I believe she understands our need and has provided us a solution “out of the box”, without any programming or customizations. This is really what I was looking for. Thank you!

I’m sorry if I sounded arrogant. My point was just that businesses are living entities which evolve to a point where things run well enough for the business to thrive. However, there is a tendency to then assume that this good-enough solution is an OPTIMAL solution. A solution which was arrived at largely by trial and error is retroactively viewed as having been created solely by rational analysis of the company’s unique competitive situation. Things get even more complicated when you bring in a complicated software program like Navision, which is basically a one-size-fits-all solution which can be tailored. You end up with three conflicting views of what stuff means: you got Navision’s view, the NSC’s view, and the client’s view. Like in this case, Navision views Prospects as entities which are subjected to Contact Management activities, whereas you view a Prospect as a poetntial Customer who hasn’t bought anything yet. Likewise, Navision views Customers as entities for whom you may want to create Sales Quotes OR Orders, whereas you view Customers as entities for whom you want to create Sales Orders but NOT entities for whom you only want to create Sales Quotes. And there’s nothing wrong with that :slight_smile: ------- Tim Horrigan

Our organization is now in the install process and this is also an issue for us. (And we believe very important NOT to clutter the customer file with prospects) As a further variation on this, we would like also to have PROSPECT (Temporary) ITEMS. that is we do not want toclutter our item files with potential inventory purchases until an actual order is received. Very needed in the computer products reale area of our business as every server, configuration etc is a Different item number and may actually change between quote and order. Any suggestions?

Navision Advanced Distribution provides for Non-Stock Items. The Non-stock Item Processing allows the distributor to offer its customers items which are not carried as part of normal inventory, but are ordered directly from its supplier. The items are treated within the system similar to normal items, but are tracked as non-stocked items. Requirements are: Basic Inventory Multiple Locations Sales Order Management Requisition Management As for quoting to prospects - anything is possible. Talk to your NSC and it can be done (within reason), if there isnt already a module that can be bought that does it. Craig Bradney Project Manager - Technical Navision Solutions & Services Deloitte Growth Solutions Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu P:+61-2-9322-7796 F:+61-2-9322-7502 E:craig_bradney@deloitte.com.au

Craig, Although there is no worldwide module/granule which wil allow quotations to be created for a prospect. The US have developed some functionality for the US and Canadian 2.60 which they refer to a Customer Care. It allows “proposed quotes/orders” to b created for prospects. It has other aspects which are too many to list here. Edited by - woconnor on 1/11/01 8:36:50 PM

I notice that Navision US has established a strategic alliance wiuth Siebel Systems. Siebel specializes in marketing and sales-force management products. They may have a product which allows you to send quotes to non-customers. That way you can avoid using the Prospect table (which is for contact management) as the storage bin for potential customers who you don’t want in the main Customer file. Does anyone know anything about this? ------- Tim Horrigan


Originally posted by horrigan: I notice that Navision US has established a strategic alliance wiuth Siebel Systems. Siebel specializes in marketing and sales-force management products.

It’s not Navision US who has a alliance with Siebel, but NavisionDamgaard A/S (the headquarter). It allows existing Navision Solution Centers (NSC’s) to sign as Siebel resellers (if they fullfill the requirements made by Navision and Siebel) to resell Siebels Mid Market Edition with a Navision link. But to the question. Yes you can create quotes for prospects with Siebel, as well as with the NavisionDamgaard US addition Customer Care. You should not even think about Siebel if that’s your only requirement. Siebel is a bigger solution than Navision, and more expensive to implement then what most Navision customers would accept. You should have real serious CRM requirements to go for Siebel. It would be a lot less expensive to do a modification to allow you to create quotes for prospects. Best regards, Erik P. Ernst, webmaster Navision Online User Group

Requires a bit of work but. Why not just use a Sales Quote and a Dummy Customer account, a bit of code to transfer the Prospect details and a “Prospect No.” field on the Sales Quote Header then create your Prospect Quote. with no reference to the Customer or “Prospect No.” When you process make Order create your New Customer from your Quote “Prospect No.” Commit the record then make the order. Best I can think of at 12:13am David Cox MindSource (UK) Limited Navision Solutions Partner Email: david@mindsource.co.uk Web: www.mindsource.co.uk

David, You’re right. You could use a “dummy”. But comparing this modification (ballpark estimate 20 hours, incl. time to create a function to convert prospect quote to order, test and installation) to the cost of implementing a CRM system as Siebel, then this is not a lot of work. Best regards, Erik P. Ernst, webmaster Navision Online User Group

We are in the midst of our install and the mods needed to do a Quote to a Prospect, and further to have that quote contain Non-Stock items were minimal. Using Navisions 2.6 with Advanced Distribution. Perfect for potential sales items, along with potential customers. Upon, receipt of the order, the Prospect converts to a customer, and the NonStock item gets listed in the regular item listing. The prospect card has a link to the subsequent assigned customer number, and the item is notated Created from Non Stock. It was a painless and easy modification, almost all parts worked direct from the box.