Alex, the sales specialist of an equipment rental company, receives a rental order for 5 mobile cranes, 1 excavator, and 2 generators with generator batteries in the form of consumables from one of their biggest clients.
Alex tries not to make any errors while entering data in the CRM but struggles as he must constantly switch between multiple software systems and look into both the ERP and CRM to gather all the necessary information about the client. This back and forth between various systems causes a delay, and Alex is unable to share the rental order quote on time with the client responsible for his most sizable commission.
If you were in a similar situation as Alex, what would you have done to ensure quick data access and top-notch customer service?
Having worked with equipment rental and industrial manufacturing industries globally, we at To-Increase help enterprises efficiently manage their end-to-end rental data through rental-specific software embedded in Dynamics 365 Finance and Supply Chain Management. We offer a single solution that can manage the entire lead-to-cash process, saving time, effort, and money.
This article will discuss why you would need a single solution to handle your entire lead-to-cash process and the major benefits it has to offer.
What does ‘lead-to-cash solution’ mean for rental companies?
Lead-to-cash solution, simply put, is to have all the information related to your market base in a single solution — from the point a contact enters your system to the various touchpoints within your rental company, quoting prices, and finally turning into a customer, resulting in a sale leading to cash.
This makes it easy for you to track all your contacts, allows sales to manage opportunities after lead conversion, plan on how to respond to customers, and enhance your customer relations.
Why do you need a single solution to manage the rental lead-to-cash process?
In order to make a rental order successful, your sales team requires access to information that is present in both the ERP and CRM systems. They usually obtain operational and logistical data from the ERP and the customer contact information from the CRM.
However, we’ve seen that the sales team prefers using the CRM database as it is a more customer-focused solution and is designed to address the needs of the sales team.
Having your data scattered in ERP and CRM would mean your sales team would have to check multiple systems, before finalizing a rental quote, leading to a longer sales cycle, and dissatisfied customers. In addition to that, if you have multiple software solutions from different vendors to handle processes for renting, distributing, transporting, and so on, it will mean more data entry and burden on your internal teams.
If the ERP and CRM system you use, are not synced up, or you do not have a single solution to manage both your ERP and CRM processes, the sales team would have to constantly switch back and forth between multiple systems, making the overall rental process inefficient.
To better understand this, you could read some of the major challenges rental companies face with ERP and CRM silos.
How can a single solution that manages rental lead to cash benefit you?
Normally an ERP process begins after the quote is generated and deals with customers. A CRM on the other hand, stores all relevant information regarding customer contacts, leads, opportunities, and so on.
Using a single solution that connects your ERP and CRM allows you to not only focus on your existing customers but also target your potential customers, all in the same system.
A single solution that manages the entire lead-to-cash process would allow the sales team and other relevant team members to have access to logistical, financial, pricing, and other ERP information within the CRM itself, with relevant sync ups.
This transforms the entire marketing approach of your rental business, as you’ll have easy and quick access to a lot more information around account lists, target customers, and potential markets to penetrate, in a single system.
Let’s look at some of the major benefits your rental business would enjoy after you’ve implemented a single software solution to manage the lead-to-cash process.
What are the benefits of a single lead-to-cash solution for your rental business?
1. Empower your rental sales team with easy access to vital information
Organized and systematic lead to opportunity management
A single solution with connected CRM and ERP would primarily benefit the sales team by establishing a process with predefined steps to manage the entire lead-to-opportunity journey of a contact.
You can store detailed background information on all the incoming leads, based on which they can be qualified and converted to an opportunity.
For instance, the Dynamics 365 Sales CRM offers you the necessary instruments on how you can qualify the leads. You can set prompts and reminders to follow up with certain contacts, so you never miss an opportunity. It has intuitive features and tools which work seamlessly with Excel and Outlook, allowing the sales team to easily manage leads, opportunities, accounts, and contacts.
Efficient opportunity management with a 360-degree view of customer information
With an ERP and CRM sync, the sales team can have access to all the vital information on all forms of customer interactions – be it through calls, emails, in-person meetings, or any other touchpoints, in a single system, thereby shortening the time to close a sale.
- The single solution syncs relevant sales, finance, and supply chain information, such as quotes, contracts, and invoices from the ERP to the CRM.
- Your sales team can generate quotes quicker, with a centralized data view resulting in happier customers.
- The sales team can also see which invoices have been cleared, outstanding credits, or delayed payments and take the next actions accordingly.
Quick access to the entire rental equipment catalog
Equipment rental companies usually offer a wide variety of products for renting out. Especially if you’re a global enterprise with multiple locations or warehouses, your sales team must have the knowledge of your entire fleet in an individual location.
A single software solution provides the sales team with all the information about the brand, model, etc. of the entire fleet easily.
Increase revenue margins with cross-selling and up-selling
Since your sales team now has the entire data readily available, they can easily meet customers' additional needs. You could cross-sell or up-sell your rental equipment or sell consumables with your rental equipment, depending on the customer's demands.
2. Enhance customer experience through quick, top-notch services
Share insights on customer information
Having the entire information managed in one system means the sales team can track the customer journey with ease. You can go a step beyond merely attracting and engaging your customers, by delighting them with your services.
For instance, you can analyze which customers would need equipment based on their rental history and buying patterns and share your equipment’s seasonal offerings.
This, of course, strengthens the relationship you build with your customer base.
Seamless service with quickly and accurately generated rental quotes
As discussed above, the sales team always has access to relevant information. This makes the sales team quote the right pricing, check the equipment on rent and off rent dates, and generate quotes quicker.
For instance, with a single Dynamics 365 F&SCM embedded software, you can see the following information in the CRM for a rental contact:
- Forecast category
- Rental calendar
- Rate code
- On-rent date and time
- Expected off-rent date and time
- Equipment delivery and pick-up date and times
- Invoice profiles
Offer flexible rental pricing and discounts to your customers
You have the ability to accommodate discount offerings, if applicable, and offer your customers an overview of the expected invoice in a transparent manner.
You can create sales quotations and invoice customers based on flexible rental models such as consumption-based, subscription-based, product-as-a-service, or standard rental models.
This is a win-win situation as you’re being more accommodative to your customers‘ needs and they’ll be happy to rent equipment from you again, increasing your long-term revenue margins.
3. Save costs, time, and effort
Improve interdepartmental collaboration, saving effort
Different teams can view, share, and update all the relevant data related to customers, in real-time. This prevents data duplication, and digital burnout at an employee level, giving them more hours of productivity.
Save time through process automation and remote access
You save a significant amount of time by automating the process of viewing data in the ERP and CRM, that would previously be done manually. The elimination of manual data entry, transfer, checking, and validation prevents chances of errors and ensures no loss of data.
Additionally, some software vendors offer mobile-compatible CRM systems, allowing users to access information from anywhere. For example, Dynamics 365 for Sales can be used on mobile devices, allowing users to have all the relevant customer details while traveling.
Minimize revenue loss by being aware of potential risks of deals
The ERP and CRM connected software can offer you information on the contact such as the number of employees, locations, and previous rental history with your organization.
Based on the information available, you can decide whether the contact is the right fit for your business and be aware of any potential financial or legal risks associated with the deal.
4. Enhance your overall business strategy
Sell better, smarter, and faster
You can improve your go-to-market strategy based on the detailed data stored for each contact in the software database.
For instance, a CRM such as Dynamics 365 for Sales provides insights into the buying and renting patterns of your customers. This enables you to make informed decisions on how to deal with your customers and exponentially enhances your customer relations strategy.
Create detailed reports
With a single solution that combines information from ERP and CRM, you can create your own reports based on KPIs around equipment utilization. This guides you to make better investments based on your asset utilization rates.
For instance, the prospect to cash dashboard within Dynamics for D365 Sales offers an overview of your conversion rate, based on which you can increase the accuracy of your pipeline forecast.
You could also go a step further and have automated rental dashboards, with analytics-specific software.
Expand your portfolio and offerings
As mentioned previously, one software to manage your lead-to-cash process eases your ability to offer dynamic pricing and rental models to your customers.
You can manage multiple revenue streams and offer your customers the pay-per-use model, which gives you a competitive advantage in the rental market.
How can rental software in Microsoft Dynamics 365 manage the entire rental lead-to-cash process?
A solution for this is to have your ERP and CRM connected and operational on a single platform.
For instance, Dynamics 365 Finance and Supply Chain Management (F&SCM) ERP and Dynamics for Sales as the CRM.
But while the Dynamics 365 F&SCM ERP can handle sales, finance, supply chain, and human resource management, it doesn’t have the capability to support the ‘rental business process’, which is more complex and longer.
The ideal solution for rental companies would then be to invest in rental-specific software embedded in Dynamics 365 F&SCM, so you can have the best of both worlds.
An example of such a solution would be the rental software we at To-Increase offer — DynaRent embedded in Dynamics 365 F&SCM in combination with DynaRent for D365 Sales (the CRM add-on).
With such a solution you will be able to enjoy all the above-listed benefits and more:
- Have insights into rental information of your assets
- Connect your DynaRent ERP to the CRM system effortlessly
- Generate quick rental quotes with a unified data view on rental equipment availability
Below you can see how the entire lead-to-cash process is handled by DynaRent for Dynamics 365 F&SCM ERP and DynaRent for D365 Sales as the CRM.
If you’re interested in exploring more about cloud-based rental software, fully embedded in Dynamics 365 Finance and Supply Chain Management, then you could explore more about DynaRent for D365 Sales, by checking out the factsheet.
The factsheet shares information on:
- How DynaRent integrates with the workflow in Microsoft Dynamics 365 F&SCM
- How DynRent fits into your lead-to-cash process
- The benefits of a single solution to each team member in the rental company