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How to talk to your customers about Finance & Supply Chain Management business value: sharing the best practices

Friday, June 2, 2022
Reading time: 7 minutes

Discussions of migrating to Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance and Supply Chain Management (formerly known as F&O) from the current Dynamics AX version can make your customers feel fearful and resistant to change. Knowing what those fears are and how to overcome them can help in shaping the priorities of the project and may lead to better outcomes. We‘re confident that once you and your customer discuss the opportunities, the benefits to their business, the potential risks, and how to ensure those risks are managed, you’ll be able to go ahead with the migration project with everyone’s support.

One of the most common fears that customers have about moving to Dynamics 365 F&SCM is that they have experienced project failures in the past and they are not ready to go through this process again. Also, the migration process might be unclear– everyone knows that something will happen, but exactly how it’s going to be implemented is quite a big beast along the way.

In this blog, we’ll share the best practices that we have developed in the process of supporting our Dynamics Partners around the world who help their customers get the most out of the market and become confident about moving to the digital future.

The current Dynamics AX version works perfectly – why should I change it?

What do we do when we are addressing customers with this question? We always do our best to explain the purpose behind changing the current system to Dynamics 365 F&SCM. Therefore, explaining exactly why they should migrate is one of the most important steps. Of course, there will be different reasons for different customers, but this question must be answered most comprehensively.

We recommend emphasizing the benefits of Dynamics 365 F&SCM by:

People will often say that they don‘t like a new option because they struggle to imagine an alternative solution. Thus, it’s highly important to demonstrate the value and benefits of the migration to overcome this resistance.

We’ve upgraded before, and it was a failure

How can you as a Partner ensure that this project is going to be a success? There are three possible ways to address this fear:

There are two parts of the migration project that we are all aware of – the actual migration process and go-live. Explaining possible risks, showing that those risks are known and how those risks will be addressed will give additional comfort to your customer.

The Cloud version is more expensive than on-premise

If you hear that objection from your customer, explain that Dynamics 365 F&SCM is hosted on a Microsoft server, therefore, it will eliminate the cost of buying servers and licenses, server room maintenance, and even hiring additional people to maintain all those servers. Also, show them the benefits of cloud elasticity for enabling their business to scale and grow on its own. It’s very important for the customers to understand that they are not only growing, but their processes might also be changing, depending on their needs. Also, we should not forget the 24/7 support that they can get from Microsoft after migrating to the cloud.

How to empower your customer to have control over the migration project?

If your customer has a fear of change, the only way to overcome this fear is to make the customer feel a sense of ownership over the change that they are going through. To empowering our customers with this sense of ownership, we must understand where they are, when they will be carrying out the project, and when they will be making the transition from the old system to the new one in the cloud. That means that they will go through their change and as we know, every change that occurs in a company falls under the framework of change management characteristics and in-depth psychology.

For us as experts, when we know what our customers experience during a change, helps us to better address the change on the customer side.  When confronted with change, it is a normal customers’ reaction to raise questions. To make the process easier, be prepared to answer them:

The main problem that can arise is if customers don’t know where to go or what to ask for. Suddenly the project becomes very difficult and can even become stuck. Customers should always remember that they are not alone – they should immediately refer to you, the Partner. You are responsible for giving them all the possible resources to ensure that the customer key users team, who will be supporting you in the analysis sessions and will be leading their teams through all their migration projects, have all the skills they require. Professional guidance is also key – I believe we all have a responsibility to allow customers to talk to outside professionals, and to provide them with the relevant contacts so they are able to ask questions.

How can you add value with an additional education element?

Microsoft is investing in programs for migration to the cloud, and they are very supportive. If there is any pre-sale or guidance needed, Microsoft helps to motivate customers to move forward. If the customer has a project manager, an experienced manager from your team can connect with them about how everything will go and build a bond with them by having these conversations on an ongoing basis. The education element is the basis to start communication – when we talk about the new features, and about the value of the system, customers start to understand what we are talking about. 

How can we help you with your customer’s journey toward the cloud?

Being Catalyst certified, Companial can assess the business value and give you an understanding of the business relationship. If you need to move to the next phase of your digital journey, we’re here to help. 

Companial’s BestPath Assessment helps with the design stage as the initial step of the pre-sale, helping to investigate where the customer is at today. In addition, we have a number of trainings and experts that can help you in the process.

While the world is rapidly changing, the ERP market is changing as well and there is not much you can do about that. Therefore, it’s best for you to continue to learn and enjoy the process. Contact your local Companial representative and we’ll make these changes together.

Agne Pelaniene