An opportunity is defined as one or more potential revenue-generating events. It usually includes one or more accounts, contacts, products, decision issues, activities, and competitors. Looking at an you will be able to view opportunities and information about accounts, contacts, activities, products, decision issues, competitors, estimated revenue, probability of successful closure, and sales stage. Be sure to have a well understood and hopefully documented sales process with your sales stages well defined. Remember that your sales stages directly affect your sales pipeline and forecast.
A Close Date should never be in the past - The “Close Date” is your best estimate of when you expect to close the sale. This will change as you work the sale. It should never be set in stone as it affects your sales pipeline
Keep your opportunities up to date - An opportunity that has sat for a week or more without a firm follow up time set is most likely going to be lost. You should record at least one or more activities per week per opportunity, even if it is just an update email.
When using line item Products, be sure to utilize the Quotes feature. Send your customers Quotes with line items. This gives them something tangible to get their budget approved for the sale.
Update information about opportunities as they move through each gate of the sales cycle. By tracking the status of an opportunity through the sales cycle from creation to closure you and other team members will have a very good picture of where your deal is in the process.
Utilize the “Find Duplicates” button to avoid creating Leads which already exist in Salesforce. Before working a new Lead, use the “Find Duplicates” button, located in the Additional Information section of a Lead, to search all Leads, Contacts, Accounts, or Opportunities for duplicate information. By default
Salesforce will search every field you have populated in the Lead record. When you click on Search, Salesforce will show you ALL Leads, Contacts, Accounts and Opportunities that match any of criteria selected in the Lead. If a match is found you can use the Convert Lead button to covert the Lead with the appropriate Lead, Contact, Account or Opportunity. Following this process will prevent you from creating duplicate information as well as from working a lead that may already be in Salesforce!
The standard “Lead Source” picklist is normally used in conjunction with the standard “Campaign” lookup field when creating new leads either manually, from web-to-lead, or in bulk uploads. The “Lead Source”
would be the top category like Trade Show, Web, Mass Email, etc.
Then the “Campaign” lookup field can link the lead to the actual campaign when it is created. It is customary to hide the two fields in the web-to-lead form with pre-populated information (like Lead
Source = Web& Campaign = Mass Email Mar2013) so that the information is then reportable. You would use a different form for each source and campaign combination. When creating leads manually or bulk
uploading, these fields would need to be manually specified. If you use the same web-to-lead form on multiple pages for different campaigns, then the above model will not work. You will need to use a dynamic lead source with a custom field to track the data by URL or some other means. This would need to be passed through to Salesforce by either a 3rd party provider or by code on your web page.
General Things to consider
* Be sure to have a well understood lead conversion process in place
* Converting leads that are not properly qualified can actually hurt you more than help you You have
the option to create an opportunity when converting a lead
* There may be times when you need to convert a lead but are not ready to create an opportunity. Utilize
this option instead of creating an opportunity that is not valid
* Maintain your leads - Stale leads should be purged or followed up with so your list does not get too
As the founder of Incarni Partners, Ashley Porath, shares practical tips, trends, thoughts, links, ideas and tools for successful Cloud based CRM solutions.