When this week I came across a great article by Alan Nielsen, Accelerate your sales, revisit your sales process, I started to think about the role of Opportunities and Sales Stages. Sometimes it is important for companies to either create new, or modify existing, sales stages. In both cases, stages created via consensus are the most effective, as they provide a great tool to help salespeople work from planning to completion, as well as to help managers create meaningful sales reports.
The debate about when to start a sales process can become very passionate, with some salespeople wanting it to commence immediately after lead generation, and others insisting that it should begin only when a lead has been prequalified and tagged as a valid opportunity. The first choice has the advantage that it allows us to report on the success of campaigns or marketing lists easily, ensuring that all potential business has been classified (thus less likely to slip through the net). Its disadvantage is that it does create extra work (i.e. recording an opportunity dead). On the other hand, starting the opportunity once a lead has been prequalified allows us to go through fewer steps and is faster. However, it requires us to create separate reports to measure the success of campaigns or marketing lists. Which one is the best option is dependent not only on the industry, but also the organization’s culture. Once the starting point has been identified, then the next hurdle is to ensure that the stages are appropriate but never too numerous.
The Opportunities module within Act! allows us to easily create and manage sales opportunities and customize fields to track sales processes and the sales pipeline. To learn how, click Read More to continue!