Salesforce.com For Dummies, 5th Edition (2014)
Part III. Driving Sales with Sales Cloud
Chapter 10. Tracking Opportunities
In This Chapter
Creating new opportunities
Changing opportunity records
Organizing opportunity lists and contact roles
Using Chatter to follow opportunities
Your sales pipeline is the lifeblood of your business. It’s the list of deals that can help you achieve your sales targets. But try as you might, you can probably never close every deal in your pipeline. Things happen: Budgets get slashed, projects get tabled, you lose to a competitor, decision makers change. So, you need enough deals to give yourself the chance to hit and exceed your revenue goals in a given time frame.
An opportunity in Salesforce is a sales deal that you want to track to an ultimate conclusion (ideally, a win). The opportunity record has tools to help you efficiently track and close a sale. By using Salesforce, you can manage more opportunities at the same time and pursue each opportunity with greater precision. For example, if you’re a Salesforce sales rep, you can use opportunities to follow a standard process, link distribution partners, associate products, strategize against competition, record your actions and other notes, and more. And you don’t have to waste precious time updating a pipeline spreadsheet. Instead, you or your manager can generate the current pipeline with the click of a button.
In this chapter, we show you the techniques and best practices for using opportunities to track sales. First, you find out the most reliable way to create opportunities. Then, we discuss how to view them in the manner that makes sense to you. You can also discover how to update your records so that your information is current.
Getting Familiar with the Opportunity Record
An opportunity record is the collection of fields that make up the information on a deal you’re tracking. The record has only two modes: In Edit mode, you modify fields; in View mode, you view the fields and the opportunity’s related lists.
An opportunity record comes preconfigured with several standard fields. Most of these fields are self-explanatory, but be sure to pay attention to these critical ones:
· Amount: This field displays the intended, best-guess amount of the sale. Depending on the way your company calculates the pipeline report, you might use numbers that include total contract value, the bookings amount, and so on.
· Close Date: Use this required field for your best guess as to when you’ll close this deal. Depending on your company’s sales process, the close date has different definitions, but this field is commonly used to track the date that you signed all the paperwork required to book the sale.
· Expected Revenue: This read-only field is automatically generated by multiplying the Amount field by the Probability field.
· Forecast Category: This field is typically hidden, but every opportunity automatically includes a value. Each sales stage within the Stage drop-down list corresponds to a default forecast category so that higher-probability opportunities contribute to your overall forecast after they reach certain stages.
· Opportunity Owner: This person in your organization owns the opportunity. Although an opportunity record has only one owner, many users can still collaborate on an opportunity.
· Opportunity Name: This required text field represents the name of the specific deal as you want it to appear on your list of opportunities or on a pipeline report.
When naming opportunities, you and your company should define a standard naming convention for the Opportunity Name field so that you can easily search for and distinguish opportunities from a list. We recommend that the opportunity name start with the account name, then a hyphen, and then the name of the customer’s project or the product of primary interest. This naming convention makes for readable reports later.
· Private: If you want to keep an opportunity private, select this check box to render the record accessible to only you, your bosses, and the system administrator. This field isn’t available in Team Edition.
· Probability: The probability is the confidence factor associated with the likelihood that you’ll win the opportunity. Each sales stage that your company defines is associated with a default probability to close. Typically, you don’t need to edit this field; it gets assigned automatically by the Stage option that you pick. In fact, your administrator might remove write access from this field altogether.
· Stage: This required field allows you to track your opportunities, following your company’s established sales process. Salesforce provides a set of standard drop-down list values common to solution selling, but your system administrator can modify these values.
· Type: Use this drop-down list to differentiate the types of opportunities that you want to track. Most customers use the Type drop-down list to measure new versus existing business and products versus services, but your system administrator can modify it to measure other important or more specific deal types, such as add-ons, upsells, work orders, and so on.
When customizing your opportunity fields, take into consideration the patience and attention span of your end users. Keep the record as simple as possible to ensure that all your important fields actually get filled in. If you add many fields, you might make the opportunity record harder to use, which then puts user adoption of Salesforce at risk. At the same time, you’ll have greater success with opportunities when you can easily capture what you want to track.
Before you can begin using Salesforce to close opportunities, first you must get the records into Salesforce. In the following sections, we discuss the best ways to create opportunities so that they link to the correct accounts, contacts, and other records.
Adding new opportunities
The best method for creating a new opportunity is to start from the relevant account or contact record, which guarantees that the opportunity associates to the correct record, making the opportunity easily trackable. And, if you add the opportunity from a contact, you link both the account and the contact at the same time.
To create an opportunity, go to the relevant Account or Contact detail page and follow these steps:
1. Select the Create Opportunity option from the Create New drop-down list on the sidebar.
Alternatively, scroll down the detail page to the Opportunities related list and click the New button. The result is the same. The Edit mode of a new opportunity appears; see Figure 10-1. The Account Name field is conveniently filled in for you.
2. Fill in the fields as much as you can or as required.
At a minimum, you must complete the required fields. Depending on how you set up your opportunity record, you might have to fill in other required fields, which are highlighted in red. See the section “Getting Familiar with the Opportunity Record,” earlier in this chapter, for more details on common required fields.
3. Click Save when you’re done.
The Opportunity detail page appears. You can click the Edit button on this page at any time if you need to modify the record.
If you have the good fortune to need to enter multiple opportunities, one after another, instead of clicking the Save button, click the Save & New button. A new opportunity record appears in Edit mode. You have to fill in the Account Name field, but this technique can save you time.
Figure 10-1: Completing opportunity fields.
Cloning an opportunity
If you commonly create opportunities that are similar to each other, use the cloning feature to reduce unnecessary retyping. For example, if you’re an account manager who creates work order opportunities for additional purchases from the same customer, you might want to clone an existing record and change the details.
To clone an opportunity, go to the opportunity record that you want to clone and follow these steps:
1. Click the Clone button at the top of the record.
A new Opportunity Edit page appears, prefilled with all the data from the previous record.
2. Modify the fields, as necessary.
Pay close attention to content in required fields such as Close Date, Stage, and Opportunity Name because the information prefilled in those fields might be incorrect for the new opportunity. Review data in other fields to ensure that the information is applicable to this new opportunity.
3. When you’re done, click Save.
An Opportunity detail page for your cloned opportunity appears.
If your company has legacy databases that contain deal information and you want this data to be in Salesforce as opportunities, you can’t use an import wizard to migrate your records like you can with leads, accounts, and contacts. If this is a current challenge, seek out your technical staff, system administrator, Salesforce rep, or a Salesforce consultant. With business guidance, a person with the technical know-how can use the Apex Data Loader to import opportunities and other records into Salesforce, which can help you avoid wasting time manually re-inputting opportunities. See Chapter 22 for additional tips and tricks on migrating data.
Modifying Opportunity Records
After you add opportunities into Salesforce, you can make changes to your records when deals progress, stall, or fade away. In the following sections, we cover three common practices: editing, sharing, and reassigning.
Updating opportunity fields
In the course of working with your opportunities, you inevitably collect information that you want to save directly in the opportunity record. Every time you capture important data on your opportunity, remember to update your record by doing the following:
1. Click the Edit button on the opportunity.
You can also hover your mouse over the specific field that you want to edit. If a pencil icon appears to the right of the field, double-click the field to edit it. (If you see a padlock icon instead, that means the field is not editable, on purpose. Move along and pick another field to update.)
Alternatively, if you’re already in an account or contact record that’s linked to the opportunity, scroll down to the Opportunities related list and click the Edit link to the left of the desired opportunity. The result is the same. The Opportunity Edit page appears.
2. Update the fields, as necessary, paying particular attention to keeping fields such as Amount, Close Date, and Stage up to date.
Nine out of ten times, those fields play a key role in your company’s sales pipeline reports. By keeping your information up to date, you and other users can get a true measure on the opportunity’s progress.
3. When you’re done, click Save.
The opportunity reappears in Saved mode. The fields that you edited are changed.
You can keep track of certain critical updates to your opportunity record by using the Stage History related list. Anytime you or one of your team members who has read-write access to your record modifies the Stage, Probability, Close Date, or Amount fields, you can quickly scan this at the bottom of the opportunity record page to see who modified the record and when. See Chapter 17 for further details on using and customizing opportunity reports.
Rolling up opportunity data onto the account record
The opportunity record carries a great deal of quantifiable information about an account, such as how many licenses were sold, the amount of a deal, and so on. By collecting and aggregating key opportunity field information onto an account record, a sales rep can quickly see how valuable a particular customer is by viewing the total number of licenses a customer currently has, how much total revenue a customer has closed with your company, and the highest deal closed with that customer, to name a few examples.
You can aggregate this summary information in two ways:
· Run a report that summarizes this information for you. (See Chapter 17 for more details on creating reports.)
· Your Salesforce administrator can choose which opportunity fields you want to have summarized automatically on the account record.
To create a custom roll-up of your opportunity data onto the account record, choose Setup⇒Build⇒Customize⇒Accounts⇒Fields and follow these steps:
1. In the Account Custom Fields and Relationships section, click the New button.
The New Custom Field Wizard opens.
2. Select the Roll-Up Summary radio button and click Next.
3. Enter the name of what you’re summarizing in the Field Label field and click Next.
The Field Name field automatically populates itself based on what you enter in the Field Label. In this example, I type Total Deals Closed and click the Next button.
4. At the Define the Summary Calculation step, by the Summarized Object picklist, select Opportunities.
Identifying the summarized object tells Salesforce which records from which objects you want to be combined and summarized onto the account record.
5. Select the roll-up type from the selection of radio buttons in the Select Roll-Up Type section in the middle of the page. Click Next.
This selection tells Salesforce how you want the field of your choice to be summarized. You can choose a count of records, the sum, the minimum value, or the maximum value. If you choose any of the latter three options, you also have to identify which field in the opportunity you want to be summarized by using the Field to Aggregate picklist to make their choice.
You can filter out certain criteria in your result set.
If you want to summarize only records that meet certain criteria, select the Only Records Meeting Certain Criteria Should Be Included in the Calculation radio button to reveal a set of filter criteria. For example, you may want a sum of all the Amount fields for opportunities in which the Closed status equals True. (Figure 10-2 shows an example of defining the field calculation.)
Figure 10-2: Defining an opportunity roll-up field calculation.
6. Select which profiles should be able to view the new field and click Next.
7. Select on which page layout(s) the field should be displayed and click Save.
Reassigning opportunity ownership
You might find that after you set up your opportunities in Salesforce, you need to give them to the right people because management has decided to reshuffle sales territories (again). Or your sales teams might be set up in a hunter/farmer configuration, in which you reassign closed opportunities from new business reps to account managers after a certain time has passed.
If you want to reassign an opportunity, open the Opportunity detail page and follow these steps:
1. To the right of the Opportunity Owner field, click the Change link, which appears in square brackets.
The Ownership Edit page appears, as shown in Figure 10-3.
2. Select the user to whom you’re assigning the opportunity.
3. (Optional) Select the Send Notification Email check box.
The recipient gets notified of the reassignment via e-mail.
4. When you’re done, click Save.
The opportunity record reappears. The Opportunity Owner field has changed to the assigned user.
Figure 10-3: Reassigning an oppor-tunity.
Organizing Your Opportunities
When you have all or a portion of your opportunities entered in Salesforce, you can begin to organize them to suit the way that you sell.
In the following sections, you can find out how you can use views and other tools from the Opportunities home page to provide greater focus for you and your sales teams. Then, for even more robust organization of your opportunity information, check out Chapter 17 for specifics on how to use standard and custom opportunity reports.
Using opportunity views
An opportunity view is a list of opportunities that match certain criteria. When you select a view, you’re basically specifying criteria to limit the results that you get back. The advantage of a view, versus searching, is that you can use this view over and over again. For example, if you’re one of many sales reps, you probably want to see only your opportunities. On the Opportunities home page, Salesforce comes preset with several defined views:
· All Opportunities: Lists all the opportunity records entered into Salesforce
Depending on the way that your company has set up your security model, you might not see this view or its results.
· Closing Next Month: Displays opportunities in which the close date falls in the following month
· Closing This Month: Displays opportunities in which the close date falls in the current month
· My Opportunities: Gives you a list of just the opportunities that you own
· New This Week: Generates a list of opportunities that have been created since the beginning of the week
· Recently Viewed Opportunities: Lets you look at a list of opportunities that you’ve recently viewed
· Won: Shows opportunities to which you have access that have been closed and won
To try out a predefined view, do the following:
1. On the Opportunities home page, click the down arrow in the View drop-down list.
Depending on how your company has customized the views, you might see all or none of the options in the preceding bulleted list as well as some other choices that might have been created for you.
2. Select the My Opportunities view.
A list page appears, showing opportunities that you currently own. Salesforce lays out the list with standard columns that correspond to commonly used opportunity fields, plus an Action column so that you can quickly modify a record.
3. Click a column header to re-sort the list page.
For example, if you click the Close Date header, the list page re-sorts by the close dates entered on your opportunity records.
4. Go to the opportunity record by pointing and clicking an underlined link in the Opportunity Name column.
An Opportunity detail page appears.
5. Click the Back button in your browser and then click the Edit link on the same row as the opportunity you just clicked.
The opportunity record appears in Edit mode, and you can make changes to the data.
Click the Save button on the opportunity before navigating away from it.
Creating custom opportunity views
If you want special lists for the way that you manage your opportunities, you should build custom views. For example, if you want to see only open opportunities closing this month at or above 50 percent, you can create a view that helps you focus on just that part of the pipeline.
To build a view from scratch, follow these simple steps:
1. On the Opportunities home page, to the right of the View drop-down list, click the Create New View link.
The Create New View page appears.
2. Name the view by entering text in the Name field.
In the example used in the preceding section, you might call the view Closing This Month >= 50%.
3. Select the appropriate radio button, depending on whether you want to search All Opportunities or just My Opportunities.
4. In the Search Criteria step, select your search criteria.
A basic criteria query is made up of three elements:
· Field: In the first drop-down list, you can find all the fields on the opportunity record. An example is the Probability field.
· Operator: The second drop-down list offers operators for your search. That might sound complicated, but it’s easier than you think. Taking the example a step further, you’d select the Greater or Equal option from the drop-down list.
· Value: In the third box, you type the value that you want in the search. For this example, you’d type 50 because you want to see only those opportunities that are greater than or equal to 50 percent probability.
5. Select the columns that you want to have displayed.
Although the preset views in Salesforce display common fields, such as Stage and Amount, you can select up to 15 opportunity fields to display on your custom view page.
6. Decide whether you want others to see your custom view.
Your decision is simple if you don’t see the Visibility step. Otherwise, select the appropriate option, depending on whether you want to share your view with others. Your options are basically all, none, or limited. If you choose limited accessibility, use the Available for Sharing and Shared To list boxes to select which users can see the view.
7. When you’re done, click Save.
A new view appears, based on your custom view criteria. If you don’t get all the results you anticipate, you might want to recheck and refine the search criteria.
Defining contact roles
Depending on your sales process, at some early point, you need to identify the decision makers who’ll influence the buying decision. Contacts and their titles often don’t tell the whole story about decision makers, influencers, and the chain of command within an opportunity.
To better define the buying influences on an opportunity, go to an opportunity record and follow these steps:
1. Click the New button on the Contact Roles related list.
The Contact Roles page appears for that specific opportunity, displaying a list of the available contacts linked to the related account. See Figure 10-4.
Figure 10-4: Selecting the contact role.
2. For each relevant contact, use the Role drop-down list to select the appropriate role.
Salesforce comes preconfigured with a standard list of contact roles, but your company can customize this drop-down list if you need to modify the list of values. You don’t have to classify a role for every contact on the list; you can just leave the Role default value of None.
If the right role for your contact doesn’t appear, advise your system administrator to customize the Opportunity Contract Role Picklist Values.
3. Select a radio button to designate the primary contact.
The primary contact typically refers to the person who’s currently your point of contact. One of the benefits of selecting a primary contact is that you can list who the primary contact is on a basic opportunity report.
4. (Optional) Click the Lookup icon to the right of empty fields in the Contact column to add other contacts who are critical to your opportunity.
If you work with multitier selling models or if you collaborate with business partners on your deals, use contact roles to add contacts who aren’t employees of an account. For example, if your customer’s legal gatekeeper works for an outside law firm, you can use the Contact Roles related list to highlight the attorney’s role.
5. When you’re done, click Save.
The Opportunity detail page reappears, and your Contact Roles related list is updated to reflect contacts involved in the opportunity. If you need to add more contact roles, click the New button in the Contact Roles related list again.
Following Opportunities with Chatter
If you work as part of a sales team or just have a lot of deals to keep track of, Salesforce can bring you the news on your opportunities as it happens. You are automatically set to follow updates on any opportunity you create, but sometimes, you don’t want to hunt down what’s happening on someone else’s opportunity.
You can follow an Opportunity record by following these steps:
1. From the Opportunity home page, click a recently viewed opportunity.
The Opportunity detail page appears, displaying the Chatter feed front and center, as shown in Figure 10-5.
For more information on how to use Chatter, see Chapter 6.
2. To follow the discussion on this opportunity, click the Follow link with the green circled plus sign.
The Opportunity page updates to show a thumbnail photo of your profile picture under the Followers section, alongside photos of other people following this record. The Follow button now appears as a Following status, with a gray “x” next to it that you click if you want to unfollow the record.
Now when there’s Chatter activity on this opportunity, it appears in your Chatter feed displayed on your home page too.
Figure 10-5: Following an opportunity.