The Answers are in the Opportunity Data

October 23rd, 2011 by

The majority of the CRM installs that I do with customers who operate a sales team focus on capturing opportunity information generated by the sales teams – this allows them to forecast revenue. Forecasting is very important and I recommend all customers use opportunities to help manage forecasts. If you set-up the opportunities correctly and use all the functionality within opportunities you can use the data to help profile your customers. Forecasting gets you focused on deals that need to be closed in the 30, 60 and 90 days. Profiling provides you with the information you need to develop the strategy to grow your sales, capture market share and reduce the cost of sales.

Customer’s profiles are built on the data that you collect within your CRM and the three types of data collected are:

 Implicit Data – This profiling is done at the account record level and puts customers into different categories based on what they do, location, employee count, revenue…..
 Explicit Data – This profiling involves customers providing information directly and explicitly. Opportunities examples are what product the customer wants you to quote, location for the product, partners involved in the opportunity and key contacts.
 Emotional Data – This profiling the emotional state of how they feel about your company; did you win or lose the opportunity and why.

Listed below is a more detailed example of how to use fields and related information to capture profiling data.

Explicit Data
 Amount – Standard field within the body of the opportunity that estimate the value of the opportunity.
 Opportunity Location – Could be a custom field within the body of the opportunity or we could use Account Hierarchies to track the location of the opportunity information.
 Partner Role – Related list that associates a partner to the opportunity.
 Contact Role – Related list that associates a contact to the opportunity.

Emotional Data

 Stage – Standard field within the body of the opportunity that indicates if an opportunity is open or closed.
 Competitor – Related list that associates the competition to the opportunity.
 Description – Standard field within the body of the opportunity that is a free form text box that allows the rep to describe why we won or lost an opportunity.

Once you have set-up opportunities to leverage Implicit Data and capture Explicit Data and Emotional Data, you need to build the reports that will allow you to analyze the data so you can develop the action plan to grow your business.

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