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About Opportunities and Forecasts

An opportunity is a potential revenue-generating transaction that can be included in your sales forecast when it reaches a specific point in your sales process. For an opportunity or product revenue record to be considered for inclusion in a forecast, the record must have a close date within the forecast period and be owned by a forecast participant. The forecast periods and participants are determined as part of the forecast definition. For more information about forecasts, see Forecasts.

Tips for Managing Your Opportunity Records

Updating your opportunity information as you work to close a deal facilitates clear team communication and ensures accurate forecasts and reports. It is particularly important to keep certain fields on the Opportunity Detail page up to date:

  • The Revenue, Close Date, and Sales Stage fields are critical for tracking pipeline history and are used for trend analyses and forecasting.
  • If your company bases its forecasts on opportunities, select the Forecast check box on an opportunity record to add the opportunity to your forecasted revenue at the appropriate time in the sales process. If your company bases its forecasts on products, select the Forecast check box on your linked products instead.

Sales Stages

Every sales process is defined by specific stages. Each sales stage has certain activities and deliverables, or tasks that must be completed before the opportunity is advanced to the next sales stage. As you work on an opportunity, you evaluate it against clearly defined criteria for each stage in your company's sales cycle.

  • As criteria are met, update the Sales Stage field in your opportunity record.
  • The Probability percentage field on the opportunity record displays a value related to the selected sales stage for the opportunity by default. You can change this value, if needed, to better reflect your particular opportunity while it is in that sales stage. However, when the sales stage changes, the value in the Probability percentage field is automatically updated to the default probability value for the new sales stage, unless the Mass Update feature is used to change the sales stage. If you use the Mass Update feature to change the value in the Sales Stage field on one or more records, then the value in the Probability percentage field on the records is not updated to the default probability percentage for the new sales stage.
  • The Expected Revenue field displays a currency value that is calculated based on the Revenue field multiplied by the value in the Probability percentage field. This figure is used for forecasting.
  • Update the Next Step field to reflect the criteria for the next stage in the sales cycle.

NOTE: When searching for opportunities by Sales Stage, Oracle CRM On Demand provides all the available options for the Sales Stage values regardless of whether the sales stage is applicable to your role. If you are granted access to an opportunity that is associated with a sales stage that is not available to your role, you can search for the opportunity record. In such a scenario, you can specify a sales stage in the search criteria that is unique to that opportunity record, even though the sales stage values might not be available to your role.

Forecasting

When Oracle CRM On Demand generates forecasts, it determines which records, fields, and data to include according to your forecasting method. If certain conditions are met, it includes those records in the forecasts:

  • Close Date. Oracle CRM On Demand verifies that the close date for the opportunity or product revenue record falls within the forecast period:
    • If your company's forecasts are based on opportunity revenue, the opportunity record (either alone or linked to products) must show a close date that falls within the forecast period.
    • If your company's forecasts are based on product revenue, the product revenue record must show a close date that falls within the forecast period.
  • Expected Revenue. Oracle CRM On Demand calculates the expected revenue forecast data, as follows:

    Calculates the total for the Expected Revenue fields in either the opportunity or product revenue records and displays the sum in the Expected Revenue field in the Forecast record.

    NOTE: For the opportunity expected revenue to accurately reflect expected revenue based on opportunity products, the user must click the Update Opportunity Totals button. This functionality is only available if the Product Probability Averaging Enabled option is enabled on the company profile. The functionality ensures that the probability percentage (as recorded in the Probability % field) for each product revenue record is included as part of the calculation.

  • Pipeline. Oracle CRM On Demand calculates the pipeline forecast data, as follows: it calculates the total for the Revenue fields in either the opportunity or product revenue records for all prospective deals within the forecast period, regardless of the status, and displays the sum in the Pipeline field in the forecast record.

    NOTE: For recurring product revenues, only the revenue amount that pertains to the forecast period is included, not the total product revenue.

  • Forecast. Oracle CRM On Demand retrieves the Revenue field data from records with the Forecast check box selected and displays the sum in the Forecast field in the forecast record:
    • If your company bases its forecasts on opportunities, opportunity records with the Forecast check box selected are included.
    • If your company bases its forecasts on products, product revenue records with the Forecast check box selected are included.

      NOTE: The Forecast flag indicates that there is a high probability that the opportunity will close. So, when this flag is selected, the corresponding revenue is included in your forecasted revenue totals.

      The Forecast flag does not determine whether an opportunity or product revenue record is part of your overall forecast record.

  • Closed Revenue. Oracle CRM On Demand retrieves Revenue field data from records with a sales stage of Closed-Won and displays the total in the Closed Revenue field of the Forecast record:
    • If your company bases its forecasts on opportunities, opportunity records with a close date within the forecast period are included.
    • If your company bases its forecasts on products, product revenue records with a start/close date within the forecast period are included.

      NOTE: For recurring product revenues, only the revenue amount that pertains to the forecast period is included, not the total product revenue.


Published 5/4/2012 Copyright © 2005, 2012, Oracle. All rights reserved. Legal Notices.