7Managing Opportunities

This chapter contains the following:

Opportunities: Overview

Opportunities allow organizations to support the full sales process, from leads, to opportunities, to sales, to follow-up analytics. Within opportunities, sales organizations can capture a wide variety of information related to an opportunity, such as customer (account) and the products to be sold. In addition, they can use the supplied sales methods and sales stages to step the opportunity to its eventual conclusion.

The following table lists opportunity features.

Feature Details

Support the sales life cycle

Create, manage, and close opportunities, supporting the entire sales life cycle. By integrating with leads, you can convert leads to opportunities. Post-sale, take advantage of supplied business intelligence reports on the sales.

Maintain opportunity information

Following are just some of the data that sales teams can capture for an opportunity:

  • Accounts: You can associate an account (for example, a customer or prospect) with the opportunity.

  • Opportunity owner: The person who creates an opportunity is automatically assigned ownership. You can change owner if needed.

  • Contacts: You can associate contacts with an opportunity. In addition, you can specify a contact's role, affinity, and influence level on an opportunity. A single contact can be marked as primary.

  • Currency: The application supports multiple currencies at both the opportunity header and revenue-line levels.

  • Budget: A Budgeted indicator lets you display whether the opportunity revenue amount has been budgeted by the customer, as well as the date that the budget was made available.

  • Competitors and partners: You can associate partners and competitors with opportunities, both at the opportunity and revenue line levels.

  • Marketing data: The Source field allows the association of sales campaigns with an opportunity.

  • References: You can associate reference customers with opportunities to improve the selling process.

Employ sales methodology

Your company can employ its own sales methodology by using the supplied sales methods and stages. For each sales stage, administrators can create process steps, task templates, recommended documents, assessment templates, and required fields for use in opportunities. In addition, administrators can specify a different default win probability percentage for each sales stage.

Use Sales Coach for guided selling

Sales Coach, part of sales methods, guides salespeople through each step of the sales cycle with an organization's own sales methodology and best practices. The process steps, task templates, recommended documents, assessment templates, and mandatory fields set up by your administrator in each of the sales stages translate into guided notes and appropriate opportunity UI interactions.

Leverage a revenue model

Opportunities support a revenue model that features revenue-based forecasting, products and product groups, as well as revenue data captured at the line level, such as win probability, close date, include in forecast, and status.

Assign sales team

Opportunities align with territories and the assignment engine for rule-based or territory-based autoassignment of salespeople to opportunities. In the Opportunity Team tab, you also can manually add sales team members to an opportunity.

Allocate sales credit

By allocating sales credit to salespeople on revenue lines, you can capture the amount of credit salespeople receive for the sale. You can track direct, channel, and overlay resources and their contributions using revenue and nonrevenue credit splits.

Use forecast territories on revenue lines

By integrating with forecasting, you can use forecast criteria to automatically include revenue lines in the forecast. You can leave the default forecast territory on the revenue lines or assign another forecast territory. The forecast is refreshed in real-time from revenue when an opportunity is created or updated.

Assess opportunities, customers, and competitors

You can use assessments to evaluate the health of an opportunity, a customer, or a competitor. After setup by the administrator, assessments are presented as either mandatory or optional for salespeople in the Assessments tab.

View business intelligence reports

Several supplied business intelligence reports give you views into sales metrics, from lists of opportunities and accounts, to pipeline data, sales team performance, and other revenue metrics.

Sales Methods, Sales Stages, and Sales Coach: Overview

You can use sales methods and sales stages to employ the sales methodology that best aligns with an opportunity. Use Sales Coach, which administrators set up within sales stages, as both a teaching tool and a method to make your organization's best-practice information readily available to salespeople.

Sales Methods and Sales Stages

Sales methods are an opportunity attribute that link sales strategy to sales execution. For example, is the customer more interested in price, features, service, or delivery time? After you make these decisions, you can align your sales methods and sales stages to reflect these customer requirements. For example, you can use a different sales methodology for your price-conscious customers than for your customers who are interested in features. A sales method can include all activities associated with the different sales stages during the sales process, from qualifying, to negotiating, to closing.

The application comes with a few sales methods and associated sales stages. Administrators can modify the supplied sales methods and stages, or create new ones.

Sales Coach

Sales Coach is a virtual coach available to salespeople while they view or edit an opportunity. Sales Coach is presented in the contextual area of the desktop UI. For example while viewing an opportunity, a salesperson will see Recommended Documents for the sales stage that his opportunity is in. He can download the Recommended Documents that his administrator has posted to help with the sale.

The following table describes the coaching tools available in the sales coach.

Coaching Tool Description

Process steps

Guide salespeople through an organization's sales best-practice processes for a particular sales stage.

Recommended documents

Provide coaching strategies and best-practice information in the form of documents, such as customer letter templates, relevant Web sites, and training materials.

Task templates

Provide a list of required or recommended tasks relevant to a particular sales stage. Recommended task templates are optional. Autogenerated task templates are automatically applied to your list of tasks for a particular sales stage, when the opportunity moves to that stage.

Assessment templates

Help salespeople analyze and score an opportunity attributes. Supported attributes are: products, competitors, and an opportunity itself. After selecting an assessment type, salespeople enter a series of responses to achieve a weighted score. This score then helps determine the success rate of the opportunity.

In addition, for each sales stage, administrators can set certain fields in the opportunity header that salespeople must enter before the opportunity can progress to the next sales stage.

See the Oracle Sales Cloud - Implementing Sales guide for sales method and Sales Coach setup information.

Sales Stages: Explained

Sales stages track the progress of an opportunity during the sales cycle. A sales method contains a number of sales stages or sequenced steps to move the opportunity forward.

Sales Stage Attributes

Administrators typically set up the following attributes while setting up sales stages:

  • Phase: A step in the sales cycle of an opportunity.

    For example, the first step might be Discovery, where the salesperson researches the customer's needs.

  • Order: The sequence of the stage within a sales method.

    For example, you might start with Discovery and move to Conclusion.

  • Duration: The number of days an opportunity will remain in this stage.

  • Stalled Deal Limit: The number of days an opportunity can remain in this stage before it is considered stalled.

Sales Methods and Sales Stages: How They Fit Together

A typical sales method has several sales stages. Each stage within a sales method delineates the progress of an opportunity.

Sales Methods

The sales method used on an opportunity represents your company's formalized approach toward the sale. The application comes with a few predefined sales methods. By default, the sales method used on a newly created opportunity is the supplied Standard Sales Process sales method.

Sales Stages

Several stages usually exist within a single sales method. You use different stages to represent different phases of an opportunity, from prospecting to forecasting to closing the opportunity.

Sales Coach: Explained

Sales Coach is a mechanism to present best practice sales methodology to salespeople in order to improve their sales effectiveness. A teaching tool, Sales Coach can help less experienced salespeople with aspects of an opportunity when and where they need help. Administrators set up Sales Coach by associating various items with a sales stage. Salespeople can then view the items as they work their opportunities. Since the teaching components or job aids are associated with a specific sales stage, each sales stage potentially can have a collection of items associated with it.

Following are the areas that administrators can define for each sales stage:

  • Process steps

  • Recommended documents

  • Task templates

  • Assessment templates

  • Required fields

Process Steps

Process steps are steps you should follow during a sales stage. For example, in Discovery, your company may recommend that salespeople interview the potential customer, develop a product list, and schedule a presentation.

Recommended Documents

Recommended documents are helpful documents and resources, such as customer letter templates, relevant web sites, and training materials.

Tasks

Required or recommended tasks may display for a sales stage if the administrator has enabled them.

Assessment Templates

Assessments let you gauge the health of the opportunity or an aspect of an opportunity. They display if the administrator has enabled them.

Closing an Opportunity: Explained

You can close opportunities as needed, for example, when they are won, lost, or no longer active.

When closing an opportunity, you may be required to enter a win/loss reason and a competitor, if enabled during setup.

There are three ways to close an opportunity:

  • Use the close opportunity UI: See the topic, Closing an Opportunity Using the Close Opportunity UI, for more information.

  • Use the edit opportunity UI: See the topic, Closing an Opportunity Using Edit Opportunity UI, for more information.

  • Use the mass update feature: See the topic, Closing Multiple Opportunities Using the Mass Update Opportunities UI, for more information.

Closing an Opportunity Using the Close Opportunity UI

If the Close Opportunity page has been enabled, you must use it to close an opportunity.

Note

The Close Opportunity page must be enabled by the administrator.

Closing an Opportunity Using the Close Opportunity Page

Use the following procedure to close an opportunity using the Close Opportunity page.

Note

The Close Opportunity page is only available in the desktop UI.

  1. From the Navigator, click Opportunities.

  2. In the list of opportunities, edit the opportunity you want to close. The Edit Opportunity page appears.

  3. From the Actions menu, select Close Opportunity. The Close Opportunity page appears.

  4. In the Close Opportunity page, in the Status field, select a status that belongs to a Closed status category. For example, select Won.

    The Close Date field changes to the current date.

    The Win/Loss Reason field becomes active.

    Note

    The Win/Loss Reason and Competitor fields may or may not be required to be filled out, depending upon how the administrator has configured the close opportunity behavior.

  5. Select a Win/Loss Reason. For each revenue item where this field is not defined, the application automatically synchronizes it with the header value.

  6. Select a Competitor. For each revenue item where this field is not defined, the application automatically synchronizes it with the header value.

    The following figure shows an example of the Close Opportunity page.

    Close Opportunity page
  7. Click OK.

    The application returns to the Edit Opportunity page.

  8. Click Save or Save and Close.

Closing an Opportunity Using the Edit Opportunity UI

You can use the Edit Opportunity page to close an opportunity by setting its status to one of the closed status categories and entering any required information.

Note

If a dedicated close page has not been enabled by the administrator, then you use the Edit Opportunity page to close an opportunity. If a dedicated close page has been enabled, then when you attempt to close an opportunity, the Close Opportunity page appears, where you enter the same information you enter while closing in the Edit Opportunity page. The dedicated close page is available only in the desktop UI.

Closing an Opportunity Using the Edit Opportunity Page

Use the following procedure to close an opportunity from the Edit Opportunity page.

  1. From the Navigator, click Opportunities.

  2. In the list of opportunities, edit the opportunity you want to close. The Edit Opportunity page appears.

  3. From the Status field, select a status that belongs to a Closed status category. For example, select Won.

    The Close Date field changes to the current date.

    The Win/Loss Reason field becomes active.

    Note

    The Win/Loss Reason and Competitor fields may or may not be required to be filled out, depending upon how the administrator has configured the closing behavior.

  4. Select a Win/Loss Reason, if required.

    Note: In the desktop UI, you can enter win/loss reasons for individual revenue items, or, if it is undefined, the Win/Loss Reason field for each revenue item is synchronized with the opportunity win/loss reason. In the simplified UI, you cannot set win/loss reasons for individual items. Instead, assuming it has not been defined, the value for the field is synchronized to the opportunity header.

  5. Select a Competitor.

    Note: In the desktop UI, you can enter competitors for individual revenue items, or, if it is undefined, the Competitor field for each revenue item is synchronized with the opportunity primary competitor. In the simplified UI, you cannot set competitors for individual revenue items. Instead, assuming it has not been defined, the value for the field is synchronized to the opportunity header.

    The following figure shows an example of the fields involved in closing an opportunity in the Edit Opportunity page.

    Close opportunity fields in edit opportunity page
  6. Click Save or Save and Close.

    Tip

    You can find closed opportunities by searching for them using the search utility.

Closing Multiple Opportunities

You can multiselect opportunities in the opportunity list and close them at once.

Note

You must have Full or Edit access to the opportunities to mass update them.

Closing Multiple Opportunities at Once

Use the following procedure to close multiple opportunities at once. This procedure is available in the desktop UI only.

Note

If Competitor is a required field in the close opportunity flow, the opportunities you mass update must already have competitors associated with them before you attempt to mass update them

  1. From the Navigator, click Opportunities.

  2. In the list of opportunities, multiselect the opportunities you want to close. To select multiple opportunities, hold the Ctrl key down as you select them.

  3. From the Actions menu, select Perform Mass Update. The Mass Update dialog box appears.

  4. Click the check box next to the Status field to activate it.

  5. From the Status field, select a status that belongs to a Closed status category. For example, select Won.

  6. Enter a Win/Loss Reason, if enabled as required by your administrator.

    Note

  7. Click Save and Close. The opportunities you updated are now closed.

The following figure shows an example of the Mass Update dialog box.

Mass update dialog box.

FAQs for Managing Opportunities

Why did some fields change when I changed the sales stage?

When you move an opportunity from one sales stage to the next, the opportunity-level win probability increases to reflect the progress of the opportunity. The win probabilities of all revenue items that are in sync with the opportunity-level win probability also change to match the opportunity-level probability.

During setup, the administrator can specify the default win probability for each sales stage.

Which fields or data are initially set on an opportunity?

Several fields are initially set to default values when you create an opportunity, as described in this topic.

Following are the fields initially set to default values when you create an opportunity:

  • Sales Channel: Set to Direct

  • Currency: Determined by user preference

  • Win Probability: Set to percentage determined by sales method or profile option

  • Close Date: Set to 90 days from creation date

  • Status: Set to Open

  • Sales Method: Set to default sales method

  • Sales Stage: Set to first sales stage in default sales method

  • Owner: Set to user creating opportunity

  • Revenue: Set to zero

  • Worst Case: Set to zero

  • Best Case: Set to zero

  • Opportunity Number: Unique, application-generated number

  • Created By: Set to user creating opportunity

  • Creation Date: Set to current date

  • Include in Forecast: Based on forecast settings

What information is required to create an opportunity?

Opportunity Name is the only field required to be filled out when creating an opportunity. Note, however, that the name and sales account combination must be unique. In other words, you cannot have two opportunities with exactly the same name and associated to the same sales account.

What happens if I change win probability?

If you change win probability at the opportunity level, the application updates the win probability of all opportunity revenue items (products) that are in sync. In addition, if you update win probability at the revenue item (product) level, the forecast generation engine may modify the lines participating in forecasting, depending on whether the line matches forecast criteria or not.

How is the expected close date of an opportunity initially set?

When defining a sales method, administrators can input the average close window of the sales method, in days. The value is then used to set the default close date of opportunities using that sales method.

How are territories assigned to opportunities?

You can't explicitly add territories to an opportunity. Rather, the assignment engine automatically assigns territories to opportunity revenue lines by matching the dimensional attributes of revenue lines to territory dimensions, such as Customer Size or Industry.

When the assignment engine assigns territories to opportunity revenue lines, the territory owner is also copied to the opportunity team.

Profile options set by the administrator determine the following:

  • Whether, when a territory is assigned to an opportunity revenue line, all territory team members are also copied to the opportunity team, in addition to the territory owner.

  • Whether the assign opportunity action is available from within an opportunity for salespeople to run assignment.

  • Whether the application runs assignment when salespeople save an opportunity.

Note

With partner integration, partner territories (territories whose sales channel dimension is equal to Partner) are not assigned to revenue lines. Partner organizations can only be associated with an opportunity manually, or they can be automatically associated through an approved lead registration.

How do I run assignment on an opportunity?

While editing an opportunity, from the Actions menu, select Save and Run Assignment.

You must have Full access to the opportunity to see the Save and Run Assignment action.

Why can't I run assignment on an opportunity?

You must have Full permission on an opportunity to see the Save and Run Assignment action.

Note that a profile option determines whether the assignment action is available in opportunities.

How can I copy an opportunity?

While viewing the list of opportunities, select an opportunity and click the button to copy the opportunity. The application prompts you to enter a new, unique name for the opportunity.

When you enter a name for the newly copied opportunity, you can either save and edit or save and close the opportunity. When you save and edit, the newly copied opportunity displays in edit mode. When you save and close, the newly copied opportunity displays in the opportunity list view, irrespective of the search criteria being used on the list view.

What is copied when I copy an opportunity?

The application copies the following attributes when you copy an opportunity:

  • Opportunity header attributes

  • Contacts

  • Revenue items

  • Sales team, including partner resources

  • Sales credits, including recipients, amounts, and percentages; allocation style is set to ad hoc

  • Source

  • Partners

  • References

  • Competitors

  • Leads

  • Territory information

  • Custom attributes on the opportunity

  • Custom attributes of revenue

  • Custom child objects of the opportunity

  • Custom child objects of revenue

The following are not copied:

  • Recurring revenue items

  • Notes

  • Tasks

  • Appointments

  • Assessments

  • Attachments

  • Deal registrations

What's lock assignment?

Lock assignment prevents a salesperson from being automatically removed from an opportunity through the assignment engine. Only users with Full access on the opportunity can check or uncheck the Lock Assignment check box for sales team members.

What's deal protection?

With the deal protection feature, salespeople are automatically protected from being removed from a revenue line for which they are receiving sales credit, or from the opportunity team, when territory realignment happens. Deal protection applies to sales resources that get automatically assigned to revenue items as credit recipients or to the opportunity team via territory-based assignment.

A profile option set by the administrator specifies the default number of days for which salespeople are protected. An opportunity team member with Full access level can override the dates for which the protection is active.

What's a process step?

Part of the Sales Coach feature and set up by the administrator, process steps are recommended procedures for salespeople to follow during a particular sales stage to most efficiently and effectively progress the deal along to a successful outcome.

How can process steps assist the sales cycle?

You can use process steps to guide you through the best-practice processes that you should follow during a particular sales stage while pursuing opportunities. For example, in the Discovery sales stage, your company may recommend that you interview the potential customer, develop a product list, and make a go or no-go decision on progressing the opportunity to the next sales stage.

Process steps are part of the sales coach feature available in opportunities.

What are recommended documents?

Recommended documents provide coaching strategies and best practice information to salespeople. These documents can include such items as customer letter templates, relevant Web sites, and training materials.

What's a key internal sponsor on an opportunity?

The key internal sponsor on an opportunity is a strong internal supporter of the opportunity in the deploying organization. For example, there may be certain deals that senior management wants to assign extra manpower to support because of the criticalness of the deal. This senior support and extra manpower is considered a strong internal sponsor.

What's a billing account on an opportunity?

A billing account on an opportunity is the customer's financial account to be used for the transaction.

What opportunity data can I view for accounts in Oracle Service Cloud (RightNow CX)?

A read-only report gives you the following opportunity data on your Oracle Service Cloud (RightNow CX) work space:

  • Opportunity name

  • Status

  • Salesperson

  • Salesperson contact information

The report is an Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition (OBIEE) report.

Note

Administrators can configure the report data to customize which data displays to the service team.