The other significant capability of CRM systems is managing your opportunities, both potential and previous for clients. All good CRMs have built in flows that you can utilise to track where things are in the sales phase and help you manage follow up so that you don’t miss a thing.
When it comes to setting up your system, it’s important to make sure that you have all the fields you need to track the important information, including contact details (linked to the account/client information also stored in the system), their requirements in terms of scope, dates for work to commence and anything else you need to know in order to create a proposal for the client and negotiate deals.
When we look at opportunities in systems in more detail, they are usually segmented into two different types depending on their status within your sales flow. These are usually called Leads and Opportunities.
Leads are those that are right at the beginning of the process, usually “cold leads” and people who you want to target and reach out to, or those who have made an initial enquiry with you and have not been qualified yet. There may be limited information available at this time or assumptions made about the client through your own research. These are then pushed through your own qualification process to ensure that they are worth pursuing in line with your ideal client work and initial outreach to them (or from them).
Opportunities are those that have been qualified and are now starting to move their way through your sales flow towards closing the deal. At each stage, more information is collected and stored within the system and linked to their account to help you manage the opportunity, not miss anything and keep your sanity! This is super helpful when you have a number of opportunities to manage at the same time. The flow for your opportunities should go all the way through to Won/Lost.
A typical flow for leads to opportunity to contract could be:
New Lead – Under Review – Qualified/Unqualified (If unqualified, this would remain in the leads section, if qualified this would then turn into an Opportunity)
New Opportunity – Initial Follow Up – Sales Call – Proposal – Negotiations – Won/Lost
Notes throughout the process as well as emails, documents, and anything else that helps you to build an overall picture of them as a client can be added to the opportunity and the account for the customer. As new opportunities arise, this information is then easily accessible and allows you to use that to make your calls and proposals even more impactful and increase future conversions.