09-12-2008 08:12 AM
I'm looking for ideas on how to customize my ACT for my business. I'd like especially to read about how other users design their opportunities processes and the stages of an opportunity. Do they have lots of different processes, or mainly one, how do they manage movements from Active to Inactive, from Won to New Opportunity etc. etc.
Now I know I can go to a consultant and maybe I should later. But I like to be prepared for that kind of encounter, and so I'd like to study some best practice examples first. Is there any information out there in that kind of detail?
09-20-2008 11:25 PM
It might be useful to add what sort of business you're in?
How many products?
What sort of products?
How long a sales cycle?
Are some products sold on a different time scale?
Single or multiple users?
Do you have targets?
09-21-2008 10:07 AM
Thank you for your interest. You're right, I should have provided more details, like as follows:
I have a language service - in Germany - that provides translations, proof-reading, and text "consultations", the latter covering negotiating, conceptualizing and writing PR and brochure texts for companies. That's the one side, the "old" business, which I've been at for many years and for which I have a customer base (a base that's been thinning out due to competition and neglect on my behalf - I didn't do any advertising / marketing for a long time, too long!). Once won, customers usually stay for a long time and order translations on a routine basis without much additional negotiations required.
The second, and new, part of my business is a language training service that runs over the telephone. People agree a certain number of training sessions ("packages") from 10 to 52 sessions over various periods of time, usually 6 months. This business has just got started, and the beginnings have been promising, but I'm discovering that you need to call customers, write to them, send them newsletters and I don't know what before they even consider the idea of trying us out (!)
For the telephone service we have private, individual participants and corporate. The experience here is that we have to "touch" a lot of influencers and decision-makers before getting contracts for corporate staff members, but it's worth the extra effort because then we have several participant all at once.
There's cross-selling, too! People interested in learning English sometimes have translation requirements and vice-versa.
Last point: sales cycles (at least in Germany) seem to be incredibly slow. It takes up to 12 months to get a yes or a no from some potentials
I hope this gives you a picture.
10-05-2008 01:17 PM
If the different products have quite different cycles, then create different processes for them. If the cycles are similar then just use one.
You should also know that you can only use one currency in Sales Ops... You can't switch between US$, Euro and Deutsche Mark
It is worthwhile speaking to a Consultant early they have the experience to help you avoid common mistakes that cause extra work later.
In Germany, I can recommend Ingo at http://www.crmaddon.com/kontakt/kontaktdaten.html - if you speak to him, tell him I said Hi.
10-05-2008 03:39 PM
I had just read your two posts on this and while having opportunities is one area maybe you also need to know from the database what are you trying to sell to these prospects, i.e. is this an area of interest to them nad if not what is?
Maybe and you did not mention this one product or service you should be offering is to create proposals for them in other languages?
I think then you can clearly decide what to put into opportunities: The various business sales processes that become a reporting function of the business would be the sales processes and then create the stages for each.
In this way you are able to report on each seperately and know is this a direction that we should be heading or is this area a waste to time and effort.
10-05-2008 05:35 PM
10-08-2008 06:46 PM
Michael - I would recommend that you look at some of the popular sales books in your area, or what may be on Amazon.com and see what describes your business. For example, The "New" Conceptual Selling book tells you how to understand a sales process if you have on person to sell, but in Strategic Selling they show you how to sell when many people are involved and have a long sales time - 6 to 12 months. Act will help you stay o top of the long cycle if you don't give up. Anyone can sell someone that wants to buy in the next 30 days, but selling in a long cycle takes skill and good follow up.
Good luck Brad Sandy - 800sell.com