If you have an opportunity tracking system, one of the things you need to do is to get salespeople to input opportunities so you can track what is going and build some kind of outlook about what to expect in the future as a result of all the sales activity taking place. If you just look at it every quarter in business reviews, you get a picture but you don’t get a real assessment about what is really going to happen moving forward. We find that companies often beat sales into adding opportunities and just look at the amount in the funnel as a measure of their effectiveness.
What often happens though is that an opportunity gets put into the funnel and it just sits there with no updates and no progress.
To make the opportunity funnel effective you have to keep track of what is going in, whether or not they are moving forward, what activities have taken place to close the business, and whether or not the customer opportunity is still accessible or has been lost or canceled.
In NEHANET, as you update the sales stage of an opportunity, the system automatically keeps track of how the opportunity is aging in the system. You can then access and run the Opportunity Sales Stage Duration Report and gain insights into your funnel along multiple dimensions such as Region, Market Segment, Account Manager and many others. The report shows the aging details for every customer opportunity and part and shows how long an opportunity spent at each stage.
You can also track how often the opportunity gets updated by the salesperson as the interact with the customer and your team. If there are never any notes, or call reports, or updates, chances are no one is paying attention or the opportunity is gone and just hasn’t been flagged as lost in the system.
As with all things, sales focuses on items they think will deliver results. If an opportunity is stuck somewhere it is probably dead and no one has been brave enough to call it what it is. If you look for things that just are not progressing it will give you good insight into where to focus attention and might help you adjust your forecast to reflect what will probably happen.
When you’re reviewing the business it is just as important to assess what isn’t going on as it is to review what has happened. NEHANET makes it easy to identify the situation behind the scenes to let you keep the funnel realistic, and give sales a hand to move things along if necessary.