Building your opportunity management process with CRM software
An opportunity management (OM) process is an effective way for your business to capitalize on future consumer demands through predictive action. It can help turn qualified prospects into opportunities and advance wider customer relationship management (CRM) strategies.
Implementing an OM strategy, however, can be difficult, as it requires identifying and improving processes that are operating simultaneously, and in different applications. Thankfully, there are a host of CRM tools that can be used to streamline your OM process. Here, we’ll cover how CRM tools can help manage your B2B and B2C connections, identify new sales opportunities, and manage your sales pipeline.
But first, let’s get a clearer definition of opportunity management.
What is an opportunity management (OM) process?
OM is an organizational process that identifies and develops an enterprise’s prospective sales opportunities and the means of which to achieve them. It’s a systematic means of managing inbound opportunities as they move through the pipeline process.
Workforce optimization mitigates redundancies by improving processing techniques, streamlining workflow, profiling, and defining the stages of an opportunity to convert prospects into paying customers.
OM can be further defined as the initiating of processes that target and accommodate new and existing customer interests. This can be done via successful lead generation and improving B2C and B2B developmental programs.
Elevating your opportunity management with CRM software
Customer relationship management software enables the efficient management of B2C and B2B interaction and relationship processes, streamlining your OM strategy. CRM systems accumulate data from varying communication sources, e.g., email, telemarketing, social media, and lead-gen forms, which is used to build a complete customer profile, including what products or services they might be looking for.
There are numerous CRM applications available on the market, including Scoro, Salesforce®, Microsoft Dynamics™, and Pipedrive, which work in accordance with OM processes to build customer interest, drive sales and enhance procedural efficiency.
Finding new sales opportunities with CRM software
Compiling data on customer demographics, behavior, trends, budget, availability, etc., is an integral way of determining a business’s ideal consumer. Sales reps need to get to know their prospective customer to determine sales potential and to avoid wasting time pursuing unqualified leads.
Once a lead is qualified, CRM systems use logistical indicators to help sales reps manage and prioritize prospects, streamlining your opportunity management process.
Logistical indicators include:
- Sales pipeline
- Lead generation and qualification
- Forecasting metrics
- Competitor and probability analysis
Sales forecasting with CRM assessment tools use probability projections to determine the probability an opportunity can be converted into a customer. Still, there are external factors that need to be considered.
Probability projections can be influenced by sales reps and their interactions with potential customers. For example, if a sales rep has an established relationship with a qualified lead, the chances of converting them into an opportunity are significantly higher. When it comes to B2B sales, however, it’s wise to remember that only 10 to 15 percent of prospective opportunities translate into revenue.
Breaking down opportunities into definable stages with CRM tools
Using CRM software tools, your sales reps can identify the different stages of an opportunity as it moves along the sales pipeline. It’s crucial for sales teams to mutually identify each stage of the buying process and the criteria for qualifying.
Defining an opportunity stage can be hard due to the countless variables influencing the potential sale. Stakeholders have to consider budgets, expectations, and willingness before considering a purchase. If these variables aren’t considered, reps might prematurely accelerate opportunities or not act soon enough to complete the sale.
Without logistical definitions of each respective opportunity stage, pipeline visibility and processes become skewed, which can result in inaccurate sales forecasts and pipeline reports. Salesforce’s default opportunity stages are the best example of the high-level stages within a standardized sales process. They include 8 key stages:
- Needs analysis
- Value proposition
- Identify decision makers
- Perception analysis
- Proposal/price quote
Using CRM systems, these high-level stages allow businesses to identify and measure the progress of an opportunity, as well as the criteria for completing the sale. Tweak and customize each stage of opportunity to better reflect your customer profile and buying capabilities. You can also create predefined adaptable opportunity stages should your sales process change.
Using opportunity management in your sales pipeline
Using opportunity management processes in your sales pipeline can give you a clear and concise understanding of the qualitative and quantitative value of sales. The more efficient your management, the higher potential of sales and profitability. Here are a few tips to help you better manage your sales pipeline.
- Focus on the best leads
Wasting time on incomplete and dead leads slows down the time between an opportunity entering the sales funnel and their exit with a closed deal. Prioritize your opportunities using metrics to focus on the most high-value and probable deals while gaining a clear understanding of how engaged and responsive a customer is to a potential purchase.
Monitor and focus your efforts on opportunities that can generate the most revenue or are near closing.
- Dedicated research
Managing opportunities in the sales pipelines can be difficult if you don’t have enough information on your potential customers. Identifying where your lead is in the sales cycle is critical for closing a deal.
The BANT methodology is one way to determine the status of a sales opportunity, as detailed below:
- Budget: What is your customer’s potential budget and willingness to spend?
- Authority: Who’s able to make a final purchase decision?
- Needs: What are your lead’s needs and can they be addressed by your product or service?
- Timing: How urgent is the product or service you are selling for your potential customer? Timing is all about the duration and life-cycle of a potential sale.
- Stay in touch with your leads
The chances of a deal being successful are significantly greater when sales reps have an open line of communication with the potential customer. If a basic communication strategy isn’t initiated with a lead, their patience will likely wane and they’ll go elsewhere.
Follow up with leads regularly via email and phone, or incentivize B2C relations with product demos and personalized promotions, all while submitting sales activities and statistics that keep track of progress. If you don’t, you or your colleagues may waste time contacting leads repeatedly or unnecessarily.
Don’t forget to log sales activities and set regular contact dates with your leads and prospects. In order to retain and maintain customer interest, sales opportunity management practices always include following up on leads and outlining the successive stages of the approach.
When done right, effective opportunity management processes can revitalize enterprise operations and streamline the sales pipeline through the use of data metrics and logistical frameworks. This typically can’t be achieved manually but instead through the use of CRM software, which can help you operate and engage with customers in real-time while keeping up with the instantaneous changes affecting your market.