Best practices for Opportunity Pipeline Management

  • 23 October 2020
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Hi all,

I am in the middle of documenting and building out our Opportunity Pipeline Management. My reason for putting this post together is to share what steps I am taking and to better understand what others have done to manage opportunities. Hopefully many can benefit from this conversation…

My goal is to have multiple “layers” of Opportunities that when looked at holistically can be used to create a quarterly sales forecast. Since we provide custom and standard products, we will be tracking these through Opportunity Classes per below:

  • New Business: This class is for new business from both new and existing clients
    • Estimating Date: The date the order will be invoiced. We chose invoiced date (as opposed to booking date) so the timing is in alignment with our financial budgeting process
    • Amount: The amount of the first order
    • Attribute fields will be created to track market, industry, product category, Year 1, 2, & 3 projected revenues (this will help forecasting repeat business) etc. 
  • Repeat Business Forecasting: Most of our business repeats. Some multiple times per year, others every year and others every couple of years. Some clients have a single product with us, some have over 100 products with us. We are thinking of taking the below approach to capture these repeat revenue dollars in our pipeline 
    • Clients above X annual dollar amount
      • Create individual Opportunities for Year 1 & Year 2
      • Estimation Dates will set to place these opportunities in the correct year
      • Sales will develop a forecast number with the client for total business for each year. This won’t be a scientific number, but one with assumptions made where the past year(s) will guide us
      • The forecast will be divided by four to obtain a quarterly forecast
    • Clients below X annual dollar amount
      • Create two Opportunities (Year 1 & Year 2)  that will represent the total dollars for all clients under X annual dollar amount. 
        • A business account placeholder called “Forecast” will be created to place these  Opportunities within
      • Estimation Dates will set to place these opportunities in the correct year
      • The forecast will be divided by four to obtain a quarterly forecast
  • Repeat Business Quoting: This class will be used when updating pricing needs to be quoted to clients. Since the forecast dollars are captured in the “Repeat Business Forecast” class mentioned above, this class won’t be included in the total pipeline measurement. This class exists merely to have a record to manage the quoting and sales process

When you add New Business and Repeat Business Forecasting classes, we should end up with a total Opportunity Pipeline by dollars in quarterly buckets. 

 

Additional steps we will be including are;

  • Revenue delta analysis: Last Years Revenue vs. Forecasted Revenue vs. YTD Actual Revenue
  • Win/Loss tracking for both New Business and Repeat Business Quotin with the ability to filter wins/losses by market/Industry/product category

Again, please join in the conversation. A rising tide lifts all ships! 🙂

Thanks,
Ehren

 


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