Before you can start using sales opportunities, you must set up sales cycles and sales cycle stages. A sales cycle is made up of a series of stages that go from the initial contact to the closing of a sale. Each stage can have certain requirements that must be met, such as requiring a sales quote, before an opportunity can go to the next stage. You can also specify whether a stage can be skipped. You can setup as many sales cycles as you need, and you can set up as many sales cycle stages as necessary within a sales cycle.
Implementing opportunity sales cycles involves setting up the sales cycle, defining the different stages of the cycle, and then assigning the cycle to opportunities. Assigning the relevant activity or tasks to the opportunity may also be part of setting up a sales cycle.
This topic also describes how to set up tasks and activities, and how to assign tasks to activities. For more information, see the "To set up activities with tasks" section.
To set up opportunity sales cycle codes
- Choose the icon, enter Sales Cycles, and then choose the related link. The Sales Cycles window opens, and lists all the existing sales cycles.
- Choose the New action, and fill in the fields as necessary. Choose a field to read a short description of the field or link to more information.
Repeat these steps to set up as many sales cycles as you want. After you have set up opportunity sales cycles, you may want to set up the different stages within each cycle.
To define opportunity sales cycle stages
- In the Sales Cycles window, select the opportunity sales cycle for which you want to set up stages, and then choose the Stages action. The Sales Cycle Stages window opens.
- Choose the New action to enter a new stage in the sales cycle.
Repeat these steps to set up as many stages as you want within the sales cycle.
To assign stage cycles to opportunities
After you add the opportunities stage cycle, you can start to add sales opportunities, and then assign the stage cycle to opportunities by setting the Sales Cycle Code field. For more information, see How to: Create Sales Opportunities.
To set up activities with tasks
You can combine multiple task, for example tasks that each represent a step, in activities. Activity tasks are related to each other by a date formula. You can assign activities to opportunities, salespeople, or contacts.
- Choose the icon, enter Activities, and then choose the related link.
- Choose the New action, and fill in the fields as necessary.
- On the Lines FastTab, fill in the fields as necessary to define one or more tasks in the activity.
To assign tasks or activities of tasks to opportunities
When you have set up a task, you can assign it to a sales opportunity and thereby assign the activity that the task belongs to.
This procedure describes how to assign activity tasks to opportunities. the steps are similar when you assign tasks to salespeople and contacts.
- Choose the icon, enter Opportunities, and then choose the related link.
- Select an opportunity, and then choose the Tasks action.
- In the Task List window, choose the Create Task action.
The Create Task window, fill in the fields as necessary.
Notice in the Opportunity field, that it is automatically assigned to the opportunity in question.
- Choose the OK button.
- In the Task List window, select the new task, and then choose the Assign Activities action.
- In the Assign Activity window, fill in the fields as necessary, and then choose the OK button.