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Raegan HillRaegan Hill 

When Do You Use Opportunities in the Sales Process?

I have thousands of prospects in my database that I want to start calling on. They are already contacts associated with Accounts. What is the best practice for this? Should I create an opportunity for reach prospect I want to call on and put the opportunity in the Prospecting stage, even though I don't yet even know if they need my services? I'm struggling with understanding the best way to manage a brand new sales funnel - before you actually know if there is a need for your service. Thank you!
Amit Singh 1Amit Singh 1
Hello Regan,

Opportunities are deals in progress. In Salesforce you can create opportunities for existing accounts or by converting a qualified lead. Let’s explore how you can use opportunities to track your deals, better understand whom you’re selling to, and focus your team’s efforts. 

Accounts and Contacts are active, working or closed relationships. As a general rule Accounts represent the company and Contacts represent the employee/person from that company. 

Yes, you need to create an opportunity for every prospect that you need to call and make the stage of opportunity as the prospect.
Also, refer below link for more info
Amit Chaudhary 8Amit Chaudhary 8
What is a Record Type?

Allows you to define different sets of picklist values for both standard and custom picklists
Record Types help you implement your custom business processes

Why use Record Types?
To segment picklist values specific to business needs
Examples: segment by division, product line, or region
Easier administration – fewer fields to maintain

Business Process

What is a Business Process?
•Allows you to track separate sales, support, and lead lifecycles across different divisions, groups, or markets
Available Business Processes:

--> Sales Processes - Create different sales processes that include some or all of the picklist values available for the Opportunity Stage field
--> Support Processes - Create different support processes that include some or all of the picklist values available for the Case Status field
--> Lead Processes - Create different lead processes that include some or all of the picklist values available for the Lead Status field
--> Solution Processes - Create different solution processes that include some or all of the picklist values available for the Solution Status field

Sales Process is mandatory for creating Record Type in Opportuity. Sales Process is used to create and maintain the Sales Processes used within our organization. A Sales Process contains the Stages an Opportunity follows through its sales cycle.

In order to create Sales Process, follow the below steps
1. Go to App Setup --> Customize --> Opportunity --> Sales Processes.
2. Click "New" button.
3. Enter the Sales Process name and click "Save" button.
4. Select the required Stage values and click "Save" button.
5. Now create a Record Type.
6. Select the Sales process in Record Type creation and save the Record Type.

Please check below post for screen shot
1) http://www.infallibletechie.com/2013/04/sales-processes-in-opportunity-in.html
2) https://certifiedondemand.com/salesforce-com-certified-administrator/sales-cloud/sales-processes-and-opportunity-fields-in-salesforce-how-does-it-all-fit-together/

I will recomment you please check below trailhead module for more information
1) https://developer.salesforce.com/trailhead/en/admin_intro_opptys_leads/admin_intro_opptys_leads_opportunities

Please let us know if this will help you
Raegan HillRaegan Hill
I understand Opportunities and have reviewed all the links provided above by Amit Chaudhary 8 and Amit Singh 1. The challenge I'm having is I already have tons of Contacts created that are associated to Accounts. These contacts are decision makers and they have not been called on ever. So if they are already Contacts, why would I create a Lead Record? How do I manage the sales process of the cold Contacts? Do I create an opportunity for reach one and call it opp_Prospecting for the subject because I don't yet know if there are any business needs? Amit Singh 1 said above that I should have an Opportunity record for every Contact I cold call. Is that so even if I don't yet know if there is a need for my services? Again, note that these are contacts ALREADY in my database associated to accounts. They are not "Leads" - many of these Contacts know of me. I imported them from a previous database I had. I need to start calling on them or emailing them but I don't know if I should create an Opportunity Record for each cold call or wait until they respond with interest and THEN create an Opportunity Record? If I wait until they respond with interest, WHERE and HOW do I manage my activity with that Contact so I know where I am in the prospecting process? I hope this makes sense. Thank you for your input.
David Franco 7David Franco 7
Hi Raegan. I know this is an old post but wanted to get some more information out there. In your situation, it's very common to take 1 of 2 approaches. The first appraoch would be to export a list of the contacts and the appropriate detail and to reload into your system as leads. This is an old approach and doesn't really align with many of today's best practices. The second approach is to create a campaign and load your prospects into the campaign as a chohort. This allows you to track metrics against this prospecting effort.

Additionally, you need to define what your criteria are for generating an opportunity in your system. Just because there's a stage called prospect/prospecting doesn't mean you should plug all prospects into your opportunity pipeline. Additionally, that process is not inline with many best practices as the prospects in questions just sound like leads and as you mentioned have not yet been qualified.

In the orgs I've managed prospects/leads are kept out of the opportunity pipeline. Once a prospect/lead has been qualified and has been determined to be interested, it's then converted into an opportunity at the earliest stage, which is something along the lines of Qualified / SQL.

I hope this answer isn't too late to be helpful. Feel free to message me directly if you have questions or need detail on specific steps.
Harsh Agrawal 7Harsh Agrawal 7

It only makes sense to create an opportunity if the deal maker is on the Salesforce platform. For example, if the Dealer is not available on the system and has a separate Dealer Management System, why do we need to create an opportunity at all? Leads could be forwarded to the Dealers and the Dealers could work with those leads and update the lead status as required. However, if the dealer is on Salesforce using for example partner community, then it makes sense to have the Opportunity in place, of course, because with the introduction of opportunity, you can work with many other objects and features. 

copied - By adding opportunities, you are also building your “pipeline,” which will contribute to your forecast. You can also link opportunities to campaigns to help measure the ROI of your marketing programs. In addition, you can create quotes, which show proposed prices for products and services, from an opportunity.