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The Best Ways to Use and Customize Opportunities

An opportunity in Close.io is defined as the deal that you are working on for a given lead. A rep creates an opportunity for a lead once they have qualified the lead. For more on how to qualify a lead, take a look at this blog post. Every Opportunity created will appear on the Opportunities page (located under the Inbox) to show projected, won, and lost revenue values.
 
When you add an opportunity, there are a number of opportunity fields that are customizable. Opportunity Status, Confidence level, and Value are essential fields to understand and utilize.

Opportunity Status
To create the right statuses for your business, think about the steps that are typically necessary to close the deal. Here are some suggestions for statuses based on your business type and sales cycle:

To create a custom status, you must name the status and choose a status type (active, won, or lost). It’s important to choose the correct status type so Close.io knows how to enter them in the Reporting and Opportunities pages. The order in which you add the status is the order in which the statuses will appear in Close.io, but you can drag and drop to reorder these. An opportunity must remain in a status for one hour in order to that status to be recorded within Close.io and reported on.



 Best Practices: Keep your statuses simple. Here at Close.io, we use the “SaaS Simple” example above. Using simple statuses makes it more likely that reps will actually move each opportunity through the statuses, ensuring better visibility for forecasting and reporting.

Mistakes to Avoid: Avoid creating a “Customer” or a “Cancelled” opportunity status. These statuses should be created as lead statuses in order to keep opportunity values accurate.

 
Confidence Level and Value

We created Confidence Level as a way for reps to individually indicate their opinion on the opportunity’s likelihood of closing. The range of confidence level is from 0-100%. “Won” opportunity statuses have an automatic confidence level of 100%, while “Lost” opportunity status are set at 0%.

You can assign Monthly, Annual, or One-time Values for opportunities within Close.io. The confidence level and value are multiplied to populate the “Expected Value” field on the Opportunity view page, creating a weighted pipeline value. For example, if I am 35% confident that a $1000 monthly deal will close, Expected Value will equal $350/monthly.
 

Best Practice for capturing additional opportunity types: If you sell monthly agreements with set up fees, the best way to capture this is to create two opportunities on the lead, one as a monthly opportunity and one as a one-time opportunity. It’s also possible to create more than one opportunity on a lead to track an upsell, cross-sell, or additional product sale.
 
Opportunity Page

Every opportunity rolls up to the opportunity page, located on the left hand menu of Close.io under the Inbox link. This opportunity page, or pipeline view, shows all opportunities that have been created in your organization and allows you to filter by opportunity status, status type, opportunity owner, or time period. The Opportunities page, or pipeline view, is critical to analyzing and measuring a salesperson’s success.

The opportunity page is a great forecasting tool. Use the time filters to see how many opportunities closed last month or last quarter and how many opportunities you had overall. This can help you answer the question on how many you’ll need in the time period ahead to achieve your goals. For more best practices on pipeline review meetings, check out this blog post.

The "Group by" and “Sort by” drop downs on the opportunity page work together to help you organize the report based on the factors that are most important to you. You can “Group by” a week, month, quarter, year or user. You can “Sort by” time, value, user, or confidence level. The value of each grouping is calculated at the top. The total value section adds up the revenue for all opportunities selected and the expected value section multiplies the value of the opportunity by the confidence level percentage.

For example, at Close.io we prefer to organize our “Group by” category to look at opportunities on a weekly basis. We then “Sort by” close date to see those weekly opportunities organized by the most recent close date. Then, on a Monday, we look at our first "grouping", all opportunities scheduled to close that week, and work those opportunities for close. On Wednesday we check in to ask ourselves if we have made progress towards closing the deal, and Friday, we need to either mark the deal as Won or Lost or push out the closing date.