An opportunity is a potential sale, similar to a lead, but with an opportunity you can forecast revenue, set a potential close date, and factor in a probability for the sale. You must link a new opportunity to an existing account or contact, and price list. This is needed for the automated pricing of products that interest the opportunity.
Using opportunities, you can run pipeline reports on estimated revenue based on pending new sales.
Creating and Converting Opportunities
You can create a new opportunity, or convert one from a qualified lead without re-entering the data. When you convert a qualified lead to an account, contact, or opportunity, you can access the lead record, which includes activities and notes, from the corresponding opportunity form.
You cannot convert an opportunity to a lead; you can only close opportunities.
In an opportunity you can track contact information, the salesperson working on the opportunity, the probability of closing the sale, and the projected closing date of the sale.
Understanding How Accounts, Contacts, Leads, and Opportunities Relate
Account and contact records represent established customers. Leads are potential or prospective customers. Opportunities are not a specific customer, such as a lead, contact, or account, and therefore require a customer record to be added to the opportunity.
When you add a product to an opportunity, the opportunity's estimated revenue value is calculated based on the base price, volume discounts, manual discounts, taxes, and other pricing modifications for the product.
Typically, you will update the estimated revenue value of an opportunity by saving, closing, and reopening it, but you can also do this by manually recalculating the value. Recalculations are not saved unless you save and close the opportunity.
You can create a relationship between opportunities, accounts, or contacts; specify the type of relationship between them; and define the relationship role that the account or contact has with regard to the opportunity.
The relationship role assigned to the associated account or contact determines how the account or contact affects, influences, or contributes to the opportunity.
Adding Sales Transactions
You can start a sales transaction, such as a quote, order, or invoice, from within the opportunity record. The advantage of starting sales transactions in this manner is that much of the information is automatically entered based on the opportunity data. You can also view any sales transaction records from within the opportunity record to track the overall sales process and expected revenue. You cannot convert an opportunity to an order, quote, or invoice, but you can associate the opportunity to these records.
Opportunities can be linked with competitor information and analyzed to identify the most effective selling strategies. If you determine that the competitor you have associated with an opportunity is no longer a threat to making the sale, you can disassociate that competitor from the opportunity without deleting the competitor record from Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online.