Hello from UK/Finland - question re. Opportunity vs. Task

Hi all,

I have used IS now for 1 and 1/2 years and feel like it is starting to get pretty good (it was good to start with, I just “inherited” a bit of a mess…).

Coming from sales manager role in a company using one the major CRM’s, I would typically create a workflow like " Lead - Contact - Qualify - Opportunity ".

I have had some rough time to get this working with IS (so it would be smooth operation). I can drop the tasks and opportunities there, but I seem to find that whichever way I do that, I just end up creating more work.

So this in mind, would it be feasible for a mainly online company, where most of the sales are online sales (but, 80% of those are a result of the calls and emails & email offers) to use the opportunities instead of tasks?. As at least if the tasks would be replaced by opportunities, we would have a much stronger forecasting and tracking?

Current flow is something like, lead (inbound) - task - call - decide the outcome - next contact - set the sequence.

Hope all this makes sense and you gives you all a bit better idea of my dilemma.

Cheers,

Pasi
If so, could be cheeky and ask a lesson where the opportunies

HI Pasi - here’s a little crash course on opportunities: http://www.monkeypodmarketing.com/opportunities-101/

In general, I use opportunities to track a process, normally an offline process. So, in a sense, it’s a way of tracking what has taken place offline.

And I use tasks when I need something offline to happen. If a human has to do it, I can create a task which notifies them, or prompts them to do something, and then they can mark the task as complete to let Infusionsoft know it’s done.

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Hi Greg,
Thank you for your reply and link. It was actually your opportunities101 blog (which, by the way, an epic guide to opportunities!), which got me thinking, that it may be an actually better way to make the flow.
Kind reverse engineering the whole IS process and see if you could drive the tasks from opportunities.
The whole point of this thinking is to keep the clicks and screen changes minimal, same time increase the forecasting (as for example, our business is quite low value and high(ish) volume, so less clicks is must).
In my mind (my boss cringes when he hears that…), this could be super simple. If we take any sales process, a standard would be something like this: Inbound lead, contact & qualify, the outcome of the contact&set the next step(s), possibly create an opportunity, work towards closing and finally closed (won or lost).
What I was thinking, was kind of ladder style opportunity flow, where the above steps could become the stages, maybe with some mandatory and voluntary actions for each stage/step.
One huge key difference between task and opportunity (for me), is the fact, that in the opportunity, it is easy to set the next task (same screen).
Also, as mentioned, the forecasting part should become much more robust this way (every sales manager & business owner should love that), as the forecasting will be updated automatically, based on the actions. Maybe also create just standard opportunities for bigger deals and sales (2nd opportunity list).
Hope this makes some kind of sense

Awesome! Well, I’m glad you had already found that blog post - and I appreciate the validation that it is indeed useful. :slight_smile:

A friend of mine (I think it was @Paul_Sokol) once told me that opportunities and tasks should rarely be used in tandem, and here’s why:

An Opportunity IS a task.

It’s basically a rolling task - the opportunities stage moves are benchmarks toward completion of the overall goal. So, if you’re creating tasks within the opportunity process, it usually means that someone isn’t doing their job, or you’re setting up redundant measures.

Now, there are exceptions to this - of course. It was helpful for me to start thinking about Opportunities as kind of an ‘ongoing’ task, with each stage being it’s own box to tick, indicating we’ve moved the needle that much further.

When you start to layer in the required items that you can add for each stage, it becomes a pretty robust tracking tool.

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Hey Greg,

Yep, the post is really good. Actually, I read and watched that your friend @Paul_Sokol guide earlier on today too and I wholeheartedly agree, that the tasks and opportunities should be used together.

And calling it a rolling task is a good way to put it. So it becomes a dynamic task, which is not over until the customer buys, drops out or decides not to buy (so by using right stages, we can use this to qualify and then close the sale too).

I will test this, to see, if this helps me to forecast the sales more accurately (I know there is a bunch of other stuff too, what could be used ie. Lead score, but for simplicity and for the speed of operation, I want to test this. I believe the task could be OK, but the problem is the extra clicks to the other screens).

As I am just sales manager (not a ninja, or a company owner) and look at the flow purely from the sales side, I want to make the sales flow as Robust, easy, fast as possible and so that the even the laziest and not the smartest salesperson provides the right data and follows the right steps.

I’ll keep you Ninja’s posted, how this works for me.

Thank you again for your help, Greg

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My pleasure! Cheers.

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Yay! Cool guys party!

:sunglasses:

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So, a few days in and I am kind of stuck. The idea of using opportunity as a default for hotter inbound leads, seems to be really good way to handle this. There are a couple of things, which I am not quite sure of, and think could make the system work even better.
First one is closing (Won) the opportunity by online sale (either IS, or API). Would you guys know, if this is possible?
Second, in the opportunity, what I am testing now, is a two tier (1st for qualifying, 2nd for actual opportunity) set up, helping me to monitor the progress and quality of leads, as well as the actual opportunities. Would you guys have any previous experience of this?
Cheers

So, 9 times out of 10, you WANT an opportunity stage move to be manual, because it represents something that happened offline, and forcing someone to do it manually gives you a certain level of accountability.

However, if a prospect has an open opportunity and then they end up purchasing, it makes a lot of sense to automatically move their opportunity to “won”. I get that.

There isn’t a native feature to accomplish this. But it can be done through the API, and specifically, a few tools have built in features that handle this.

FixYourFunnel Opportunity Advance Bot

API Guys Pocket Developer
https://theapiguys.com/plugins/?plugin=any-stage

Hey Greg, Thank you for the heads up for the external tools, that is pretty much what I thought. To be fair, this was a kind of good idea (to use the opportunity in two levels, first to qualify the lead and then as a real opportunity), but it simply does create too much work (although, same time, it would have given much more forecasting and predictability for the sales, as well as for the quality of the leads).
If any ideas or previous samples, how other guys handle the qualifying process, ideally with one step/click, would be more than welcome.

Cheers,

Pasi