Tracking large opportunities as a parent to smaller future opportunities

By - July 16, 2013

We have had a few clients over the past several years using Microsoft Dynamics CRM that have struggled trying to manage opportunities around government agencies where there is an original large opportunity for the client to do business with the agency, but the real ‘win’ is made up of the smaller opportunities over the next several years.  I hope to make this clearer in my example below.

Our client does business with government agency X.  Our client has pursued and won an opportunity to do $1 million in business with government agency X.  This work has not been defined and in fact, our client will have to go and find this work within government agency X.  If our client doesn’t find this work by the time the contact for $1 million is done, our client leaves this money on the table.

Dynamics CRM did a good job in tracking the original opportunity for $1 million.  Where things were falling short is tracking the smaller pursuit opportunities that make up that $1 million opportunity.  The result is a large funnel that was viewed as won, but in the end, this money did not materialize.

Our solution was to create a custom entity that, when won, housed the $1 million opportunity.  We called this custom entity ‘Contract’ even though this was not the out of the box contract entity.  When an opportunity was marked as a ‘Contract’ opportunity and the opportunity was won, we had workflow to move the relevant information from the opportunity to the contract.  This information included the name of the contract, the actual revenue value, effective date of the contract and the expiration of the contract.  All these fields were added to the opportunity as well as the checkbox to signify that this opportunity would generate a contract.  In addition to inserting a record into the contract entity, we also modified the won opportunity to be an actual revenue value of 0, so this would not skew the pipeline.

One additional field added to the opportunity is a lookup to the contract entity.  This would allow a sales rep to link a new smaller opportunity to the contract.  This allows management to track the pursuit opportunities against the larger contract.  Reporting has been developed to allow management to see how much is left on a contract to direct the pursuit of the additional monies on the contract.

All in all, this solution has worked very well.  There were some minor hurtles in training the sales reps, but when the reps understood the underlying reason for these customizations, there was strong user acceptance.

This configuration was created in Microsoft Dynamics CRM for government agencies but could used in other industries with similiar sales scenarios.  If you would like more information about this custom entity or have needs for configuring your Dynamics CRM system, contact our professionals at crm@mcgladrey.com or by phone at 855.437.7202.

By: Bob Kanzler – Microsoft Dynamics CRM partner in New Jersey

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