You are probably aware that the Pipeliner CRM userUserUser means a person who uses or consumes a product or a service, usually a digital device or an online service. experience is constantly being expanded and enriched. We have just added a feature that users will find amazing: Opportunity Fitness.
How is fitness evaluated for an opportunity? Fitness answers questions such as: Is it ready to come in? Is something holding it up? What needs to occur for this opportunity to happen? What actions need to be taken?
We’re certainly going to reveal details of this exciting new innovation. But let’s first explore how other CRM systems approach this function, why we developed opportunity fitness in the way that we did, and how our method places us far ahead of our of competitors.
Artificial Intelligence Versus Endless Variations
Artificial intelligence (AI) functionality has been implemented by some CRM systems in an effort to accurately assess opportunity fitness. These systems seek to evaluate a deal and how hot or cold it is through complex algorithms. There are several problems with this approach.
Fitness for an opportunity, in actual fact, is going to vary for every industry. Beyond that, it will be different for every business. CRM developers are attempting to answer questions of deal readiness for every possible industry, every customerCustomerCustomer is an individual or an organization that purchases a product or signs up for a service offered by a business.—with a single set of algorithms. Given the endless variations of deal types and company types, just mathematically this cannot be accurately done.
You’ll even find variations throughout a single industry. Take manufacturing, for example—how many different kinds of manufacturing exist? What would be the considerable difference between manufacturing an automobile and manufacturing a coffee maker? How could the same deal evaluation possibly be applied to both?
Use of AI in Pipeliner CRM
We have written about AI and its overall relationship to sales at length. Several leading CRM developers have spent millions of dollars attempting to create AI that will literally replace salespeople so that they don’t have to actually sell. While this might work in lower-priced B2CB2CB2C is an acronym for Business-to-Consumer, a model for selling, relationship-building, or engagement. sales, AI cannot possibly succeed in B2BB2BB2B is an acronym for Business-to-Business, a model for selling, relationship-building, or engagement. selling. We honestly believe this approach is a dead end.
We have operated from the view that AI does not replace salespeople, but assists them. We earlier developed our own AI functionality with Pipeliner Voyager. It in no way attempts to replace the salesperson, and we will never develop AI for that purpose.
In examining current AI’s effectiveness, we can take playing a game of chess as an example. Yes, artificial intelligence is used and can be competitive in playing chess, but it still can be beaten by humans because AI cannot possibly be programmed for every single strategy that a player will take.
Pipeliner CRM Opportunity Fitness
Because AI cannot possibly demonstrate efficiency in every variation of deal evaluation, our Opportunity Fitness feature is a completely different approach than AI. We set out to create functionality that a company can use to evaluate the fitness of every one of its opportunities. It is a true game-changer for CRM.
Two different categories of fitness indicators are used to determine current opportunity fitness:
Default indicators predefined by Pipeliner
Custom indicators defined by a company
Utilizing extensive research along with decades of experience servicing our customers, we isolated 11 default indicators of opportunity fitness that can be utilized and tailored by most enterprises:
Closing date overdue
Low email outreach
Low engagementEngagementEngagement is the state or process of keeping a specific class of audience (employees, management, customers, etc.) interested about a company or brand and invested in its success because of its perceived relevance and benefits to the audience.
Many closing date updates
Moved to the previous step
Sales cycleSales CycleSales Cycle is a repeating process characterized by a predictable sequence of stages that a company undergoes as it sells its products and services to customers. overdue
Sales step velocity overdue
These indicators are flexible and can be tailored to the requirements of any particular business. Each indicator can be set for all pipelines, for a selected pipelinePipelineSales pipelineis a visual representation of the stage prospects are in the sales process., or for each stage of a particular sales processSales ProcessSales Process is a series of strategic steps or a set of activities aimed at driving sales growth through the alignment of personnel, market insight, methodologies, relevant business units, and technology.. For each indicator, different levels can be set to appear: “notice,” “pay attention,” or “take action.” These levels are customized by each company to the urgency of the indicator as it applies to a particular opportunity.
When enabled, these indicators will show up on any opportunity and inform salespeople and managers. They are set as risk factors, with increased risk as the level of the indicator moves higher.
Closing date overdue
Let’s take an example of the indicator “closing date overdue.” Using this indicator, a company can set different levels by how it views an overdue closing date. “Notice” might appear when a closing date is only a few days overdue. “Pay attention” might appear when a closing date is a few weeks overdue. If it’s nearly a month overdue—which may affect the overall sales statistics of the company for the sales period—”take action” could be set to appear. Or, the notifications could be set by sales stage: a deal falling behind in only the second stage of a sales process might only warrantWarrantWarrant refers to a contractual right entitling the holder to purchase shares in the issuing company during a specified period for a fixed amount, called exercise price. “notice” but by the time it reaches the next-to-last step, though, it’s time to “take action.”
“Value decrease” is another great example of how an indicator can be utilized.
At the beginning of a month, a salesperson (as many of them are) can be overconfident and claim a particular deal is worth $50,000 and will close by the end of the month. Near the month’s end, the sales managerSales ManagerSales Manager is an executive who leads a sales unit, team or department by setting goals and meeting targets, formulating plans and policies, designating tasks, and developing salespeople. comes along and asks about this deal. The salesperson says, “Oh, the prospect only wants half the licenses they originally wanted.” The deal has lost 50 percent of its value! This is a common occurrence.
This indicator can be set to various levels of alert based on a percentage of total value. For example, 5 percent might warrant a “notice” notification. 25 percent might cause the “pay attention” notice to appear. The “take action” notification might appear at 40 percent.
Sales process stage could also be used for this indicator. When a deal loses value in the first sales process step, it’s not a major issue for the company. But when it happens in the later stages, it’s a big issue with an impact on the sales team’s numbers. Earlier, you “notice,” midway through you “pay attention” and later you “take action.”
Our predefined indicators have been created as most likely for many organizations. We know, however, that not all companies are alike. Therefore, we have made it possible for enterprises to create totally customized indicators in addition to preset indicators, depending on their business model. They could, for example, create an indicator based on commissionCommissionCommission is the amount of money a sales professional earns for reaching a specific sales volume or for executing one or more business transactions., or many other variables or factors. In actual fact, customer indicators can be created from any field within each entity (“entity” is how we refer to individual Pipeliner functions: contact, leadLeadLead refers to a prospect or potential customer (who can be an individual or organization) that exhibits interest in your service or product; or any additional information about such entity., opportunity, accountAccountAccount refers to a record of primary and background information about an individual or corporate customer, including contact data, preferred services, and transactions with your company., task, or appointment).
Custom indicators can be applied in the same way as predefined indicators—to single process steps, to one or more selected pipelines, or to all pipelines.
This extremely flexible option provides endless possibilities for opportunity fitness assessment.
Fitness ratings for opportunities can be viewed in multiple ways. For example, you can use List View to see the fitness of every opportunity. Using Pipeliner’s Power Panel, you can filter opportunities within List View to see all of those that need action, or all that look good. You can view by any other indicator also.
Simply click on any opportunity to analyze its details, and determine a course of action.
A report can be created for all opportunities or a particular category, through Pipeliner’s dynamic reporting features. You can set up a report to be regularly generated and sent to your inbox, or distributed to managers or executives. To fully utilize this function, make sure to enable Pipeliner CRM Email Integration.
ForecastingForecastingForecasting is a prediction or calculation of a trend or event likely to occur in the future based on qualitative, quantitative and historical data as well as emergent but relevant factors. with Fitness
Today, sales and sales management are impossible without forecasting. Forecasts must be as accurate as possible—and with Opportunity Fitness, that accuracy is incredible.