Introduction to Sales Cycle
Sales Cycle plays a critical role in Customer Relationship Management. It is critical in a way because it is the initial point of contact for any customer. For any CRM application it is important to understand the Sales Cycle. The Sales Cycle starts from Prospecting and ends when a deal is closed and the revenue is realized.
There are various steps involved in an end-to-end Sales Cycle.
- Prospecting:It involves creating the target database.
- Lead Generation: A lead is an expressed interest shown by the prospects. It is used by a sales agent to determine whether there is a potential for some sales opportunity.
- Opportunity Creation: nce a lead is qualified, an opportunity is created.
- Quote Generation: Sales agent prepare quotes to communicate prices, discounts and special offers that are associated with a product/service which is part of a sale.
- Order Creation:Once the quote is accepted it is converted into an order.
- Closure:The deal is closed once the order is created.
The Sales Cycle may differ to some extent depending upon the type of business. But a typical sales cycle would follow the above mentioned steps.
Mapping the Sales Cycle with SIEBEL Sales Application
Following are the important business entities involved in Siebel Sales Application:
The lead that is generated through various sources is captured in Accounts screen. It captures the details like – Account Name, Address, Status of the Account (i.e. whether the Account is active/inactive, Qualified, contract pending etc), Account Type (i.e. whether the Account holder is an existing customer, Business, Competitor or Vendor etc.) within the Account Screen.
The Accounts Screen is then linked to Opportunities, Contacts and Quotes.
The Opportunities Screen will have the details such as opportunity name, account name to which it is associated, revenue that could be generated from the opportunity, sales stage (prospecting, qualification, closing, lost), name of sales team, lead quality(excellent, very high, high, fair, poor) etc.
The Contacts Screen will have details such as name of the person, phone number, job title, name of the account, address etc. The Quotes Screen will have details related to the quotes that have been generated for a particular order.
The quotes may undergo some iteration if there is any negotiation between the two parties. A Quote Screen will typically have the Quote name & number, Revision, date of creation, name of the account to which it is associated, name of sales rep, Status (whether the quote is approved, accepted, in-progress, active etc.)
Advantages of Siebel Sales Application
Following are the advantages of Siebel Sales Application:
- Siebel Sales simplifies and optimizes the task of planning and managing the sales process by providing complete visibility into the sales cycle, helping companies to plan and manage effective selling activities.
- By bringing business activity information closer to the user, displayed in one place, sales people can find what they need to work on and then quickly navigate to that object within the application.
- Each organization may use slightly or sometimes greatly different terminology. Often applications will use industry standard terminology that is not necessarily applicable to a particular organization. Customization allows each customer to use their own chosen terminology. This way it cuts down on time that is required to train users on what each field is for and thus allowing for a more seamless transition to a new application.