Salesforce Contact Roles Orient Your Team

The Salesforce.com Opportunity record keeps the details of a deal together. This should be customized to capture all the details for closing a sale. This can include:

  • Information about the deal
  • Files supporting the sale
  • Pipeline and probability information
  • Activities with people

One of the important parts to keep your team coordinated is understanding who is involved in the deal. These are known as Contact Roles. These are the people involved in making the Opportunity happen. This orients your team to who the people are for success. Here are some of the roles to consider within the context of an Opportunity.

  • Decision Maker: The person who has the final say
  • Influencer: A person who informs the decision maker on your value
  • Technical Buyer: This is typically someone evaluating your product or service from the technical aspect
  • User: This is an end user of your product or service. Their opinion is relevant for the Decision Maker to examine productivity gains.
  • Economic Buyer: This person is looking for the ROI
  • Referrer: This is a role which brought the Opportunity and referred the customer. You can look at their Contact record and see all of the referrals they had made by the associate Opportunities.
  • Partner: This is any partner that is part of fulfilling the expectations of the deal that may be used. An attorney, designer or third-party that will service the Opportunity should be labeled as such.
  • Vendor: This can be a supplier of a standard product or service to the Opportunity.
  • Project Manager: This is a post-sales role of the person that may be interfacing with your team.

The roles which will be relevant to your process will be specific to what is involved in how your business works. Think these through and capture them. Ensure your team captures each role and then associates the respective Contacts to the Opportunity record. This will provide a complete picture of who is involved.

With the respective data relationships, each Contact record in turn will reflect the Opportunities that they are a part of as well to provide context for how Contacts relate to deals. It’s an important area I work through with Salesforce consulting clients.

What are some Contact Roles relevant in your world?

Salesforce Opportunity Contact Roles

Salesforce.com Opportunity records constitute the building blocks of your sales pipeline and forecasting.  Each deal past, present and future should contain all the relevant information for a first sales opportunity or an upsell opportunity.  Accounts can and should have multiple opportunities associated with it based on each and every deal your team is able to work with prospects and customers.

As the deal moves through its stages, more details are captured including:

  • Customized fields
  • Activity History
  • Open Activities
  • Documents
  • Related Objects
One of the areas which are important to help coordinate team selling is mapping the Opportunity based on Contact Roles.  These are the people in the Account as well as any relevant partners to the deal.  The Opportunity ties together the details of what makes the deal work and how to proceed to win the Opportunity as well as service the customer.
In the Contact Roles section, be sure to use this as part of your Salesforce.com strategy to manage individual Opportunities.  This requires setting up the Contact Roles in your Salesforce.com customization.  Your industry will have its own set of .  Here are some which are relevant:
  • Decision Maker
  • Influencer
  • Partner
  • Legal Counsel
  • Spouse
  • Executive Sponsor
  • Technical Resource
The types of Contact Roles will vary widely.  You can start with an initial setup and expand these as your Opportunities involve more types of people.  The key concept is to capture the types of functions involved with an Opportunity record.  This enables you to see the people that are involved.
After the jobs have been identified, be sure to select the Primary Contact within the list of Contact Roles.  This will help identify who the main person in the engagement for anyone on your team.  Each deal for an Account may have different Primary Contacts depending on what the deal is and which department or focus you are engaging.
Opportunities are focused on a goal – closing and winning a sale.  Knowing the layout of the people involved helps to orient you quickly as well as drive focus on the respective communications and actions necessary to drive the Opportunity.  Taking a quick look at the Contact Roles in an Opportunity record can help keep the relevant sales activities in your sales process top of mind as the names and relationships prompt effective next steps.
How are you using Contact Roles to help close sales?
Need help setting up your sales process? Get Salesforce consulting help.

Anyone Could Do That

Go to the grocery store and buy all the ingredients you will need. Next, go to Williams and Sonoma and get the best cookware and utensils. Sit in front of the television and take careful notes. Mimic the cook and see if your dinner dish comes out as succulent as you saw.

Are you now a world class cook? Now that you have all the required tools, accessories and instructions, can you serve in the finest restaurants? How about if you read the manual, a good cook book?

What makes a world class cook? If we break down all the elements to their sterile descriptions as we illustrated here, we get a picture, but not necessarily the essence of what it takes to be a gourmet chef. No, there is a much larger price to pay for such excellence that people praise and have demand for. Continue reading

Leaders Decide

“There are really only two ways to approach life, as a victim or as a gallant fighter, and you must decide if you want to act or react, deal your own cards or play with a stacked deck. And if you don’t decide which way to play with life, it always plays with you. ” – Merle Shain

How good are you at making decisions? Do you still have the bad habits of a ninth grader? You might recall that typical conversation. Your friends are in a circle. Someone asks, “So what do you want to do?” Blankly staring and compliant, everyone bleats, “I dunno. Whatever.”

Finally, someone asserts themselves. You know, the same person that always does – the leader, “Let’s go see the late show.” Everyone else follows along. Continue reading

When Preparation Meets Opportunity

In our last ezine article we wrote about how to outlast your competition. Some of our readers found a discretionary point in the content. The idea of luck may or may not resound with you. Let me take this opportunity to talk about the idea of luck.

I share the same definition as Oprah on this one: “Luck is when preparation meets opportunity.” Some people believe it is all preparation; others believe it is all about opportunity. I think it is the convergence of both.

It is likely that you missed a lot of opportunities in the last 30 days because you were not prepared to take advantage of them. It is also likely that you have prepared and may have had a “build it and they will come” mentality. The problem is, you may have built it for the wrong opportunity. Continue reading

Separating From Your Competition

Phil is sitting in my office with complete determination that he is going to do whatever it takes to grow his business. We have the typical conversation. He believes he brings a lot of value to his customers. I agree with him. People need the service he has to offer. I ask him a simple question, “So how much would you like to make in a year?”

He pauses, looks down, then answers, “I would be happy with $200,000.”

“Great. Now how much would you spend to make $200,000?” I ask.

He answers, “I don’t know. Maybe $5,000” Continue reading