Best practice question -

Some of our sale team put the sales call notes in “Notes” some in “Opportunities”. Which is best and easiest to track? I want to be able to quickly scan what they’ve been up to. Thoughts?

If they are storing these as “Notes” in the contact record “Note” section, you could easily throw together and save some Task/Note reports from your Admin>Reports, so that you could easily pull the data up and review it.

Great question for the community, though, as I know there are a few different ways that people set up reporting on this.

This largely depends on your sales process. Do you use opportunities? One thing is certain - you should choose a single method and make everyone stick to it - consistency in data is key for you to be able to easily find and work with it later in life.

Now, Opportunities are probably the correct place for sales notes IF you do opportunity based sales. For example, we do web design and mobile app development. If someone asks me for a website redesign, I create an opportunity for that. I then keep all notes on that opportunity there, as we may have a lot of discussions about that project. But, let’s say the client doesn’t buy, I close the opportunity, and I don’t think about it any more.

But, all notes I put into that opportunity (and it is critical that this is in the ‘Notes’ where you add a note - not the ‘next follow up’ text box) actually also show in the notes listing on the clients record - so there I have a complete history of contact, but, if later in life the contact asks for a mobile app, I can go to that opportunity, see just the discussions around that without actually having to look at all historical notes.

The thing is, Opportunities only work if you use them consistently. There is a bit more ‘time and understanding’ overhead to use opportunities correctly. But, if you use them, it is critical that everyone uses them, you set up your pipeline for tracking, and you have systems for use. Personally, I have a report called ‘Open Opportunities’ that sorts opportunities by status of Open and by ‘Next Action Date’ from soonest on. That way, I go to that report, start at the top, and work my way down until I am done all actions for today. As long as each time I deal with a record I leave a note and set a next action step, I never have to think about sales - the system handles it all for me (except the daily check, obviously).



i too agree that opportunities, stages, and next actions are the best practice. but i do get frustrated that the next actions do not have near the functionality as that of a Task. There is very little automation with Next Actions. I am grateful they show up on the “My Day” widget. But I wish you could create more than one next action at per opp, and that transitioning stages could auto-create a next action, and I wish they opportunities could be managed through the sidebar and calendar integration. This would remove many clicks and lower the chance for user error. i do not mean to be hypercritical, I am very grateful and pleased with IS. But, i am curious if you have the same frustrations and how you work with them? Thank you so much - proud user, Beau

HEY @Beau_Daggett, this is one of those situations where I’ve just learned to work inside the box. Sometimes that is the best you can achieve. Now, there are workarounds to what you want to achieve. For example, you can use an opportunity stage move to trigger a sequence. So, if you preferred to use tasks over the opportunity listing, you could always create a new task at each opportunity stage move.

The whole idea of opportunities, though, is that they are more manual - they are managed by people - if you don’t have people monitoring opportunities, I wouldn’t use opportunities at all, just a campaign with a bunch of tasks that as they get completed move people along your pipeline.

The way I use opportunities is for relationships where only personal communication is going to close the sale - so my ‘next action’ is always a call or email from me to the client either to follow up or take a step. So, instead of going to a calendar, I have an opportunity view where I sort by open opportunities with the next action date soonest to latest. If I look at that view once a day and do what needs to be done, I then am confident I’m on top of the sales process without having to clutter my calendar.