Often, that which appears straightforward, becomes very complicated. On the train this morning, three school kids were debating whether a BMW with M3 seats is an M3 even if the engine isn’t an M3 engine. I wasn’t particularly interested in the content of the heated exchange however it did highlight how the boundaries between concepts may become blurred.
A CRM example of this type of confusion as to when one concept starts and ends is with Leads and Opportunities; just when does a Lead become an Opportunity and what is the difference between the two.
JP Seabury provides a nice analogy explaining the difference in relation to SalesForce.com:
Lead = Something swimming in your favorite fishin’ hole.
Contact = Fish.
Account = School of Fish.
Opportunity = Fishing rod.
Closed/Won Opportunity = Lunch.
Closed/Lost Opportunity = The one that got away.
Campaign = Planning and preparation for the big fishing trip.
and Konstantin, in his article ‘Lead Generation Forms with WordPress and SugarCRM’ provides:
If you’re a sales guy, you probably know what leads are. If you’re not, I’ll explain my understanding of it. A lead is a subset of information details about somebody, who in some way or another, is interested in your product or service. The minimum set for a lead would be a name and a phone number or an e-mail address. The maximum could be the inquiry description, budget, tonnes of contacts and more. Once a lead is processed and the person inquiring is still interested (perhaps after a phone call), it’s converted into an Opportunity, and that’s why there are Leads and Opportunities in basically every CRM system.