Design/Setup Overview

Opportunity records are created for specific customers or contacts and assigned to a specific sales representative.  Opportunity records are organized by opportunity type.  The opportunity types are defined in and validated using a Generic Code (“Gencode”) table with the table name of “OPERTYPE”.

Each opportunity type has its own list of stages, which in turn each have their own list of actions.  This allows actions with the same name to be included in multiple stages and for different opportunity types.

Action records (“to do” items) are records that are used in several places in the system, and they can be linked to opportunities or to other data records (sales orders, incidents, repair orders, etc).  Actions are also defined and validated using a Gencode table (ACTIONS).  Actions records can be assigned to different types of resources.  These resources can include sales reps, operators (who are not also sales reps) or virtual operators or groups of operators (queues).  This allows actions to be processed by individuals, or to be assigned to and handled by departments, (such as the literature, repairs, or telemarketing departments) when the actual person doing the task is not critical (get it done using the first available body).

Stages are used to link Opportunities and Actions.  Stages are specific to each opportunity type and they are defined in and linked to the type using records in the Longcode file.  There are two types of Longcode records that contain the stage information  

      The “OPERSTAG” Longcode records are used to define the stages for a specific opportunity type.  The OPERSTAG records store the Opportunity Type, the Stage Code, and the Stage Description for each opportunity type.  These records also contain a numeric field that is used to define the sequence in which each stage should be completed for a given opportunity type.

      The “OPERACTN” Longcode records are used to link the opportunity types and stages to the specific actions for each stage.  These records store the Opportunity Type, the Opportunity Stage, the Action within the stage and the sequence in which each action should be completed.  These records also store an optional description and assignee code that is specific to the combination.

The records in the Longcode file define the relationships between the opportunity types, stages, and the actions within each stage.  This design allows for flexibility when defining how each opportunity type is processed.  Stages are not assigned to anyone in your company as they represent a step or stage in the sales cycle and not a specific action to be completed.  The stages are not controlled by a separate table as they are used to link the opportunity types to the specific actions needed to process that type.

The “OPERACTN” Longcode records used by the Opportunity System each contain a unique combination of an opportunity type, a stage, and an action.  Each of these Longcode records also allows you to define specific descriptions and assignees for any given type/stage/action combination.  This information is optional.  It is used when the fields are loaded, and if the fields are not loaded, the system looks to the action record to determine who is responsible for the processing the action and what the specific description of the action is.

The optional description and assignee in each Longcode record allows you to maintain a minimum number of actions records and to use these action records for several different type/stage/action combinations.  For example, you may have an action called “SENDLIT” and this action may require you to send different pieces of literature based on the combination of the type and stage that you are dealing with (i.e. a hardware or a labor price list based on a hardware or service opportunity type)..  This requirement could be handled in two ways. 

6.  One option is to add a specific description to the Longcode record for the type/stage/action combination (i.e. send hardware price list, or send labor price list).  In this case, the Longcode description is used for the action that is created and the same “SENDLIT” action code is used in both Longcode records during setup. 

7.  Another way to accomplish the same goal would be to have a separate action record for the two types of literature to be mailed (i.e. “SENHWPL”, “SENDLPL”)   these two different actions records would have specific descriptions that indicate the actual documents to be delivered). These descriptions would be contained in the Gencode ACTIONS table records themselves.

The assignee logic works in the same manner.  If a specific operator or queue is defined in the Longcode OPERACTN record being used, the action is assigned to that operator or queue when the action is created.  If the OPERACTN record does not contain an operator or queue, the system assigns the action based on the information in the Gencode record that defines the Action itself.   If the assignee is not specified in the Gencode Action record, the action is assigned by loading the initials of the operator creating the action.


Processing Flow