Goals & Opportunity Management


How far are forecasts vs actual revenue?

Ever notice that companies who don’t used an organized approach to track their sales team’s performance through pipelines and forecasting are not as successful? This is not by coincidence. Microsoft Dynamics CRM has a solution that benefits organizations by controlling a sales team’s opportunity entry, tracking, and forecast reporting processes. Having a mandated, uniform opportunity tracking process that all sales reps adhere to makes it much easier for sales managers and executive management to analyze sales performance and discuss the firm’s short-term health.

It is vital that every company has a defined and well thought out sales process strategy in order for them to get to their highest “success potential”. Too often, managers send their sales reps out in the field blindly, without a plan, resulting in them targeting the wrong audience, resulting in them never truly understanding the root of their customers “pain” or the ways to solve it. To really get a handle on sales process mapping, there are four best practices that every company should follow.

First, it is important to find your potential customers and assist them in becoming aware of how your organization might be of value to them. Once that is done, qualifying must take place so you can understand their business well enough to help the decision maker’s realize how you can solve their business problems. Once that is completed, you should make a point to recognize the customer’s application requirements well enough to credibly demonstrate to them that your solution is the best one for their needs. Lastly, it is time to deliver what you promised so the customer can achieve the business results they have come to expect through gaining knowledge of your products and services along the way.

Understanding your potential buyer is a critical element in the buying process that, unfortunately, gets frequently overlooked. The first part of any relationship is to know what “drives” your buyer and what his or her interests are. Chasing potential buyers who you know nothing about will be challenging for even the most skilled sales rep. With that said, it is imperative that the leads are narrowed down and that they fit into a logical bucket so both time and corporate funds are not wasted.

Any great sales department, in any vertical or industry, starts with quality leads so they can close the gap on sales cycles that can be time and resource intensive. Reach for the Clouds, Inc.’s team has decades of experience bringing organizations to market and achieving success through buy-outs and acquisitions. If you are looking to revamp your sales department and want to learn how to analyze your potential customers buying patterns to benefit your organization in every way possible, let Reach for the Clouds, Inc. assist.

It is always beneficial to know where you are in the sales process with a particular customer or, in other words, how far away are you from sending along an Invoice and closing the sale. In Microsoft Dynamics CRM, there is a tool called Business Process Flows (BPFs) which is meant to help guide the user through a business process from within your internal system. It is here where they can define which stage of the sales cycle you are at with a particular customer. Stages are displayed visually in your CRM in the form of a heading across the top of an entity form where the user can see which steps they need to complete before they proceed to the next stage in the process.

Taking the guessing out of sales by having an action item associated with each sales stage certainly helps management with their forecasts. BPFs require users to complete certain steps before completing the process and if needed it allows users to jump stages. With this guide, everyone knows where you are with a particular customer pertaining to the life of the sale. There is no guesswork or exaggeration, just plain facts!

You know your company is on the right track if management is strategically having their sales reps follow a well-defined sales process. People need to be managed by the numbers so they can embrace their successes and learn from their shortcomings. A profitable, healthy organization will implement an effective sales pipeline that details each reps potential “win” step by step from the initial contact to the close of the deal. Microsoft Dynamics CRM has a fully customizable pipeline management and forecasting software that will align your sales processes with your customers’ decision-making methods to eliminate any uncertainty along the way.

By accurately tracking and forecasting sales revenue through this real-time CRM software, you can be assured that everyone on your sales team is productive and working for the best interest of your organization. Having a holistic view of exactly what is going on in your pipeline is a guarantee that measuring performance and productivity will never be easier. Now, you will have the ability to target the right audience and generate the right leads so there is no time wasted. With Dynamics reporting, you can accurately predict sales revenue, concentrate on the most sensible marketing strategies and target profitable industries.

Sales pipeline and forecast reports noted by month, quarter, year, salesperson, region, product and sales stage, along with visual BI dashboards, will transform Dynamics CRM data into graphical reports and analytics that will support informed, agile decision making.

It is not a secret that salespeople can be eternal optimists when it comes to their forecast reporting, convincing everyone around them that every deal they are working on will definitely close. It is because of their “grass is always greener” attitude that they are good at their roles, but since we don’t live in a perfect world, the chances a 100% close rate is pretty much slim to none. For the person responsible for projecting your organization’s sales, the risks can be high if they only have exaggerated verbal commitments of the sales reps, or unstructured Excel sheets that are susceptible to human error, to count on when doing their forecasts.

As long as you take advantage of the sales tools that Dynamics offers, there should be no reason for not being able to produce a forecasting report that you are confident in. This CRM solution enables you to review and manage open opportunities and get accurate numbers as long as the Business Process Flows are being utilized as they should be. The truth is that accurate forecasting produces credible results!

By incorporating Microsoft Dynamics CRM into your business practices and taking advantage of all of its reporting features, you now can easily analyze historical data to determine future probabilities. While this isn’t a surefire way to know exactly what will happen in the future, it is a great method to use to forecast what might happen in the future with an acceptable level of reliability. Analyzing current data and historical facts in order to better understand customers, products and partners and to identify potential risks and opportunities for a company, is just plain smart.

With all the functionalities that Dynamics provides, it is so easy to extract information from existing data sets in order to detect patterns within customer information streams. Analysts can feel confident when putting together intelligent future business forecasts and can now generate strong recommendations as it relates to the prediction of future outcomes and trends.



Microsoft Dynamics CRM is built on reliable, industry-standard technology and is an adaptable and affordable CRM system that can grow and change with your business. The new online subscription model allows you to add and drop users when needed and is a pay as you go model.

Reach for the Clouds, Inc. can seamlessly transition your business over to Dynamics, giving you more marketing, sales, account management, data compilation and social tracking features than ever before. The powerful new version of this software boasts a host of upgraded features which can be an invaluable resource for driving increased sales and customer retention rates.There are many reasons as to why an organization should choose Dynamics CRM based on such criteria as cost, office integration, document management, expandability, managing customers for sales, marketing, and support. We are confident that after Reach for the Clouds, Inc. walks you through all these benefits, you too will be ready to implement Dynamics CRM to get your business on the cutting edge of Microsoft Cloud technology.

Dynamics CRM is a powerful business application platform - a foundation that will carry your business into the future. Typically, successful CRM implementation require extensive planning and preparation and sometimes can take years to fully Implement. Is that realistic in todays business environment? With Reach For The Clouds extensive implementation expertize and experience we will have you fully operational in months not years.
Core tenants include:
  • Centralization – one location for storing and accessing data
  • Simplification – with Dynamics the focus is on configuration not development – saving you time and money
  • Standardization – a constant user experience leads to faster adoption and lower training costs.

Reach The Clouds offers proven support for Microsoft Dynamics , we provide our customers leading expertise and a mature range of methods, tools and processes to manage and support the Microsoft Dynamics AX and Microsoft Dynamics CRM solutions we deliver.

We leverage cloud and hybrid deployment architectures. Our world class team is dedicated to providing on-going support, maintenance, upgrades and customization for your Microsoft Dynamics solutions.

Let Reach for the Clouds, Inc. manage and support your CRM environment.

Reach For The Clouds is committed to offering our customers the best training in the industry, delivering meaningful business results on the Microsoft Dynamics platform. End users can make or break the success of any new business application. Those users can also be your most valuable asset, that is why we support their training and career development as a top priority.

Our best-in-class training solutions will insure your Dynamics application not only meets the technical requirements of the business but has the full support of the end users who use it on a daily bases.