Concept Discussion - Company Stages

Disclaimer

    • This page is a concept discussion. The goal of this page is to layout a topic for consideration and comment. The posting of the ideas contained within in no way constitutes a decision or commitment by Cyrious to implement this idea. Cyrious is sharing this information in order to provide a public mechanism to solicit comments and thoughts on the idea. If you have comments, please post them on the Discussion board for this page. Cyrious staff receive and read all comments posted on these boards.

    • This document is written in the present tense. This is not because the feature exists, but because it is easier to write in this form and it makes the documentation easier to adapt if the feature is adopted.

Concept

Company Stages[1] are used to group or classify the prospects and clients according to the life-cycle buying stage that best reflects them.

Company Stages are user definable, but the following standard Company Stages are defined in the starting OOB dataset:[2]
  • Prospect Company Stages
    • Cold Lead
    • Warm Lead
    • Hot Lead
    • Dead
  • Client Company Stages
    • New Client
    • Established Client
    • Past Client
    • Dead

Company Stages could be used in several ways, including:
  • As a basis for measuring salesperson conversion rates. The Stages correspond to the stages in the sales pipeline/funnel, measuring the conversion rate of customers that move through the pipeline is key to effective sales management. The Company Stage Conversion Report shows number of companies to change from one category to another during a time period, grouped by Company Salesperson.
  • As a way to identify target prospect of customer groups, such as VIP customers, slow-pays, etc.

User Interface Changes

Account Entry

In Account Entry, the company stage drop-down is displayed at the top of the main frame below the Company Name.


Explorer Changes

The following changes were made in Company Explorer:
  • Added a drop-down filter for Stage in the basic Explorer. The filter also supports wildcards like "*Lead".
  • Added the option to display or not display this filter in System Setup | Company Explorer Options. By default, this filter is displayed.
  • Added the column for Company Stage to the column chooser (and therefore the grid).
  • Implemented sorting on the Company Stage by clicking that column header.
  • In Advanced Explorer, added the text criteria Company Stage under the main "Company Critia" group.

The following changes were made in Activity Explorer:
  • Added the new Activity Type "Company Stage Change" to the selection criteria.
  • In Advanced Explorer, added the new Activity Type "Company Stage Change" to the selection criteria.

Complete Activity Popup

In order to make it easy to change the Company Stage while prospecting, this ability is built into the "Complete Activity" frame the pop-ups when you choose to complete the activity. Immediately below the notes field, a drop-down called "Change Company Stage To:" was added. If a value is filled in here, upon save of the completed activity the company stage will be adjusted accordingly.
The following changes were made in all grids showing activities, like the Activity Manager "Activity List" tab:
  • Added the column "Company Stage" to the column chooser.
  • Made the Company Stage column sortable by clicking on the header.

Activity Listing Grid

The following changes were made in all grids showing activities, like the Activity Manager "Activity List" tab:
  • Added the column "Company Stage" to the column chooser.
  • Made the Company Stage column sortable by clicking on the header.

Actions

The following new actions were added:
  • Change Stage. This action was added to all prospects and clients and is accessible from Company Explorer. The right-click menu implementation (added to prospects and clients) added a sub-menu of all of the valid Stages.
  • Change Company Stage. This action was added to all contact activities with an associated prospect or client. The right-click menu implementation added a sub-menu of all of the valid Stages for that Company.

Macro Enhancements

The following macro changes were added:
  • Add these option to Customer triggers:
    • On Company Stage Changed
    • On Company Stage Changed To [ v]
    • On Company Stage Changed From [ v]
  • Add a new Company Stage Change macro action that would allow you to change the stage of the selected company (or the company of the selected transaction).

Import

The customer import works as follows:
  • Company Stage (text) can now be imported.
  • The imported Stage must already exist. If the stage does not exist, it will be ignored and a warning logged.
  • Companies imported without a valid stage are set to the default prospect stage.

Setup

The following Company Stages options are user defined under System Setup | Company Stage Setup:
  • [ x ] Enable Company Stages
  • [ x ] Enable Blank Stages for Prospects
  • [ x ] Enable Blank Stages for Clients
  • Prospect Stages
    • (List w/ Add, Delete, Edit, Set Inactive, Set as Default actions)
  • Customer Stages
    • (List w/ Add, Delete, Edit, Set Inactive, Set as Default actions)

CFL

The company stage is accessible via CFL as in the following example:
IF Company.StageText = "Hot Lead" THEN
  "* This is a hot lead!"
ELSE
  "* This is not a hot lead. :-("
ENDIF

Reports

The following reports are included with this feature:
  • Company Stage Conversion Report by Salesperson
  • Sales by Company Stage (for client stages)

Technical Notes

Additional technical notes:
  • The changing of a company stage is recorded as an activity in the company record.
  • A new activity type was used, and records the new station, the previous station, what time it was changed, and by whom.
  • There are no Stages on Vendors or Personal accounts. If the Account is not a prospect or client, the Stage drop-down is suppressed (hidden). If the account is both a prospect or client and a vendor or personal account, the Stage is shown and the valid stage options displayed.
  • If Company Stages are not enabled, all traces of these enhancements are removed.

Database Changes

The following fields would be added to the database. (Each new field is represented as TableName.FieldName below.)
  • Account.StageID (int) - This field would link to the Company Stage located in the Element Table.
  • Element - There are no changes in this table, though the Company Stages are stored as rows. The class types for these records are:
    • 5511 - Prospect (Company) Stage
    • 5512 - Client (Company) Stage
  • Store Options - Additional store options are stored in the UserOption Table (with ParentClassTypeID = 1000 to refer to the store)

ClassType Changes

The following Class Types were added for this feature:
  • 5511 - Prospect (Company) Stage in the Element
  • 5512 - Client (Company) Stage in the Element
  • 20515 - Company Stage Change Activity
  • 23182- Set Company Stage Macro Action in the xxxxx Table



Source

Contributor: Cyrious Software
Date: 11/2009
Version: Control 4.4+

See Also


  1. ^ The choice of "Stage" was the pick of lesser evils. Another term may be better suited. Status, Disposition, Group, and Type were all discussed but bring with them other implicit ideas that make the meaning less clear.
  2. ^ These changes were made in the OOB dataset effective date needed