Salespeople often view themselves as ‘lone wolves’ with the skills, experience, and motivation to close deals independently. Still, most times it’s not the effort of one single person to conclude a deal, especially a larger one.
This is where team selling comes into play – whether it is Pre-Sales, Legal, Business Development, or Finance. When used properly, team selling can become a powerful tool to increase the number and reporting accuracy of successfully closed deals. Let’s see when companies should opt for team selling, and how this concept is represented in Salesforce.
What Is the Opportunity Team?
Put simply, the Opportunity Team is an out-of-the-box Salesforce functionality. It allows your sales managers and team members to indicate all internal or partner users who contribute to a deal directly from the Opportunity record.
If we are to go in a bit more detail, the Opportunity Team leverages the standard OpportunityTeamMember object, which represents the relationship between an opportunity and usually more than one user. Make sure to check out the details pertaining to this object and related fields here.
Additionally, as you will find out below, Opportunity Teams can grant record access to the users who are supposed to collaborate for closing it. The different options are available depending on the organization’s sharing settings.
Why Should You Use Salesforce Opportunity Teams?
Whether you already use team selling or are just considering this option, Salesforce Opportunity Teams can benefit your overall Sales process.
Companies can use it to allow multiple people to work on a single Opportunity, set their roles, and grant individual access rights to each team member. By enabling Salesforce Opportunity Teams, companies can clearly define responsibilities for each sales rep, as well as eliminate duplicate opportunity records, and ensure transparency.
Opportunity Team vs. Account Team
Some companies doubt the necessity of Opportunity Teams because they already use the Account team functionality. Though they may seem similar at first, their main characteristics have a few major differences.
In Salesforce, adding the Account team helps members collaborate on a single account and track its progress to establish long-term relationships with a particular customer or prospect. On the other hand, the Opportunity team is, more often than not, a temporary group that is used to see the specific deal through.
In the example below, the Org Wide Default settings for Opportunities are set to “Private” – adding a certain user into an Account’s team, rather than the Opportunity, allows you to set the “Read/Write” access for all Opportunities at once.
Start Using Opportunity Teams
Now that you have decided to embark on the journey of using Opportunity Teams within your Salesforce org, there are a few main things to keep in mind – and we will go through them one by one.
Enable Team Selling
Since all sales opportunities and customer relationships differ, each particular case requires a personal approach. As a result, it may be very challenging for a single sales rep to lead all deals through the whole pipeline. In the case of team selling, a company can assign the most suitable and experienced person to play the key role in each opportunity and distribute other team roles among other sales reps according to their strengths.
While we are not going to deep-dive into Opportunity Splits in this article, remember you can always turn them on instead of building a custom solution to determine the contribution of each Opportunity Team member to a certain Opportunity.
As always, Trailhead comes to the rescue, providing explanations and resources for Opportunity Splits. Take a look at their Sell as a Team and Split the Credit module.
Manage Opportunity Team Members
Although “manage” is a big word for how user-friendly this functionality is, at the end of the day, team members have to be added to the Opportunity somehow, right? Check out the video below to see how quickly and easily they can be added, edited, and removed.
As an admin, you can also mass import Opportunity Team member records with Data Loader, as explained here. Furthermore, the Opportunity Team related list also allows the option to easily review the team member access.
The question users often ask during enablement: “What if I am always collaborating with the same colleagues when closing deals in Salesforce?”.The answer is very simple – Default Opportunity Team!
Users can add and remove colleagues however they want. Once an update is made, they can choose whether open Opportunities should also be updated, or if the same changes should automatically be assigned to all new Opportunities.
Note: If you add the Default Team on the Opportunity and the Opportunity Owner does not have one set up, you will receive an error message.
The Opportunity Team members can be reported on in a similar way to other related records. Of course, widgets can be added to your existing Opportunity dashboard to provide visibility into the team selling and collaboration aspects of the deal.
Spring 23’ is now live in production orgs, meaning that you can use the relative $USER filter for Opportunity Team members and offer sales managers a cohesive view of all opportunities they are part of.
Customize Opportunity Teams For Your Use Cases
Of course, out-of-the-box functionality can only do so much for your very specific sales processes. As always, Salesforce customization capabilities come to the rescue!
Custom Values and Fields
It’s important to note that the “Team Role” field is just a picklist that you can customize accordingly from setup. Also, you don’t have to keep any of the standard values unless needed – you can always pick and choose the roles that users will be able to select for their cross-team collaborators on the deal.
When it comes to a very complex sales process and collaboration mechanism, chances are that not only specific roles will be needed, but extra data points as well. While you can’t create a look-up to the Opportunity Team member, you can create one from it to a standard or custom object as needed.
As long as you don’t exceed the current limit of 50 custom fields, you can customize the object according to your business needs.
Note: Make sure you add the field to the multi-line layout if you want it to be available when creating Opportunity Team members from the related list. Otherwise, the field will only appear on the edit screen if added to the layout.
For more information, take a look at the Considerations for Customizing Opportunity Teams.
Although all team members should be involved in the sales process, it doesn’t mean all of them should receive every update on a deal. For example, a Vice President of Sales probably doesn’t need to track all updates regarding product design; however, the same person will be a key player in pricing meetings. Thus, giving the right people the right updates is necessary for effective teamwork. As a Salesforce Admin, you can leverage several ways to notify users about Opportunities.
Big Deal Alert:
Companies can use Big Deal Alert to notify selected recipients and the Opportunity Owner if desired – which can be done when an Opportunity reaches a defined target or “Amount” and “Probability”. While this out-of-the-box option has been around for quite some time and might be useful as an interim solution, people may come and go at any time; hence hard-coding email addresses isn’t exactly the best option.
In comparison to the Big Deal Alert, Salesforce Flow is much more versatile in terms of triggering criteria. Combined with a predefined Email Alert, it can do wonders in no time!
Note: The tutorials we showcase are built-in developer edition orgs with limited data and only a few custom automations. Ensure you evaluate your existing processes properly before building new ones, including both declarative automations and custom Apex. For Flow specifically, consider the recommended best practices when it comes to the number of record-triggered flows per object.
As you could have guessed, we’re starting with the creation of an Email Alert. Make sure the “Opportunity Team” is selected from the “Recipient Type” dropdown, then select the role(s) you would like the notification to be sent out to.
Now, we’ve created our very specific Opportunity Team member role – in the screenshot below, I decided to use that one. Keep in mind that this process can be applied to any role, even to Account team member roles if that’s needed.
Don’t forget to check out all the available recipient types for Email Alerts in the official documentation.
Following the Email Alert creation, it’s time we move onto the Flow. It will be a record-trigger flow, and in this particular scenario we want the notification to be sent out to the Opportunity team member. Once the Opportunity Stage is changed to “Negotiation/Review”, there’s no way to directly create the Opportunity. All Opportunities will need the support of this particular role beforehand, so the Flow will only be triggered on update.
If the entry criteria is met, then our Email Alert will be triggered. Wasn’t that a walk in the park?
Note: If you decide to use this approach in a real-life scenario, there will be more criteria involved. Make sure to properly test the Flow, and desired outcome before production. Also, don’t forget to activate the Flow!
Record Page Magic
With the new and shiny record page functionality being available exclusively in the Lightning Experience, it would be a shame to not make use of the possibilities. To make sure your team can easily find how to adjust Opportunity Team members, check the Opportunity Splits (if enabled). Why not even access other components from a dedicated tab instead of scrolling on a side panel?
I enjoy using the “Related List – Single” component whenever I have the opportunity, so I couldn’t miss showcasing how fast it can be used to reposition the lists exactly where you need on a Record Page.
The out-of-the-box Opportunity Team functionality surely makes working with individual Opportunities much easier for your sales and adjacent teams when it comes to collaboration, ensuring timely record access, and accurate reporting. You will always know who does what for each Opportunity!
Last but not least, don’t forget to check the official guidelines and considerations for Opportunity Teams.