Tracking Leads and Opportunities

I’ve been asked by our VP of Sales how to make the best use of the Leads/Opportunities within Epicor. For starters, I’ve told them they need to start entering customers as suspects when we identify them. Up until recently, they would handle that outside of Epicor and only get added when they were quoted.

  1. What’s the difference between a lead and an opportunity? (if there is some ref document I’d love to see it. I looked in EpicWeb and not finding it after about a minute or searching)
  2. Do you have to have a customer for the lead/opportunity?
  3. In our case (and I’m sure others), we sometimes have the same opportunity for an end user but could be accomplished through multiple of our customers. How do we manage that and report against it in Epicor? We have a custom field called Bid Spec that we can check for instances where a municipality might have our equipment written into the bid spec for a vehicle but we have multiple customers who are bidding on it. Maybe this could help? Even then, we don’t necessarily identify the name of the bid so we couldn’t tell which are related to which… sounds like an area we might improve.

At the end of the day, it’s a feature of Epicor that we aren’t making much use of. Any advice/guidance is appreciated since I’m being asked to give it to our team. If anyone knows of a Youtube video or any other learning material, I’d love to check it out as far as best practices and tips/tricks.


I don’t know the actual difference between a lead and an opportunity, but my personal definitions would be

  • Lead - Information about a potential customer or market. This is usually non-specific information. Once it becomes a specific need, it becomes an Opportunity.
  • Opportunity - When a customer (or Lead) has an actual project or need to be fulfilled. An opportunity is lost when a competitor gets the job.

I think a Lead and an Opportunity could precede a customer. Like if there was discussions of a town upgrading its sewer system but had not yet gotten approval for the project. That’s just a lead.
It could become an Opportunity after the project is approved, even before the contractors(whom are your customers) have been selected…

Others can correct me if I’m wrong here but my experience with Epicor CRM is:

The Customer record has three states and three states only: Suspect, Prospect, and Customer. A suspect is a record without a Opportunity/Quote or Sales Order, a prospect has been quoted, and a customer has at least one order.

In other CRM systems, the leads are company/contact records along with information about the lead (where, when, potential). In Epicor, the Opportunity/Quote record contains the lead information.

To manage related leads, one option is to create one Opportunity record. All quotes would then reference that Opportunity in Parent Quote. Any new configuration or bidder would be just another quote. A dashboard would display each opportunity and all related quotes along with min/max bid, etc.

That’s the only way I’ve tried to handle that in the past.

I’m not finding anywhere to reference Parent Quote. Is that specific to a module that we don’t have, perhaps? I suppose I could easily make a UD Column for this purpose and then make the dashboard like you suggested.

Awesome! I didn’t see it! That’s nice. I’ll play with it.

I’ve been slowly evolving my questions about Leads, Opportunities, and Quotes. One more point to clarify and get opinions about:

Epicor seems to suggest that an opportunity with no lines is a lead. Meaning, the workflow would be create a new customer account, then create an opportunity for them with no lines. Then when it becomes “qualified” or “specific”, lines could be populated thereby making it an opportunity. Does anyone else use this? Is there a benefit of doing it this way vs. just having a customer record that is considered a suspect? Epicor will change it away from suspect the first time that customer is referenced in an opportunity (whether or not there are lines structured to it). Any other considerations?