With Salesforce in many instances, clients will need to create an opportunity for each quote that goes out the door. For example, they bid 1-project to 10-contractors; they often will need to create 10-Salesforce opportunities. This can create a pipeline that is inflated 9-times of what it actually is, which presents a problem as the output of the data needs to be accurate.
Overall, this is not an uncommon problem when quoting multiple bids to multiple contractors for a single job. There are many different ways to solve this problem, however, there can be issues that will arise depending on how the client uses opportunities. Maybe every opportunity requires an approval as every price may or may not be different to the various contractors for that job. Whatever the scenario is, the solution should incorporate existing functionality, the preferably standard functionality of Salesforce.
Initially, establishing an object or “Parent Opportunity” to relate all these opportunities together will keep all the opportunities together, however, it doesn’t solve the issue of the overinflated pipeline. There needs to be a mechanism to make all but one of the opportunities count toward the pipeline.
Consider the following option as second part of the solution. Once all the different opportunities have been related to a single “Job” or “Parent Opportunity”, add an additional Stage value called “Omitted from Forecast” and set the Forecast Category field to “Omitted”. This would allow for the user to select the one opportunity they felt had the best chance of closing and set the Stage field appropriately. The remaining opportunities could be set to the new “Omitted from Forecast” value. This is really the best option as opportunities with a Stage value of “Omitted from Forecast” could be excluded from reporting, and setting the Forecast Category field to “Omitted” would exclude those opportunities from the Forecasting module in Salesforce as well.
While there may be additional components that can enhance this solution, this is the basic framework to accomplish quoting multiple bids to multiple contractors for a single job.