Opportunities are past or pending sales for an account that you want to work and/or track. By using opportunities you are, in a sense, building your “pipeline” and enabling you to perform sales forecasting. Opportunities are one of the most widely used and heavily customized objects on the platform. Opportunities allow you to track the individual products (opportunity line items) that you are selling on the deal, multiple quotes, any partners involved and competitor and their products that you are competing against.
For team selling, opportunity owners can set up sales teams of users assigned to specific roles (e.g., account executive, pre-sales consultant) with specific access privileges. You can also split opportunities to give credit to multiple members of the team.
Forecasting is a way to estimate quarterly revenue from your opportunities. The forecast amount is based upon your pipeline and is the total amount of all “Commit” opportunities divided by the total amount of all “Best Case” opportunities. For a more granular view, you can setup customizable forecasting to reflect how your company forecasts its sales. With customizable forecasting, you can forecast on a monthly or quarterly basis, use different dates when applying amounts to[…]”
Excerpt From: Wes Nolte. “Salesforce Handbook.” iBooks.