I am trying to understand why sales reps would want to reopen a closed opportunity, other than being lazy to create a new one.

Also, what are the impacts when the closed opportunity is reopened ? I can see the mess it can make in reporting on closed opptys, or open opptys...

Can anyone share their experience with me please ?

Thanks Iman

3 Answers 3


Another reason reps might want to re-open an opportunity is because it has a positive impact on their win ratio. If they open a previously lost opportunity, and end up closing it -- they get credit for another win AND they get rid of a loss. That's not necessarily a good reason, but it is one I have heard.

We experience a few issues with re-opened opportunities. Most of them are related to reporting, but some of them have to do with validations and approval processes on quotes (which are related to opportunities in our org). If an opportunity is re-opened, we have to go manually re-open the related primary quote or have the sales rep clone the related primary quote. Often, we also need to manually set the quote status to "Draft", so the quote goes back through approval.

Here are a few tips that may alleviate the problem.

  1. Based on the reasons why reps are closing/re-opening opportunties, you may want to set a stage as "Dormant" -- these are opps that are not lost, per se, but are also not counted in the pipeline or as past the close date. Perhaps opportunities could stay in this dormant stage for a period of time before being closed out, or managers could review these dormant opps on a monthly or quarterly basis to follow up on them.

  2. Work on your definitions of Opportunity stages, and be certain that everyone is clear on what they mean. If reps understand what "Closed-Lost" means, they will be more likely to understand the impact of closing it. Many of our reps close out opportunities to get them off dashboards and reports showing Opportunities Past the Close Date and don't understand that re-opening them isn't an easy option.

Good luck!

  • thanks Lisa ! :-) the thing is, they add new quotes to closed/won opportunities too... and I believe, they would need to get such opportunity reopen when they get the PO, in order to be able to book it... is that correct ?
    – iman
    Apr 19, 2016 at 20:57
  • That all depends on how you do it in your org. We have reps book Opportunities into Orders. One opportunity can have multiple quotes (for multiple options the customer may be considering), but only one primary quote. When we close an opportunity as Won, the primary quote is set to a status of Booked, and any non-primary quotes are set to void. We have a custom clone feature on quotes where reps can clone to the original, an existing or a new opportunity, but our reps cannot create a quote under a Closed-Won or Closed-Lost opportunity.
    – Lisa
    Apr 20, 2016 at 3:37
  • thank you very much Lisa! our reps apparently can do that but it is not our best practice.
    – iman
    Apr 20, 2016 at 6:50

The usual case is because an opportunity was mistakenly closed. Perhaps the sales person thought the opportunity was lost, perhaps the lead even flat out told them it wasn't going to happen, and then... something happened. Maybe projected budget was far less than actual profit, etc. Things happen that we can't predict. It has nothing to do with being lazy.

Imagine that you have a 180 day sales cycle that involves a dozen tasks, such as emails, presentations/demos, phone calls, etc. If the sales person can't simply re-open the opportunity, that means they now need to reference the old opportunity somehow to see notes about the previous conversations, emails that were sent, possibly move or create new tasks and events, set up competitors, products, contact roles, and so on.

That's potentially a lot of work that you can't simply automate. The more involved your sales process, the more likely it is that your sales people won't bother even updating the system properly, especially if they have to spend another hour re-creating data that could have been fixed in just seconds.

  • thanks, I can understand this reason. :-) although, the more often I see the opportunity closed/won, previous quote/quotes invoiced. and all of sudden, months later, new quotes attached to a closed opportunity...
    – iman
    Apr 19, 2016 at 20:52

And in term of impact a reopened opportunity will feature its original open date, the day the opportunity was created. During its period of dormancy – a month, 6 months, whatever – that opportunity remained in the same state, adding days to its sales cycle.

All of a sudden, when that opportunity is reopened, it has suddenly and significantly extended its sales cycle. Now, this is obviously not totally accurate – after all, that opportunity was not being worked on at all during this time.

However, when reopening old opportunities, Salesforce can’t distinguish and account for this period of dormancy when calculating your sales cycle, throwing those numbers out of whack. so instead of opening it again it may be better to go with lead nurturing for such opportunities as described in this sales process diagram.

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