Mapping Out the Sales Stages

Mapping out the sales stages is much more important than the search for a repeatable customer acquisition model and the search for product/market fit.  Now, the sales process should start with a discovery call, here’s an example of the stages in a sales process:

  1. Discovery
  2. Demo
  3. Trial
  4. Negotiation
  5. Won / Lost

There’s a balance with having the stages fine-grained enough to reflect where things are in the process, but not so fine-grained that the stages don’t reflect useful information. One best practice is to include the stages that the majority of winning opportunities pass through. Some products require two or three demos before purchase, and most deals go through at least two demos, so it’d be useful to rename the “Demo” stage to “Demo 1” and add a new stage after it “Demo 2” since it’s a key part of the normal flow. Here is a more advanced set of stages:

  1. Discovery Scheduled
  2. Discovery Complete
  3. Demo Scheduled
  4. Demo Complete
  5. Trial Started
  6. Trial Complete
  7. Negotiations
  8. Contracting
  9. Won / Lost


Posted by David Cummings at Startups

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