The essential thing sellers and marketers need to know to get results from the campaigns they run every day is what contacts in the sales and marketing database are qualified potential customers.
If they are qualified potential customers (they need and are interested in your offering), clearly defining who is at the top, middle, bottom, or through the sales funnel is essential to deliver high sales conversion rates and customer retention.
Marketing needs to understand if the contacts they engage online bring value to the sales team. Are they converting into sales conversations? Sales need to know what contacts and companies they should spend their valuable time on. Is marketing engaging the right people?
It can take a lot of work to reach a consensus between all the stakeholders using the CRM's data. There is always more than one way to solve a problem! The following infographic outlines three CRM fields that clearly show which contacts and companies are qualified and where they are in the sales process. The definitions of the fields can be customized, but the outline below is the standard way of setting it up, and it works well for most cases.
- The Type field helps with segmenting. For example, if you have competitors in your CRM, you may want to exclude them from email marketing, or if you have a lot of employees or vendors in the database, you can segment them from the prospects.
- The lifecycle stage field indicates what decision stage the prospect is in: are they in the beginning stages of gathering information, ready for a sales conversation, or in the process of making a decision?
- The Lead Status field lets the teams know what action is happening to move the sales conversation forward. This field is essential to understanding which contacts and companies are customers, in sales conversations, or ready for a sales conversation.
Check out the infographic below for the standard definitions of Type, Lifecycle Stage, and Lead Status that you can implement immediately to get the right message to the right prospect at the right time and ensure your sales and marketing system drives consistent growth!
Categorize by Contact Type
What is Your Relationship with the Prospect?
- Prospect: Has the potential to be a customer
- Reseller: Resells your products or services
- Partner: Collaborates with you on various initiatives
- Competitor: Sells a competitive product or service
- Internal: Employees, vendors, subcontractors, etc.
Identify the Lifecycle Stage
What is the prospect’s sales readiness level?
- Subscriber: Not actively searching for a solution
- Lead: Reveals buying signals (i.e., web form)
- Marketing Qualified Lead: Meets minimum criteria for a good lead
- Sales Qualified Lead: Meets criteria for active sales pursuit
- Opportunity: Has a deal and is considering buying
- Customer: Agreed to do business with your company
Confirm Lead Status
Where is the prospect in the sales process?
- New: A seller has not tried to contact the prospect
- Active: A seller is actively pursuing a relationship
- Inactive: A seller has not tried to contact the prospect
- Unqualified: Not a target or viable prospect or lead
- No Longer There: No longer an employee at the company
- Other: All other scenarios
If you’d like a more detailed description of how to use the Contact Type, Lifecycle Stage, and Lead Status fields to manage your sales pipeline, check out this article, 5 Essential CRM Fields to Track Sales and Marketing Growth.