A pipeline represents a process from start to finish. For example, you might have a Pipeline that represents your sales process or your account management process. Within each pipeline there are progressive stages that represent a milestone in the process. For example, your sales Pipeline might include stages for Consultation Call, Demo, Negotiation, and Contract Signed.
You can access your Pipeline(s) and Opportunities by clicking the Opportunities icon in the left side panel.
In this article we'll cover:
- The Stages of a Pipeline
- What Pipeline Stages should I be using?
- Create a New Pipeline
- Customize your Pipeline
- Opportunity Task Indicators
The Stages of a Pipeline
The stages of a Pipeline represent a path from a qualified lead, to a won, lost, or abandoned status for your Opportunity. There should be defined criteria for when a deal can enter, or exit each stage.
To move your Opportunity through the pipeline stages, simply click and drag the opportunity and drop it into the next stage.
Your stages will depend on the use case of your business and the milestones of your sales process.
Let’s explore some examples of different pipelines and stages:
Traditional Sales Company:
Qualified → Follow-Up → Presentation → Contract Sent → Negotiation
First Meeting → Partner Meeting → Negotiation → Term Sheet
Phone Interview → First In-Person Interview → Second In-Person Interview → Reference Check → Offer Letter
As you progress the deal and meet the defined criteria for each stage, you’ll move your opportunity through to the next stage of the pipeline, until you finally reach the end of the opportunity and mark the deal won, lost, or abandoned.
What Pipeline Stages should I be using?
When identifying what Pipeline stages will work for your business, you’ll want to keep the following tips in mind:
- Limit the number of stages -- too many stages can confuse your process!
- Less is More (4-6 stages is optimal)
- Each stage should clearly define where your deal is in the process
- Set quantifiable milestones for your stages to make it easy to know when a deal should move to a new stage, such as:
- Approval of a project
- Acceptance of Terms
- Signed Contract
Create a new Pipeline
To create a new pipeline, follow the steps below:
- Click the Settings icon on the left side of the screen
- In the new Settings screen, scroll down the left side menu to the Customize section. Under the Opportunities sub-section, click “Pipeline Stages”.
- In the Pipelines section, click CREATE NEW PIPELINE.
- Type a name for your new pipeline in the Pipeline Name field.
- Next you’ll add all the stages that you want for your pipeline. Repeat the steps below for every stage you want to add:
- Enter the name of the stage in the Stage Name field.
- For Win Probability %, you’ll enter the percentage of likelihood that this deal or project will be marked as “Won”. The beginning stages of your pipeline will have a lower probability than the latter stages.
- Click + Add Stage if you would like to populate another blank row.
- Once you’ve added all the stages, click Save.
- Navigate back to the Opportunities section. You can now switch between Pipelines by clicking the drop down menu in the upper left corner.
If you think you'll need more than one pipeline, no problem! You can create multiple pipelines, move opportunities between pipelines, and customize fields to only appear on opportunities when they're in a certain pipeline.
Customize your Pipeline
If you're interested in making customizations to the look and feel of your pipeline, we have some options available.
Things you can customize include:
- What data is displayed on Opportunity cards.
- The number of inactive days before you are notified of a "slipping" opportunity.
- What value constitutes a "top deal" and alerts you to it.
Opportunity Task Indicators
Opportunity Task Indicators allow you to see if an opportunity is on track or needs immediate attention. They are located at the top right corner of each opportunity in the pipeline view.
If the Opportunity Task Indicator is...
- Red - Your Opportunity needs immediate attention. This Opportunity has an overdue task.
- Yellow - Your Opportunity is on track. The Opportunity has a related task due within 24 hours.
- Grey - Your opportunity is on track. The opportunity has a related task due in the future.
- If the opportunity does not have an Opportunity Task Indicator, this opportunity does not have a related task.
Beyond just seeing the opportunity task indicator, you'll want to know which specific task it's associated with. You might also want to update the status of the task. To do this, follow the steps below:
- Click the Opportunity Task Indicator in the upper right of the opportunity.
- Click the name of the task to see the task details page on the right of the screen.
- Mark the task as complete by checking the checkbox next to the task.
To learn how to set these customizations, please visit the "Customize" section of our article on Working with Opportunities.
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