As we discussed in the previous section, the Deals view shows the pipeline. A sales pipeline is the process that a deal goes through from getting a lead, to converting that into a prospect and finally closing the deal.
The main stages of that process is what we show on the Pipeline view. This is what each stage means:
The lead tile in the Pipeline is for what would normally be called "Qualified Leads" or "Opportunities". These are leads that you think are suitable candidates for selling to. An unqualified lead, on the other hand, is a contact for which you have no idea whether your product or service would be suitable. You have a place to manage unqualified leads in AssignCRM also - we'll discuss that in the Campaign Management section.
Having a qualified lead is just the beginning. Real progress is made, though, when you make contact with that lead. Perhaps you reach out, even cold-call them - when you make that contact and discuss a possible interest with them, then you would move them into this section. The chances of closing that deal just got higher.
The next major milestone is to arrange a meeting with them. In some cases this may just be a formal call where you discuss their requirements in more depth, it may be a face-to-face meeting, and in other cases it may involve a presentation.
If all goes well, they'll soon require either a proposal and/or a quote for your product or service. Once that is sent out, you'll put them into the Proposal / Quote stage. This stage will also involve the negotiations that may take place. Perhaps they'll reject your quote and you'll have to go back to the drawing board and come to an agreement about the pricing or approach to implementation. These are all sub-processes that occur during the same stage.
Once the quote or proposal is agreed upon, the handshakes are made, contracts signed and the deal is officially closed. Congratulations! You've closed a deal, and you should drag that deal into the Deal Closed tile. At this point you can also click a button above the deal to copy the entry into the Customers tab, but we'll discuss that later.
You win some, you lose some. Occasionally, let's hope rarely, things won't go your way and quotes are rejected, proposals don't quite fit or you just lose contact because the prospect went elsewhere. Eventually you'll concede that the deal was lost, and you'll have to move the deal into the "Lost" tile. You can also edit the deal and enter in a reason for the deal being lost, for future reference.
These are the Sales Pipeline Stages - it's also possible you'll need your own, customized stages. You can set this up using the Custom Stages tab. We'll discuss that next.
Next Topic: Adding a Deal