October 26, 2023

Sales Pipeline Stages: All You Need To Know About It!

A sales pipeline is a list of prospects that are ready to buy your product or service. Sales pipeline stages can be divided into seven main categories which are explained in the blog.


Sales Pipeline Stages


Sales happen naturally to some businesses. Various marketing campaigns or existing client referrals can result in leads. Those prospects may later turn into paying customers after holding some conversations.

However, the sales process for many small and midsize organizations can be haphazard and unstructured. As a result, sales can be variable at times.

Each step a prospect takes through your sales process, from becoming a lead to being a customer, is represented by the sales pipeline stages.

The sales pipeline stages are lead generation, lead nurturing, marketing qualified lead, sales accepted lead, sales qualified lead, closed deal, post-sale.


Here is the detailed explanation of 7 stages:


Lead generation: 

In a perfect world, any lead that comes in would be passed on to the relevant salesperson. However, many companies don’t have systems in place for this purpose. 

They pass additional leads and follow-up conversations onto line managers whose main priority is generating revenue—not representing your company professionally. 

With dedicated resources assigned solely to prospecting activities – rather than handling customer service calls or performing administrative tasks – it's much easier to give your sales team “form” rather than "function".


Lead nurturing:

A job well done here is to speak a few times with each lead combined as possible. 

Think, for example of a call that takes you through three or four progress steps only because the prospect initially gave up on answering all their questions after two yes/no responses (or even 5.) 

Anything past this point should come from any business contact the company maintains—such as a call from an answering service, automated email response, or marketing automation messages.


Marketing qualified lead: 

At some point in their sales process prospects will want to know about your deal not only because it is too good for the competition but also because they need more information and don’t trust anyone else with the details of their purchase—maybe even looking for qualifying language in an S-1 notice as part of that buying decision.


Sales accepted lead: 

After the status of a lead has been accepted, it should live and breathe in the Salesforce

It is owned by someone on your sales team who will work with that prospect to schedule demos or follow up calls and measure any results which could be used for next-level qualification based on those goals worked out previously.

Board, Chalk, Finance, Graphic, Diagram


Sales qualified lead: 

In this life stage, a deal is ready to close—the details are finalized as to what you will cost, where it will be funded and reservation is made on pricing. 

As the sales pro, this deal may go to others on your team who then act as agents incorporating the terms of the contract with either a discount or up-front payment (depending upon negotiation.)

The duration of each stage ideally lasts no more than 1 month as doing so keeps in close contact with your prospects while they are experientially engaged in dealing with only you.


Closed deal: 

At this point, a contract has been signed with both the firm and your customer. 

In rare cases, all three stages may be present at one time however I would prefer to see them completed within 30 days of proposal acceptance when feasible.

Graph, Diagram, Growth, Written Report



This process can be automated through more advanced go-to-market processes.

Salesforce customers are recommended to view the post-sales lifecycle separately as it is meant to accomplish an entirely different goal such as identifying new opportunities, forecasting revenue and retention or documenting accounts receivable using various dashboards which those organizations may have overly dependent upon a CRM tool partially based on Salesforce usage metrics.

How To Generate Better Results with Sales Pipeline Stages?


Sales funnels are an excellent tool for giving a high-level overview of your sales conversions. However, sales funnel knowledge doesn't help you manage your daily pipeline tasks.

When you're working on prospects and leads in your funnel, you need a sales pipeline. Sales pipeline stages better represent your sales process and keep you focused on activities that drive revenue.


Tips for creating a Pipeline that empowers your team


1. Define your team's goals and objectives - Figure out what you want your team to achieve, both short-term and long-term.

2. Create a roadmap - Decide on how you'll achieve your goals, and create a timeline outlining when each step will be completed.

3. Equip your team with the necessary resources - Assemble the tools and resources needed to help you reach your objectives.

4. Manage the sales pipeline - Create and implement a well-designed sales pipeline that engages your teams by giving them the information they need.

5. Manage beyond closing – Attract, develop and retain customers through ongoing relationship management efforts to earn recurring revenue for profitable support subscription sales.




The sales pipeline stages are a critical part of any marketing strategy. It shows the client what you have to offer and helps them to make a decision about whether or not they want to work with you. 

Understanding your own sales pipeline can help you understand what's working for you and what isn't, which will help you make better decisions about how to market your business in the future.

That's all for now! See you later with a different topic! Till that keep the conversation going in the comment section below.

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Shweta Gupta

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