Simple Stage Definitions Driven by Prospect/Client Commitment

We use many sales and marketing tools to increase the productivity of our team. We’re also constantly looking for opportunities to simplify our CRM to drive adoption. We recently streamlined the stage definitions of our opportunity funnel to eliminate any ambiguity across our client services, sales development, business development and inbound marketing teams.

While this streamlining simplifies the stage selection process, the larger benefit is created by putting the team’s emphasis on gaining client/prospect commitment. And commitment can only be gained through empathy and alignment.

Instead of focusing on completing the 7-8 step checklist to progress to the next stage, the focus is on the gaining commitment signals given by the client/prospect to move forward.

Fathom uses 5 stages:

  1. Suspect
  2. Prospect
  3. Engaged
  4. Consult
  5. Negotiate
  6. Closed-Won (hopefully)

For our hard-core sales enthusiasts, our friend Jim Keenan has a great post about developing mutual commitment in a sales cycle. Jim states, “There is a certain level of work both the salesperson and the prospect must perform together for any sales cycle to be efficient and successful.”

You can also view this as simply laying the groundwork for a true partnership. Our best client engagements happen when there is deep mutual commitment/effort on both sides.


Find out  how Fathom defines lead stages (Free PDF).
Stages Driven by Commitment

About Jeff Leo Herrmann

With a commitment to constant learning, leadership development, and teaching, I am fortunate to have a live laboratory to experiment in every day as the Chief Strategy Officer of Fathom and Show Runner for our content platform, Creating Your Unfair Advantage.Living at the intersection of Content Marketing and Social Selling enables me to be a resource to both Sales Executives and CMOs alike because I understand the dynamics of their relationship.You won't find a bigger content marketing zealot with an intense belief that brands are better off engaging their audiences with educational and entertaining content instead of blasting them with massive traditional advertising campaigns. This perspective is well informed after a 15-year career at The Nielsen Company spent in audience measurement and advertising effectiveness.As a Boomerang back to NE Ohio after 15 years split between Chicago and New York, and my time on the speaker-circut presenting in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Tokyo, London, Barcelona, Munich and Milan, I have an intense appreciation for work-life synergy and the power of virtual work environments. I am also thankful for the analytical rigor of my MBA program at the University of Chicago, Booth School of Business.

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