Sales stages are the milestones that leads go through as they move through your sales process on their way to being either won or lost. Workflows are the follow up tasks inside of each stage that every lead in that stage should receive.
Stages and Workflows enable you to document your sales process and automatically generate tasks on each lead as they enter a given stage. This allows you to see what follow up each lead needs at the stage of the sales process they are at and get reminders when that follow up is due.
Stages give you a high level view of where the lead is at in your sales process. In other words, if a lead is in the "Made Contact" stage, you know that the lead probably came in recently and you've made contact with them.
To manage stages, click the settings icon in the top-right corner of your lead list. Then select "Stages and Workflows" in the sidebar that appears on the left.
Your stages are split into 5 different categories. At a high level, these categories mean the following.
Potential - Leads that have expressed interest but aren't ready to have a sales conversation yet.
Prospective - Leads who've expressed interest and are actively having a sales conversation with you.
Current - Leads you've signed a contract with (i.e. current clients).
Lost - A lead who was interested but decided to move on (e.g. they hired a competitor, they didn't like your pricing, they decided to manage the property themselves, etc...)
Invalid - Unqualified or duplicate leads.
Creating and Editing Stages
You can create a stage in one of the 5 categories by clicking the + button next to the category name and typing in a name.
You can change a stage's name or delete it by clicking on the menu on the right-hand side of that stage and selecting the option you want. You can also change the order of stages by clicking and holding the drag handle on the left hand side.
Updating The Stage of Each Lead
Keeping each lead's stage up to date is critical. Any user should be able to look at their list of leads and immediately recognize where the lead is at in your sales process, what follow up has already happened and what needs to be done next based on the stage each lead is in.
Change Stages From The Lead Record
Go to the lead you want to update. You can see the stage the lead is currently in.
To change the lead's stage, simply click on the drop down and choose the correct stage, or click on the correct box.
Learn more about Stages & Workflows, and why and how to use them in this article series.