Monitoring the sales processes for your business isn’t easy. There’s so much data to collect, so many metrics to track, and even more answers to find. But what if you could optimize your B2B sales pipeline to gain better visibility over your prospects’ buying journeys or deal stages?
Tracking the deal stages in your sales pipeline isn’t just essential for maximizing conversions. The data you gather can also help you forecast, set KPIs, and ensure that your sales team feels confident in their lead management process. After all, nurtured B2B leads generate 47% larger purchases than non-nurtured leads.
A popular option for managing your pipeline is HubSpot’s CRM, which enables visibility over all your leads in one place. In this post, we’re breaking down HubSpot deal stages, their benefits, and how to properly use deal stages to enhance your B2B sales pipeline.
68% of B2B businesses have not identified their sales funnel, meaning they miss out on opportunities to build lasting connections with customers, foster communication, and generate conversions. That’s where HubSpot’s platform comes in.
Deal stages are the steps in your sales pipeline. As your deal progresses, you move to a new deal stage. HubSpot’s platform enables easy visualization of your deal stages by representing them as lanes, so you can see exactly where your opportunities are along the journey. As each opportunity progresses towards closing, the corresponding tab moves across to the next lane.
Not only can you create, rename, and customize the lanes and deal stages depending on your requirements, but you can also create up to 50 different pipelines on a paid HubSpot plan. It’s ideal if your business has multiple products and services, or if you have different sales processes. You can even be more specific with your customization and create lanes specifically for cross-selling, renewals, or follow-ups; or create filters for quick visibility over your deals.
HubSpot provides seven default deal stage settings with preset success probabilities if you’re not ready for the customization options. The success probability is the percentage chance of winning the deal when you reach a certain deal stage:
HubSpot’s default deal stages and preset probabilities represent the typical steps that a sales team might take in moving a deal towards closing. Crucially, they are also well defined—there’s no ambiguity between the stages, and each one can be easily updated.
Although HubSpot provides 7 default stages and recommends using 6-8, you may need less or a lot more depending on your sales processes, goals and buying cycle.
With so many customization options available, HubSpot has created a platform suitable for a wide range of businesses. HubSpot has a free CRM platform and a premium option, making it suitable for small and large businesses with varying budgets.
While HubSpot has created deal stages for all businesses, the question is: who are the deal stages really for? The answer is your sales team. When it comes to customer acquisition and lead generation, failing to map your sales funnel means prospects could slip through the cracks. 60% of customers say ‘no’ 4 times before they say ‘yes,’ so you need a digital solution that helps set your sales team up for efficient B2B prospect nurturing, no matter how far along they are in their journey.
The main benefit of using deal stages is that you gain complete visibility over every aspect of your sales funnel. You see who your sales team is communicating with, what they need to do next, and how far that deal is from closing. This information is invaluable for monitoring your pipeline health, business development opportunities, and sales forecasting.
Deal stages help you find solutions to your sales problems. If a deal is stuck at a particular stage, is moving too slowly, or isn’t heading in the right direction, you can remedy these issues with more time, resources, or a different strategy. With so many things needing your sales team’s attention, you can use deal stages to show them which opportunities are prioritized based on the percentage likelihood of closing, the revenue tied up in each stage, and blockages.
But deal stages don’t just help you with the visibility of live deals. You can also monitor your follow-ups, further engagement, and recurring revenue to help increase your lifetime customer value and foster customer loyalty.
HubSpot deal stages also offer benefits that allow you to:
Forecast Sales Figures – As deal stages move across the board, you can see how far away you are from your sales goals. It becomes easier to reassess your strategies as needed and accurately predict your sales figures.
Visualize Revenue – Your revenue needs to be a steady stream, not come in waves. Deal stages can help you visualize how much revenue is tied up at each stage, and what you need to do to push the deals forward.
Visualize Your Pipeline – With the easy-to-use dashboard, you can view the status of all your deals. Plus, you can quickly extract any data needed, such as how many deals have been closed, lost, or created.
Track Performance – Not only can your sales team track their KPIs, but you can delegate work to ensure that your team can address your prospects’ needs. Deal stages can also help you monitor your workload and decide whether to expand and recruit.
Automate Everything – HubSpot is known for its automation capabilities. Once you configure the deal stages exactly how you want them, HubSpot can help you set new tasks, create new deals, modify your lead scoring, and more.
Before you can customize and automate your deal stages, you must set up a pipeline. Users of HubSpot’s free platform can only have one pipeline and must upgrade to a paid plan to access multiple pipelines.
Here’s how to set up your first sales pipeline:
Step 1: Open HubSpot. Click the ‘Settings’ icon in the navigation bar.
Step 2: Go to ‘Objects’> ‘Deals’.
Step 3: Click the ‘Pipelines’ tab.
Step 4: Click ‘Select a pipeline.’ This will open up a dropdown menu. Select ‘Create pipeline.’
Step 5: Choose your pipeline name. When complete, click ‘Create.’
Step 6: If you want to edit a pipeline, go to ‘Settings’> ‘Objects’> ‘Deals’> ‘Pipelines’. Select the pipeline you want to edit, and choose the ‘Actions’ tab. From there, you can rename, reorder and delete the pipeline.
Once you’ve set up your pipeline, you will see HubSpot’s seven default deal stages. If you’re ready to add and edit your deal stages, first open HubSpot and go to ‘Sales’> ‘Deals.’
Here’s how to add and edit deal stages:
Step 1: Click ‘+ Add a deal stage’. This can be found under the default deal stages.
Step 2: Type a deal stage name.
Step 3: Click the dropdown menu, and select or enter a deal probability.
Step 4: To reorder deal stages, click the deal stage and drag it to the right position.
Step 1: Go to the ‘Update stage properties’ column. Click ‘Edit properties.’
Step 2: Choose the properties you want using the checkbox below.
Step 3: Alternatively, use the dropdown menus shown below to edit deal probabilities.
Now that you’ve set up your pipeline to accurately represent the deal stages in your sales process, you need to be sure that you are using the platform correctly and to its full capability. Here are the best practices to help you properly use HubSpot deal stages:
Without defining what you want to achieve from your pipeline(s), you’re going in blind. Before setting up your deal stages, consider what your business’ sales process currently looks like vs. what you want it to look like. Ensure that your sales team knows what is expected from them at each stage, so you can check that your deal stages reflect this.
Define your deal stages using clear actionable labels that have been agreed upon across your sales team, so there’s no ambiguity about whether your team has hit a particular deal stage or not. Clear definitions will also help you avoid overkill with too many deal stages.
For your deal stages to accurately represent your sales process, you may need to add deeper customization such as industry, target market, buying cycles, or product/service. Doing this ensures that you track every sales process across all areas of your business.
One of the benefits of using deal stages is that you can track performance and forecast revenue, but you need to keep your pipeline clean. Make sure you have deal stages for ‘won’ and ‘lost’ to ensure that sales reports, revenue reports, and analytics tools are accurate. Be sure to always enter the monetary value of each deal.
A proper nurturing strategy helps keep your deals moving forward, so you can give your leads the right amount of attention. Don’t forget to incorporate follow-ups, cross-sells, and renewals in your deal stages to increase customer lifetime value.
Deal stages are not for day-to-day sales tracking. Instead, they help you track and forecast your deals over a longer, defined period. Maintaining your pipeline will not only give you the visibility to adjust your strategies or deal stages if needed, but it will also help you keep your pipelines clean for accurate data analytics and reporting.
You’ve set up your pipelines and modified your deal stages to accurately represent your sales processes. What’s next?
Your B2B prospects won’t willingly move through all your deal stages-your sales team needs to engage and nurture them. Trendemon’s solution helps you generate personalized content based on HubSpot attributes. Using it allows you to increase engagement, build audiences, and monitor business performance to accelerate your deal stages.
The best part is how easy it is to take advantage of Trendemon’s buyer journey data—it fully integrates with HubSpot’s CRM. Leverage your HubSpot data with Trendemon to create personalized content experiences in real-time, targeted calls to action, and messaging customized to each deal stage.
Your customers won’t wait around for you. That’s why it’s vital to track the progress of your deals at every stage. Trendemon helps keep deals moving with acceleration recommendations based on real-time buyer intent signals and actionable insights into your customers’ behavior. Using these insights, you speed up your pipeline, conversions, and revenue one deal at a time, at every stage in your pipeline.
Your sales team knows the value of defining clear, accurate, attainable deal stages, but actioning them isn’t easy without visibility over every deal, at every stage. HubSpot’s platform enables a complete visual representation of your sales pipeline. It also gives you the tools to see exactly how far along your deals are in the sales process, what you need to do to keep them moving, and how far you are from forecasted targets.
HubSpot is ideal for businesses that want to harness more control over B2B lead management rather than just juggling deals. Trendemon works hand-in-hand with HubSpot to fill in the gaps. Trendemon uses HubSpot attributes to leverage real-time personalization and accelerate deal stages as an attribution-powered personalization platform. Once you have mapped out your deal stages, Trendemon uses this data to further map customer journeys and demonstrate which assets lead to the most deal closures and business impact.
Find out more about how Trendemon works with HubSpot to help you accelerate buyer journeys at scale.