Ask Search:
Jennifer StehlingJennifer Stehling 

Opportunity Stages

I am interested in what is considered "Best Practice" when setting up your opportunity stages.  We have had our stages for several years and they no longer serve us.  How are other companies setting up their stages?  What is it based on?  FYI, we sell services, we are a consulting firm.

Steve MolisSteve Molis
There's no one-size fits all answer to this, but one thing I would recommed is using stages that represent a definitive milestone in your companies Sales Process (whatever that may be) and allowing users to edit/override the default Probability% for each Stage.  
That will allow you to get a more accurate view of your Sales Pipleline.   
Ruth MargolisRuth Margolis
I'm going to second @SteveMo as far as echoing your Sales Process.  If there are 4 stages in your process, they should be mirrored in your Stage options. 

We have 7.  In the real world (where sales people don't even put their darn opportunities in before they're closed) most opportunities go from 1 to closed in about 3 minutes. 

I blame this on managers.  I preach: Inspect what you Expect.  If managers aren't insuring that the process is followed then the information won't be correct.  How do you know if the process works, if you can't track the stages?

Huh?  Tell me that!

I would recommend that fewer stages is better.  Also, if you can swing it where users can change their stages in the Opportunity View, you will have better compliance and lots of hugs and kisses from the field. (Same for Probability %)