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How to Use Deal Stages to See a Visual Pipeline of Revenue

How to Use Deal Stages to See a Visual Pipeline of Revenue

Are you currently using a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) to track prospects, leads, and customers?  If not, you’re missing out on revenue! (This was me a few years ago).

In just a second I’m going to share the three step process I use to maximize my revenue and stay ahead of potential downturns. But first, here are a few questions you should be asking yourself.

Do you use Excel and Outlook to track leads?

According to findings from HubSpot, “unsuccessful sales teams are two times as likely to use Excel, Outlook, or physical files to store lead and customer data.” (Source)

Do you have a formalized sales process AND a process for using your CRM to match that process? 

Sales processes have a profound effect on a company’s sales and profits. In fact, research shows that firms using formalized processes to streamline sales activity report 30% greater profit than businesses without them.  (Source)

Is your CRM accessible by phone/iPad or at least available in the cloud? 

Sales reps saw productivity increased by 15% when they had mobile access to CRM applications. (Source)

If you’re like I was three years ago, then you aren’t using your CRM to its fullest potential.  I realized we were paying for a CRM, but we weren’t really using it or benefiting from it.  I’ve learned a lot in the last several years, and I want to share with you a simple way to put your leads into a visual pipeline so that you can track leads along with your sales process.

Step 1: Identify Your Deal Stages

What are your deal stages?

Your deal stages match your sales process.  So, for example, your process might look like this:

  1. A lead calls your office;
  2. You run them through some pre-qualification questions over the phone;
  3. If things are looking good, you’ll schedule an in-person meeting at their home;
  4. From there, maybe you do a scope and range or put together a design agreement;
  5. Next, you’ll do the design and put together a construction contract.

If that’s the case, your deal stages might look like this in your CRM:

CRM Deal Stages

Step 2: Add Leads to Your Deal Stages

With your lead stages properly identified, you can now put them into the correct stage. Whether they are just entering the pipeline, or moving successfully through it, you will know exactly where they stand in the lead lifecycle.

Okay, so now that you’ve started adding leads to your pipeline, your Deal Dashboard might look something like this:

Sample Deal Dashboard with stages

Across the top, you see the deal stages.  Across the bottom, you can see the revenue forecast, based on where the deals are in your pipeline.  This makes things like scheduling and hiring much easier!

Step 3: Analyze Your Pipeline

You can also start to see if your pipeline is drying up which means you might want to put some more effort into marketing.

Whenever I look at my deals pipeline, I always like to see more deals in the early stages.  As many as possible.


Because I know that they trickle down to either “Closed: Won” or “Closed: Lost.”  And as long as I know my close rate I will always know where I stand.

Maybe 20% of your phone pre-screens close to customers.  Maybe it’s only 5%.  Honestly, it doesn’t really matter!  (Well it does, but that’s the topic of another blog post).

My point is, whatever your percentage is, you will always know if you have enough deals in the first stage to move down to Closed: Won.

Look at the example screenshot below. I like pipelines with this sort of ratio going on (well, if we had 1 or 2 more deals in the last 3 phases, that would be super robust!)

Sample of Good Sales Pipeline

If you have a pipeline that isn’t very top heavy, you’re depending too highly on everything in the later stages closing, and you can be certain that there will be a dry spell approaching quickly.

Would You Like a Free CRM Audit?

BuilderFunnel, one of the largest supporters of the Remodelers Advantage community, is offering them free for a limited time.

So what do think?

Are you using Deal Stages right now?  If not, would something like this help your remodeling company? Please share your comments below – I’d love to hear from you!



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