MQL and SQL Inspiration

This page is a work in progress, some parts may be incomplete or inaccurate.

When the SharpSpring lead status field is too simplistic for your needs, you can instead manage your lead lifecycle using a Lifecycle Stage dropdown field. Here are some suggested values:

  1. New
  2. Hot
  3. Marketing Qualified Lead
  4. Opportunity
  5. Customer
  6. Disqualified


New

All new contacts get this status. Marketing should optionally add more details at this point, or wait until the lead is considered Hot

Hot

Hot is determined by a certain lead score, and is set automatically. See the Lead Score Optimization section below for more information. At this point, someone in Marketing should mark the contact as a Marketing Qualified Lead OR Disqualified, and add any relevant information to the Contact profile.

Marketing Qualified Lead

At this stage, the Lead Status should be set to Qualified, which makes them appear in the Sales Pipeline. The Sales team can then decide to create an Opportunity, or mark the contact as Disqualified. Sales should add any relevant information to the Contact profile at this point.

Opportunity

This status is set automatically when an Opportunity is created on the contact.

Customer

This status is set automatically when an Opportunity is Closed Won

Disqualified

When someone is Disqualified, their Lead Status should be set to Unqualified. This way they will never be looked at again as a prospect.

Default SharpSpring Lead Status values:

  1. Open - New Lead
  2. Unqualified - Not a fit for your product
  3. Qualified - Ready to be sold to
  4. Contact - Anyone you will never sell to
  5. Contact with Opportunity
  6. Customer - Has been sold to

Workflow Rule Summary:

Fills out any form AND does not have any Lifecycle Stage: Set Lifecycle Stage to New

Lead score > XXX: Set Lifecycle Stage to Hot and notify someone / add to list for marketing to review

Lead Status = Contact with Opportunity: Set Lifecycle Stage to Opportunity

Lead Status = Customer: Set Lifecycle Stage to Customer

Disqualified Reasons

It is often useful to say WHY a lead was disqualified, for statistics or so that you can target certain groups of disqualified contacts. If this appeals to you, create a Disqualified Reason dropdown field. Here are some values for you to consider:

  1. Competitor
  2. Partner
  3. Vendor
  4. Employee
  5. No Longer in Business
  6. Not match for services
  7. Unsubscribed

Lead Score Optimization is an important part of managing your Hot leads - make sure to read the linked article here

Advanced Lifecycle Management

In many cases, the default SharpSpring lead statuses will be too simplistic for your needs. If that is the case, you can simply create custom fields that match your actual marketing and sales processes. Below we have an example solution, encompassing both Accounts and Contacts.

Contact Fields

Lifecycle Stage:

  1. New (auto)
  2. Hot (auto)
  3. Marketing Qualified Lead
  4. Opportunity (auto)
  5. Customer (auto)
  6. Disqualified


Contact Relationship:

  1. Prospect
  2. Customer
  3. Past Customer
  4. Inactive Prospect
  5. Partner
  6. Vendor
  7. Employee


Disqualified Reason:

  1. Competitor
  2. Partner
  3. No Longer in Business
  4. Not match for services
  5. Relationship
  6. Unsubscribed (auto)


Position:

  1. CEO
  2. CTO
  3. CFO
  4. Finance
  5. Sales Manager
  6. Sales
  7. Marketing
  8. ...

Account Fields

Account Relationship:

  1. Prospect
  2. Customer
  3. Past Customer
  4. Inactive Prospect
  5. Partner
  6. Vendor
  7. Employee


Disqualified Reason:

  1. Competitor
  2. Partner
  3. No Longer in Business
  4. Not match for services
  5. Relationship

Automating these fields

Whenever it is possible to eliminate user error from an equation, you should. When it comes to managing your contact lifecycles, it is possible to automate many of the stages and reduce manual action to a minimum. Given the fields defined above, here are some ideas of how you could automate field changes for both Sales and Marketing. If you are not sure how to create Workflows to automate these rules, please contact your Project Manager.

General Lifecycle Stage workflows

  • When a new Contact is added to the system: Set the Contact's Lifecycle Stage to New
  • When a contact has a High Lead Score: Set the Contact's Lifecycle Stage to Hot and notify someone in Marketing
  • Manual: If a Hot lead is ready to be sold to, a Marketing team member sets the Lifecycle Stage to Marketing Qualified Lead
  • When a contact has the Lifecycle Stage of Marketing Qualified Lead: Set the Lead Status to Qualified. This makes the contact appear in the left pane of the Sales Pipeline, where a Sales team member can pick it up. They can either create an Opportunity, or give the contact a Disqualified Reason
  • When a contact has an Active Opportunity: Set Lifecycle Stage to Opportunity
  • When a deal is closed Won: Set Lifecycle Stage to Customer

Contact Field Changes:

If Disqualified Reason has any value: Set Lifecycle Stage to Disqualified

If Relationship is set to Partner, Vendor or Employee: Set the Contact's Disqualified Reason to Relationship

If Lifecycle Stage changes to Customer, set Relationship to Customer


Account Field Changes

If Relationship changes to any value: set the same Relationship on all associated Contacts

If Disqualified Reason changes to any value: set the same Disqualified Reason on all associated Contacts

Manual: When a deal is Closed Won, the deal Owner should set the Account's Relationship to Customer

Written By: Sam Koekemoer