The Stages of a Sales Process How Many Your Organization Should Have & How to Define the StagesLedgeview Partners consultants often find the most common question clients ask when they are in the process of creating a sales process is, “how many steps should I have?”

What’s the answer?

It’s simple and conditional to the company. At the end of the day, you always need to do what’s best for your organization and based your stages on what you understand from your key customer wins and best customers.

Look at those analyses, then let them guide you through creating your company’s sales process stages.

The ideal number of stages to have is between four and six, though a majority of companies fall between having four and eight.

Having too few sales process stages does not describe enough of the buying process, but having too many creates an unwieldy process that is hard to manage. Find your balance as an organization.

Each stage you create should show significant progress in the sales cycle and should have specific criteria, needed from the buyer, to progress to the next step.

Ultimately, the “correct” number of stages will depend on the specific buyer journey.

The more complexity, the more steps your sales process should have. If you have multiple sales processes, each process can have a different number of stages.

When it comes down to it, a CRM platform needs to mirror the sales process and its stages.

“When reps have a great opportunity, they want to tell their sales manager,” says Greg Dove, Ledgeview Partners Director of Sales and Customer Care. 

“But, your managers don’t want to hear about the opportunity until it’s actually put into CRM.”

A good rule of thumb to follow for managers and employees is “if it’s not in CRM, it doesn’t exist.” 

When an opportunity is inputted into CRM, sales reps should consider whether it’s a good one worth moving forward with, or if there is not enough material and they need to revisit for more information.

Tons of data is out there thanks to the vastness of the Web, so gather all of that data as a sales rep to further understand who your customer is. Use that to help you go through the sales process stages more effectively.

Build your asset portfolio. Preparation is the key to successful execution.


As a sales rep, one of the most important stages is engaging the prospect.

Creating a Sales Process that Will Drive ResultsIf you’ve done a good job investigating the business, you can make the process a lot easier by engaging the prospect with the information you’ve gathered.

Gather history specific to the company or industry, then leverage it to provide the client comfort and confidence in working with you.

Relatability is key when it comes to creating lasting professional relationships. Always strive to communicate in ways that resonate with the customer, and leave a lasting impression.

Follow-up, follow-up, follow-up.

As you approach the final stages of the sales process, set the appointment, determine requirements, then ask yourself if the needs are met.

If yes, close the sale, but if not, negotiate or end the transaction.

The aforementioned sales process example is easy to follow through with, but anytime you are following any strategy example, it’s important you understand your transactions.

Keep marketing to the prospect even if the transaction ends. Even if it’s a no now, it could be a “yes” down the road.

Get your whole team involved in the status of the customer. Persistence is pertinent in proving credibility.


Sales Process eBook 2Sales Process eBookWhat are the common mistakes in the sales process and how can you avoid them? Find out. Download Ledgeview’s Latest eBooks:

“The Basics — Creating a Sales Process that Will Drive Results.”

“Pro Tips — Creating a Sales Process that Will Drive Results.”

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