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In our previous blog, we showed you how to set up Account Stages through the lens of Gary and his team at ProspectIT.

In this blog, let’s take a peak at what setting up Contact Stages looks like and how a contact might journey through these stages.

What are Contact Stages?

Though ABS focuses a lot on the account level, Contact Stages are extremely important.

Though some of the stages in Account Stages and Contact Stages are similarly named, they are two distinctly separate categories.

Contact Stages do not influence Account Stages, and vice versa. Contact Stages simply show reps where individual people are in the sales process.

Account Stages are used to give reps an idea of how many opportunities an account has. Basically, Account Stages tell you whether or not you have the potential to close an account.  

Again, much like Account Stages, the Contact Stages used can vary team by team, company by company. There are a few standard ones that are almost always used.

To be more exact, there are 11 of these standard Contact Stages.

To get a better feel for what these 11 Contact Stages are and how they work, let’s look at how our imaginary company, ProspectIT, and the Head of Sales Development, Gary, sets up their Account Stages.

How a Saas Company, ProspectIT, Sets Up Contact Stages

In setting up his team’s sales ops, the Head of Sales Development at ProspectIT, Gary, decides that he wants to have 11 Contact Stages:

  1. Cold Stage
  2. Working Stage
  3. Do Not Contact Stage
  4. Unsubscribed Stage
  5. Replied Stage
  6. Check Back Later Stage
  7. Interested Stage
  8. Meeting Set Stage
  9. Changed Job Stage
  10. Current Client User Stage
  11. Former Client User Stage

In our last blog on ProspectIT’s Account Stages, the account they were targeting was able to navigate pretty smoothly through the Account Stages Gary set up.

To contrast this, here’s how a contact within the Examplify account could work through Gary’s Contact Stages a little less smoothly:

Of the five contacts reached out to in the Examplify account, one of them is named Todd. Todd is the first person David, the SDR, reaches out to.

Todd begins in the Cold (Contact) Stage.

When Todd is sent a cold email by David, Todd moves to the Working (Contact) Stage.

David, however, is still prospecting the Examplify account to find more contacts to reach out to. Although Todd is in the Cold (Contact) Stage, the Examplify account as a whole is still in the Cold (Account) Stage.

Since Examplify is still in a Cold (Account) Stage, a different SDR at ProspectIT, named Leah, decides to start working the account.

Leah sends a cold email to a different contact at Examplify.

Leah has accidentally stepped on Todd’s toes and started working his account.

She forgot that in ABS it’s very important to look at both Contact Stages and Account Stages before taking any actions. Just because an account is in a Cold Stage, doesn’t mean they should be touched.

The account could contain contacts in a Working Stage, which means there is already an SDR working the account.

Leah apologizes to David, and David goes back to working Todd and the Examplify account.

After reading the cold email sent to him by ProspectIT, Todd thinks their product is interesting. He emails ProspectIT’s SDR back asking for more information. Todd moves to the Replied Stage.

Since Todd also expressed interest in ProspectIT’s platform in his reply email, he is moved through the Replied Stage and to the Interested Stage.

After some email and call exchanges, ProspectIT’s SDR asks Todd if he would like to schedule a meeting with an AE to get a demo.

Uh-oh! Todd emails the SDR back, turn out he has quit his job at Examplify. Todd is moved to the Changed Job Stage.

Todd is no longer considered to be a contact in the Examplify account.

 

In this blog and our last post, it’s easy to see how although Account and Contact Stages are similar, the way contacts and accounts flow through them are not identical.

Just because Todd, a contact, was not able to move to the Current Client Stage, the account as a whole still was.

Just because Examplify, an account, became a Current Client, not every contact in the account became a Current Client as well.

Account and Contact Stages are great at knowing where prospects are in your sales funnel, but how do you find out why they’re in the stage they’re in?

That’s where Account and Contact Custom Fields come in!

We’ll discuss these custom fields in our next post, so stay tuned!

 

Got questions, comments, or concerns – feel free to drop us an email at sales@apollo.io