Setting Up Your Sales Pipeline In Infusionsoft

The Infusionsoft Sales Pipeline helps you and your salespeople manage leads, organize notes and next action steps, and track sales stages, all via the Opportunity Record. Here is an example of the stages of a sample pipeline:

  1. New Opportunity
  2. Demo Scheduled
  3. Demo Presented
  4. Working
  5. Agreement Sent
  6. Signed Agreement Received
  7. First Payment Received
  8. Lost

The idea is for the salesperson to move the lead along the process, getting closer and closer to the sale with each stage move progression. This will trigger any automated processes associated with each stage move.

This tool also allows sales managers to get accurate sales team reports, see how any leads are currently at each sales stage, and get some fairly accurate numbers for revenue forecasting. Does that sound appealing? Let’s get started!

Before setting up your Infusionsoft sales pipeline, you’ll want to do the following:

Map It Out On Paper First
Sometimes it’s easier to set up your sales pipeline on paper first, and then set it up in Infusionsoft once you have all of the details and timing worked out. When setting this up for my clients, I have them fill out a worksheet so I get all the information needed to do the set up. You can download my worksheet here and use it to help you strategically map out your process on paper before doing the work of setting it up inside Infusionsoft. Believe me, this is work you only want to have to do once. So having a clear plan to start with is the best way to begin.

Number the Sales Stages

You’ll need to number the sales stages so an appropriate order is determined. As a best practice, leave approximately five numbers in between each stage number to allow room for growth or changes. This allows for easily inserting new stages in the future if needed, without needing to renumber the entire sales pipeline. So instead of numbering the stages 1, 2, 3, number them 1, 5, 10, 15, 20, etc.

Name the Sales Stages
Name your sales stages and put them in the order they should be accomplished. Sometimes the salesperson will be required to choose between two stages for the next stage move. When this is the case, you can add “a” and “b” to the stage number so you can easily tell there are two options available (e.g., 10a and 10b).

Set the Target Days

Set the target days for each stage according to how long it’s okay for someone to be in a particular stage before they should be moved. For example, if it normally takes up to seven days to get a lead scheduled for a product demo, then set the Target Days to 7. On day 8, the opportunity record will show the stage move as 1 day overdue.

Set the Probability percent

Setting the percent for each stage involves determining how close the lead is to buying at each stage. As leads advance through your sales pipeline, the probability of them buying increases with each stage move. So therefore the probability % should increase as well, with the Won stage being set at 100%.

Add Manual Task Checklists
Determine which manual tasks are required and which manual tasks are optional at each sales stage and set them up under the Checklist items. Manual tasks are those which cannot be easily automated, such as preparing and mailing a contract to the lead. I like to write Checklist items in the past-tense so the salesperson realizes it’s something that needs be to have already been completed before being checked off as completed. This creates accountability for these manual tasks to get done.

Determine Which Tasks Can Be Automated

Automated processes and actions like sending an email, assigning a task, or applying a note, can be set up for each stage move. They are set up in the Campaign Builder and you use a Stage Move goal to trigger the sequence containing the processes, actions and timers for each stage. The Stage Move goal can be set to work when a lead is being moved out of or into a particular stage. So you’ll want to think strategically about these goals and what automation should be used.

Are you getting the picture? Still have questions? Great, I have answers!

Q. How do I determine what my sales stages are?

A. They are going to be unique to your business and will be largely informed by your current sales process. What process do leads go through to become a customer? How many times do they usually need to speak with a salesperson or account rep before they buy? Is there a live demo involved or any other kind of meeting that needs to be scheduled and attended before a lead usually buys from you? You’re looking for ways to determine what the ideal process is that leads to a sale, and then track those processes via sales stages.

Q. What if I’m not sure what my Target Days should be?

A. No problem. Take a guess for now. If none of your salespeople can meet the deadline for the stage move, that means the number of target days was too short. If your leads are all moving through the stages way quicker than you expected, the number of target days may be too long. It may take time to find your ideal numbers.

Q. How do I know if a manual process should be set up as a Checklist item or as an automated task assigned using the Campaign Builder?
A. Tasks can be set up to trigger additional automation. Checklist items can be set up so that they must be checked off in order to move an opportunity record to a different stage. To determine which to use, or whether to use both, ask yourself these questions:

1. Do I want to see a record of the completed tasks in the contact record? If yes, you need a task. Checklist items are not recorded in the contact record history.

2. Do you want to trigger automation upon completion of the task? If yes, you need a task.

3. If you want to incorporate manual tasks, so that a stage will be moved only after a specific manual task is completed, then make it a required checklist item. This is the best use of the Opportunity Checklist.

For certain things, all of these answers might be yes, in which case you need both a checklist item and a task.

Q. What else do I need to set up besides my Sales Pipeline and my Pipeline Automation Campaign?
A. Here are some other areas of the app to set up:

1. Opportunity Default Settings need to be set up. This is mandatory if you’re using the Sales Pipeline. You’ll find them under CRM > Settings > Opportunity Defaults. Hint – Determining what your Sales Pipeline will look like first will make it easier to decide what your Opportunity Default Settings should be. You can download my worksheet here to design your process.

2. Round Robin Settings (optional). If you choose to assign leads to your sales team via Round Robin, you’ll want to set up your logic for distributing the leads. This is done under CRM > Settings > Round Robin.

3. Be sure your salespeople have been set up as users in your Infusionsoft and that they’ve been assigned the Sales Rep user group in their user record.

Well, that about wraps it up. If you’re setting up a sales pipeline in Infusionsoft this should get you off to a great start. Be sure to download my worksheet here so you can plan it all out on paper before setting it up inside the app. P.S. Did you know that the sales pipeline can also be used to track your fulfillment process? Learn more in this companion post[LD1]  on the Automating Success blog: Setting Up Your Fulfillment Tracking Process.

 [LD1]Link to your post on your own blog.