Journey Stages allows us to quickly see where the accounts fall on the account funnel, to then help dictate where to invest to generate more pipeline or move that pipeline to closed won. For up-selling and cross-selling existing customers, it can map to their own business post-sales process to support growing and renewing those accounts.
In this article, we will present you with some tips on how to customize Journey Stages to drive more opportunities.
RollWorks Default Journey Stages
RollWorks default settings include 5 Journey Stages to track account progression:
- Unaware - No page views in the last 30 days
- Aware - 1 or 2 page views in the last 30 days
- Engaged - 3 or more page views in the last 30 days
- Open Opportunity - An Open Opportunity in any stage exists that is not Closed Won or Closed Lost
- Closed Won Opportunity - A Closed Won Opportunity exists
These default stages are great to get started. On average at the beginning 75% of your Account List may be in the Unaware stage. So, the first step is to move these Unaware accounts to the Aware and Engaged stages. This is where advertising can play a big role in helping progress accounts.
What we find is, though, once you get an account to Engaged, there is a longer timeframe to get them to Open Opportunity, and tighter coordination and engagement on additional channels are needed to jump this chasm (ads are great, but they can't singlehandedly close deals). Without having a stage between engaged and Open Opportunity, you can lose sight of various nuanced levels of engagement.
Tip 1. Create a stage between Engaged and Open Opportunity
Creating a stage between Engaged and Open Opportunity will signal when a lead has been assigned to an account, or a known contact at the account has engaged. This will signify when the anonymous behavior starts to become known contact behavior and will be an early sign of potential Opportunity creation.
How do we do this at RollWorks
We have a field on the Salesforce Account Object to differentiate "Inbound" or "Outbound" Lead Sourced, which represents that a lead has been assigned to an account and routed to the account owner. Your MarketingOps, SalesOps or CRM team should know how this is represented in your Salesforce instance.
As your programs continue to mature, you will start to see account progress into opportunities and through opportunity stages. With default stages, RollWorks will only show when an account progresses into an Open Opportunity, or into a Closed Won Opportunity. So, we will miss a view into the movement through opportunity stages, which will hinder your view into what sales stage you can be most effective in supporting.
Tip 2. Break out the Open Opportunity default stage into each one of your sales stages
This will allow you to analyze more micro-movements in the pipeline when comparing dates over time, and help you understand progression through sales stages, not just when Opportunities go from open to Closed Won.
How do we do this at RollWorks
We have five New-Business sales stages before Closed Won, so we broke out Open Opportunities into Appointment, Assessment, Validate, Proposal, and Negotiation.
Lastly, Account Based Marketing doesn't stop once you sign a new logo. There is a wealth of opportunity in running ABM programs to up-sell, cross-sell, and retain customers. Revenue from existing customers is less expensive to generate and is instrumental in compounding growth for high-growth companies.
Tip 3. Create stages for your post-sales process to track progression or specific opportunity types after an initial new logo Closed Won deal
This will help Marketing understand how to support existing accounts for faster expansion dollars and greater retention percentages.
How do we do this at RollWorks
We have five stages in our Post Sales Process which we have setup post initial Closed Won opportunity. They are Onboarding, Tracking to Business Objectives, Optimizing, Reviewing, and Roadmap & Renewal.
Use case scenario
The below is a view on June 27th of our Strategic segment. This target account list is comprised of both prospects in our salespeople's names, but also our existing customers built dynamically from our daily sync with Salesforce.
What are these Journey Stages telling us?
We see we have some work to do in getting these accounts to the Aware stage.
We have 45 open Opportunities, but do not have much insight into the stage breakdown to understand where we can support sales additionally on fast-moving deals or late-stage deals that could close by end of quarter.
Insight gained from Tip 1 - Create a Stage between Engaged and Open Opportunity.
This is how our Journey Stages look when we customize Journey Stages to get more granular based on the 3 tips mentioned above.
It turns out, some of our Unaware accounts (based on-site visit behavior) have actually changed, to the Inbound or Outbound Lead routed stage, which means we've recently sourced lead/contact information via one of our various channels to one of our strategic accounts (even though they maybe haven't been to the site). This is a signal to us that someone within the account is actively researching our solution and should be prioritized for outreach, instead of sitting under the Unaware stage since they haven't been to our site.
Insight gained from Tip 2 - Break out Open Opportunity Default stages into each one of your sales stages.
We see that there are potentially five deals in this segment (four in the Proposal and one in the Negotiation stage) that we can mobilize against as a business to try and accelerate them to close within the quarter. Additionally, when we compare date range functions (a follow-up post to come), we see a completely different progression story as accounts move through smaller incremental stages within the pipeline, as opposed to total pipeline as one big all-inclusive stage. This helps us understand which deals are moving quickly from Appointment to Proposal, for instance, to help us understand what deals we might be able to pull forward with close dates for next quarter, into this quarter.
Insight gained from Tip 3 - Create stages for you post sales process to track progression or specific opportunity types after an initial new logo Closed Won deal.
Here we see accounts that were formerly grouped into a big Closed Won bucket, broken out into our post-sales stages. This sets the stage for us to do more advanced customer lifecycle marketing (we are not doing it quite yet, but we are hiring one if anyone has any good referrals!) For example, right now we sell mainly to marketers. However, as we've launched more recent non-ad products, our platform increasingly overlaps with Marketing / Sales Operations and Sales folks themselves. In the Onboarding stage, we'd want to advertise or market to those different personas within our new customer accounts to let them know we've begun working with the marketing team, and that our product can also help operations and sales, and bring the three groups together to better align on accounts. That is one of the primary goals of ABM after all, isn't it? Further down in the post-sales funnel, is our Roadmap and Renewal stage, where we present to customers our forward-looking roadmap and propose renewal options.