Chapter 1Developing Your Sales Stack

The Sales Stack is the technology you use throughout the sales process to engage potential buyers and to facilitate them at each stage of your pipeline. This should be a repeatable and scalable system that runs from the top of the pipeline down to the hand-off after you have signed a contract.

Where Do I Start?

To get started, ask yourself two things: “What stages of the pipeline matter most to me?” and “What are the milestones that I want to hit along the way?” Don't list too many stages, as they can confuse you as you scale your business.

Your pipeline might look something like Figure 1.1:

Figure depicting a pipeline where boxes representing contacted, qualified, demo, proposal, and closed are arranged horizontally from left to right.

Figure 1.1 Pipeline

I recommend that each stage has its own checklist. For example, in the “Closed” stage, make sure you ask for referrals. In the “Proposal” stage, you may want to use a product to track in order to see what page of the proposal the customer is looking at, and follow up on it.

The main things that matter when you are managing a pipeline are the following:

  • Total number of deals in the pipeline
  • Average deal size
  • Percent of deals that move from stage to stage until they are closed
  • Average time a deal stays in the pipeline

You'll want to find baseline numbers to measure each stage of the sales process. Be extremely diligent about staying on top of these numbers as deals move from stage to stage. Using a good customer relationship management ...

Get Hacking Sales now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience books, live events, courses curated by job role, and more from O’Reilly and nearly 200 top publishers.