CRM Lead Status Examples and Best Practices

Before investing in a CRM system or organizing your customer base to improve the management of your customer customer acquisition or customer service processes, you’ll want to get a good handle on the foundational building blocks of your sales funnel to best manage your pipeline and your overall sales team. Although you can further describe your sales resources in infinitely granular terms, you’ll want to consider the following core concepts and common means of categorizing information and customize your CRM lead status field values.

Lead Status Best Practices – Your Core CRM Structures

Let’s start with some basic organizational parameters. Although there are many CRM tools, we’ll focus on a single CRM solution and consider lead status best practices for HubSpot; however, you can apply the same concepts to or other platforms. The following organizational lead structure is a good example for a B2B organization. You might add or delete a stage or two, but I encourage you to keep the structure simple.

Group 1: Company Records

For the purpose of our B2B discussion, a customer is a “company” because your business has an economic relationship with other companies. A B2B customer is always a company. Companies pay the bills, so the primary relationship between your business and your client is between two companies. One company may have many contacts, and companies might include: prospects, customers, competitors, vendors, media contacts or others.

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Group 2: Contact Records

The various stakeholders who control or influence the buying process are the contacts that you work with at the various prospect and client companies. Depending on the stage of their relationship with your company, we can then determine if they are a lead, customer, or evangelist for your brand.

Group 3: Deal Records

A deal is any revenue-generating opportunity. As soon as you identify a project or a need, you’ll want to create a deal and associate it with a company and the stakeholders associated with the deal. In some cases, you might have multiple companies associated with a deal, such as an architecture firm, a general contractor or a corporate client. In some cases, one company manages the bid process for another. Always know who your economic buyer is. That’s the entity that’s going to write you a check.


 Lead Status: Open

Your open lead status lets you know that nothing has happened, yet. This should bring to your attention that you have a new, unqualified lead in your pipeline that needs processing. You will need to decide how long a new lead stay in open-status before someone on your team has started working on qualifying the prospect.

Lead Status: Attempting (to Connect)

The first step in qualifying an open lead is to engage the right stakeholder. Your marketing team should be enriching the contact data, for example, by using LinkedIn to review the contact’s position and add relevant information to their contact record or to add colleagues to your company record that you might also need to connect with. Enrichment is an important step in the process of qualifying a lead record with meaningful data that helps guide the appropriate sales and marketing strategies.

Save yourself some time by using your enrichment process to verify that the contact is a good fit. If not, disqualify and move on.

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Peter Wyro, MBA

Peter Wyro, MBA

Chief Growth Officer. Peter has led international marketing and product development teams which have resulted in more than $100 million in revenue and asset value creation. He earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree from the University of Texas at Arlington and an MBA from the University of Dallas, Graduate School of Management. Proud father of two awesome daughters.