How To Create Opportunity Stages In ConnectWise For an Effective Sales Process
ConnectWise is one of the most popular PSAs in the world.
It is so complex, with so many features, that it can be intimidating. Like joining a new mega-gym, it’s easy to get lost. There are a lot of ConnectWise features and functions available and only a small minority will be relevant to a given sales professional. Since sales professional usually focus on one or two particular steps of the sales process, they tend to live in a select “sections” within ConnectWise.
For example, Sales professionals typically live in opportunity records. Opportunity records feature the value of the deal, providing Sales professionals and management key optics, such as potential revenue feeding the sales pipeline forecast.
Today, I’m here as your personal trainer to help you strengthen your ConnectWise. I want to give you a simple but impactful regimen to help you set up a few basic, yet powerful fields on the opportunity record that will help you close more deals, forecast more effectively, and improve the overall quality of life of the sales team.
Configuring Opportunity Stages
ConnectWise associates opportunities with “stages,” which represent key milestones in the sales process. When you set up opportunity stages, you associate a percentage value (i.e., 25%, 85%, 90%, etc.) to them that indicates the probability of the deal closing.
These stages are configured by visiting the “System” link located at the bottom left-hand side of your menu. Then, click on the “Setup Tables” link, chose Category “Opportunities” in the dropdown on the left-hand side in the table and press “Search”. This will bring you to the “Opportunity Fields” setup page. Here, you can access the default fields or create fields for various sales opportunity setup options. Click “Sales Stage” link, and you will arrive at the “Opportunity Sales Stage” page. This is where you can add/edit “Opportunity Sales Stage Picklist Values.”
Now it’s time to dig in! You can edit default values and/or add new values. Here are some of my stage value recommendations with the order they should follow.
Stage Name: Market Qualifying
Description: A prospect has been identified as market-qualified and an “opportunity” record has been created.
Opportunities are the virtual representation of a sales engagement in ConnectWise. MSPs have differing views on opportunity conception. My preference is to create an opportunity when you first identify that a potential sale could exist with a prospect in a time frame acceptable to your sales organization. For the purpose of this article, when your MSPs criteria is met, an opportunity should be created with a baseline value.
Stage Name: Triage Session
Description: The sales professional is in contact with the prospect and the appropriate stakeholders are being identified and targeted. The sales professional is now uncovering needs, discovering pain points, navigating the business, determining the buying process, etc. The Triage session is really meant to qualify the sales further and establish a report.
You will most likely consider adding another layer of granularity here so that stages are more representative of your specific sales cycle. Nevertheless, every sales organization should have a stage that represents that active conversations are taking place. The probability percentage you assign will be relative to how deep into your process the opportunity has advanced—a value between 20-40% generally works as a placeholder.
Stage Name: Discovery Session
Description: The sales professional is in contact with the prospect and the appropriate stakeholders are being asked multitude of questions to get the most information about the prospects business to develop a quality scope of work. The sales professional and sales engineer are now uncovering needs, discovering technical issues, and assessing the technology used in the business to create a quality assessment. Gather as much information about the prospect as possible to truly help their business needs with the use technology.
Stage Name: Proposal Development
Description: The sales professional and sales engineer gather all the information learned from the Discovery Session to put together a quality proposal. The proposal should include a presentation of what the assessment found and a scope of work to solve the concerns of the prospect and any areas which the MSP determines is of concern. ConnectWise Sell, Quotewerks, and Rapid Fire Tools are two tools that are commonly used during this stage. Much like the previous stage, this is a critical moment in the sales cycle that prospects’ opportunities need to reach before advancing.
Stage Name: Proposal Delivered
Description: We are now entering an area where the variables increase across MSPs. The Sales professional has shared pricing and, ideally, has granted the prospect access to sign your proposal. This stage represents the opportunities that have an ability to say yes or no. I’ve always used a probability of 50% for this stage but many sales organizations tend to use a lower number. It’s a personal forecasting preference for your organization because at the end of the day its either a yes or a no. If your MSP demonstrates its understanding of the prospects environment and its business needs your success will be much higher.
Stage Name: Closed Won
Description: A successful proposal has been signed and the contract is now effective. The sales professionals are able to recognize the completion of the deal toward their respective quotas and compensation plan payouts are triggered.
Stage Name: Closed Lost
Description: This stage represents a sales cycle that has concluded unsuccessfully. An opportunity can be moved to Closed Lost from any other stage; it does not follow a specific path. When the sales professional identifies that an opportunity no longer meets the requirements to remain opened, it should be marked “Closed Lost” in order to keep the opportunity pipeline clean.
Once you determine stages, it’s time to add them to the workflow. To do so, click on the “New” button to add a new value or simply click on “Replace” to swap a new value with an old one:
If you decide to create a “New” value, you will add a “Name.” You will then be able to select the “Probability” and, finally, enter a “Funnel Color” and a “Sequence Number.”
After you have added all of the new opportunity “stages,” it’s time to teach your team on how to use the stages and the logic behind the configuration. Consistent process across your MSP is essential for effective forecasting and leveraging data to power your quest toward dominating your numbers!