Use these best practices for Contact or Lead Stages BEFORE you finalize your CRM synchronization. Whether your team has finalized Contacts/Leads and Account Stages, or not, here's a guide to editing Apollo Stages to match your statuses.
Even if your stages don't have the same verbiage used in this guide, having at least relevant stages to the stages listed here gives you heightened clarity into your sales/marketing pipeline, more clear analytical insights, and increases productivity across sales/marketing teams.
This article contains the following sections:
Cold: This contact is a new contact, who has not been emailed, called, or reached out to before. Go get 'em with a sequence or a campaign!
Approaching: The contact has been sent at least 1 email or was called. You can manually update the contact to this stage or, use sequences, and the contact stage will automatically be updated.
Replied: You've received a reply to your email from this contact. Apollo will automatically update a contact to this stage if they reply to an email from a sequence. But, you can also mark the contact as replied manually if not using sequences.
Interested: You've got a potential deal on your hands – your contact is interested in exploring working together further. Apollo updates the contact to the "interested" stage automatically if the email of your contact is detected in a Gmail calendar invitation (this only works when you have your Gmail account linked and use google calendar).
Not Interested: The prospect responded, "not at this time," "reach out in 6 months," or "we have another solution for that, thanks." You can re-engage these leads with nurture messages later if their company is a qualified potential client and this contact fits into your buyer persona profile.
Unresponsive: Prospects are automatically marked as "unresponsive" by Apollo if added to a sequence and they never reply or engage with your messaging. You can also manually change prospects to this stage. Re-engage these leads every 30-90 days, as educating prospects and better timing can make an eventual sale.
Bad Data: The Prospect's email bounced because the email was incorrect. This is not the same as not interested or unresponsive. So, keep these separate.
Changed Job: Apollo has a special stage for contacts from the Job Change feature. Because Apollo is a data-first engagement tool, we let you know when someone changes jobs so you can email them at the right time, as they're settling into their new role.
To access this configuration, go to Settings > Contacts > Stages, to review and customize Apollo Contact Stages.
Breakdown of Recommended Stages for Contacts
|Default Stage||Overwritten / Custom Stage||Category||'Do Not Override' Checked?|
|Closed: Check Back Quarterly||Not Succeeded||Yes|
|Unresponsive||Closed: Unresponsive||Not Succeeded||No|
|Closed: Referred Elsewhere||No Category||Yes|
|Not Interested||Closed: Not Interested||Not Succeeded||Yes|
|Closed: Bad Fit||Not Succeeded||Yes|
|Do Not Contact||Closed: Do Not Contact||Not Succeeded||Yes|
|Closed: Bad Data||Not Succeeded||Yes|
|Closed: Changed Job||Not Succeeded||Yes|
|Bad Data||No Category||Yes|
|Changed Job||No Category||Yes|
To access this configuration, go to Settings > Accounts > Stages, to review and customize Apollo Account Stages.
Breakdown of Recommended Stages for Accounts
|Default Stages||Overwritten / Custom Stage||Category|
|Engaged / Hot||In Progress|
|Dead Opportunity||Not Succeeded|
|Bad Fit||Not Succeeded|
|Nurture - Timing||Not Succeeded|
|Nurture - Not Interested||Not Succeeded|
|Nurture - Unresponsive||Not Succeeded|
|Do Not Prospect||Not Succeeded|
You can add custom stages to identify specific statuses for your Contacts and Accounts while going over the engagement process of your team and to map stages based on the ones you have over your CRM, to keep all your records synced between the two applications.
When creating custom Stages, make sure to overwrite existing stages that could leverage their current mappings to the triggers that run the automated stage changes. For example, when a contact replies, the Contact is automatically updated to the REPLIED Contact Stage.
Triggers Based on Stages
When editing Stages you should keep in mind that there are triggers associated with your Contacts and Accounts Stages. To ensure they stages are mapped appropriately to their email and call triggers, review the settings under Settings > Contacts > Stages > Triggers and Settings > Accounts > Stages > Triggers.
Here's a guide to walk you through editing your Email and Call Triggers, based on the Contacts/Accounts Stages.