Lifecycle Stages in Marketing and Sales

As part of our Sales Process Operations, we are using the following Lifecycle Stages and Definitions


Contacts who know of your business and have opted in to hear more from your team. These are likely visitors that have signed up for your blog or newsletter.


Contacts who have shown sales-readiness beyond being a subscriber. An example of a lead is a contact who signs up for a content offer from your business.

Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL)

Contacts who have engaged with the team's marketing efforts, but are still not ready to receive a Sales call. An example of an MQL is a contact who responds to a specific form in a marketing campaign.

Sales Qualified Lead (SQL)

Contacts who have indicated through their actions that they are ready for a direct Sales follow-up. An example of an SQL is a contact who submits a question about your product through a contact form.


Contacts who are real Sales opportunities, i.e., contacts who are a member of an opportunity/deal set up in the CRM.


Contacts with closed-won opportunities/deals. Closed-won opportunities require an executed agreement between your firm and the Customer. 

While you might provide services to other individuals, e.g., customers of your customers, and you have an indirect contract relationship with them, those are NOT considered customers.

For a more granular look at a customer, we are using the following definitions:

    • Customer Company. The company or its parent companies contracting with a Customer Contact.

    • Customer Status: This can be Active (=current customer) or Inactive (=former customer). This Status is used for Contacts and Companies.  A company customer status is active with one or more active Customer Contacts.
    • Active Engagement Customer Contacts: Customer Contacts who are team members in active contractual engagements.


Customers who advocate for your business and whose networks may be leveraged for further leads.

Additional information can be found in the Aspiration Marketing Lifecycle Stages and Buyer's Journey Map.

We use the same definitions also to define the Lifecycle Stage of a Company.

Tip: We assign the highest Lifecycle Stage to the Company of a Contact; however, do NOT "synchronize back" the Company Lifecycle Stage to all the company's Contacts, i.e., if one or a small group of Company ABC individuals become a customer, this will make Company ABC a customer company.  At the same time, this will NOT make every known Contact at Company ABC a customer as well, they remain at their individual Contact Lifecycle Stage.


Tweak this approach to best support YOUR individual business model.

If you require assistance setting up your CRM to manage your contacts through Lifecycle states, please contact us and ask for one of our Sales Enablement specialists.