Understanding Lead Stages

Lead Stage

Leads may be at different levels of engagement with your offers depending upon their awareness, need, interest and budget. The position of a Lead in marketing funnel based on its level of engagement is called Lead Stage.  You can group Leads into different stages based on their similarity or disparity in their level of engagement.  The advantage of this grouping is that you can customize your method of Lead engagement and your offers for each Lead Stage.

As Lead progress from being a mere contact to customer, it transitions several intermediate stages. This transitioning of large collection of Leads typically forms a shape of a funnel like the one below.

Lead Stages

Names or All-Names

This is the stage where Lead is part of all possible contacts that may collectively represent your universe of target


A Lead that is paying attention to your marketing methods and offers is called Engaged. For example, a Lead that is opening your emails and clicking links.


A prospect is any engaged Lead who may be in need of goods or services that your company offers.

Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL)

It represents a Lead that has been explicitly qualified by marketing team based on the level of engagement with the lead.  For example, a Lead that has responded to an Email Campaign or submitted its details on a Landing Page could be classified as MQL.

Sales Qualified Lead (SQL)

Marketing team typically hands over the MQL leads to sales team. When sales team engages with the Lead (typically through a phone or in person meeting) and qualifies it to be good enough to be pursued then it moves to the SQL stage.


A Lead moves into Opportunity stage when it qualifies the Budget, Authority, Need, Timeline (BANT) criteria:

  • Budget: The Lead has budget to buy your goods or services
  • Authority: The Lead has authority to buy
  • Need: Lead is in definite need of your goods or services
  • Timeline: There is a defined timeline to buy

When a Lead eventually buys your goods or services, it becomes a Customer.

Example of Lead Stages from Tech Industry

You can configure Lead Stages based on how you want to track the progress of lead in sales cycle. We have captured lead stages for Tech Industry to give you some ideas.

SaaS vendors:

Lead Stages - SaaS


Independent Software Vendors (ISV):

Lead Stages - ISV

IT Consulting Companies:

Lead Stages - IT Consulting

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2 months ago

Yes, this was a good read. It would be even better if you cite specific examples of how it can work by industry type.

Sri Sudhan
1 month ago

Thank you for your feedback, Vivek. Going forward, we’ll add industry-specific content on the help site.