What most CRMs reflect as "Stages" in the sales process are really just possible stall points in the sales process.
Qualification is not a stage. Demo is not a stage. Proposal is not a stage. Contract is not a stage.
These are all just opportunities for sales opportunities to slow down, grind to a halt and end up in "long term follow up."
Because the right way to treat qualification, demos and proposals these sales activities is treating them as catalysts to the next stage in the sale.
That means you have a specific process for:
1. Maintaining momentum... 2. Handling objections... 3. Unstalling deals that get mired in the muck...
When you're selling a complex enterprise solution, one of your primary responsibilities is to keel control of the sale by always knowing the next step, and leading your customers through your sales process.