When it comes to sales or prospecting, whether you buy businesses or sell a service, what does your lead status/lifecycle stage system look like?

What is your description of Lead Status, and Lifecycle Stages?

How do you discern the two?

and more importantly, What does your process look like?

The reason that I'm asking is to maximize my process for M&A & would appreciate the feedback and advice from those in the same field.

many thanks in advance - Adam