Best practices - lead lifecycle / lead status

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Edyta7510
Top Contributor

Hi, 

I'd like to bring a set of clear rules to our sales team to follow when it comes to contact management in HubSpot. There are a few dilemmas I'm facing, as below: 

 

1. What is the difference between Sales Qualified Lead and Opportunity? or, to put it in other words, when you should create a new deal? It's very unclear for us today to align on what should trigger that. The outcome of the first call/meeting? More? Less? I know this is very different for each business, but wondering how others define this. 

 

2. As per HubSpot definitions, The Lead Status property describes the sub-stages within a Sales Qualified Lead lifecycle stage. Does it mean the lead status should only be updated if a contact is a Sales Qualified Lead already? 

 

3. If a Marketing Qualified Lead is routed to sales and they need to "disqualify it", should they change the lifecycle stage to a Sales Qualified Lead and then update Lead Status to unqualified? this seems quite complex. 

 

Many thanks for any insights!

Edyta

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karstenkoehler
Solution
Most Valuable Member

Hi @Edyta7510,

 


@Edyta7510 wrote:

What is the difference between Sales Qualified Lead and Opportunity? or, to put it in other words, when you should create a new deal? It's very unclear for us today to align on what should trigger that. The outcome of the first call/meeting? More? Less? I know this is very different for each business, but wondering how others define this. 


HubSpot defines a SQL as a contact that your sales team has qualified as a potential customer and an opportunity as a contact who is associated with a deal (e.g., they're involved in a potential deal with your organization). Yes, this can be a bit ambiguous and can be interpreted quite differently. A SQL meets certain criteria defined for the sales process (e.g. the request of a demo). An opportunity signals a higher probability of closing. What exactly that means for your company is to some extent up for interpretation.

 


@Edyta7510 wrote:

As per HubSpot definitions, The Lead Status property describes the sub-stages within a Sales Qualified Lead lifecycle stage. Does it mean the lead status should only be updated if a contact is a Sales Qualified Lead already? 


Technically yes. That is how the field is supposed to be used. You can of course decide to live dangerously and re-interpret how you use this field, especially if you have SDRs or BDRs working on contacts with the Lifecycle stage Lead. This field does not have any automation associated with by default. Feel free to do what you want here.

 


@Edyta7510 wrote:

3. If a Marketing Qualified Lead is routed to sales and they need to "disqualify it", should they change the lifecycle stage to a Sales Qualified Lead and then update Lead Status to unqualified? this seems quite complex.


Different opinions here. Resetting the Lifecycle stage is a bit of a hassle (would have to be done via workflow by clearing the Lifecycle stage property), contacts retain the "Became a ... date" which a lot of reports are referring to. So you're not making your life easier in reporting.

 

I'm a fan of keeping the Lifecycle stage and maintaining a disqualification reason custom property. That way, it's easier to keep track of SLAs (just imagine if sales reset contact lifecycle stages and they're not counted toward marketing's attainment anymore).

 

Hope this helps!

Karsten Köhler
Freelance Digital Marketing Advisor

Beratungstermin mit Karsten vereinbaren


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karstenkoehler
Solution
Most Valuable Member

Hi @Edyta7510,

 

Correct, an SQL could be updated to "Other", but this is really up to the team's preference and how they've aligned with marketing. For the sake of keeping things clean, it would make sense.

 

Best regards!

Karsten Köhler
Freelance Digital Marketing Advisor

Beratungstermin mit Karsten vereinbaren


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karstenkoehler
Solution
Most Valuable Member

Hi @Edyta7510,

 


@Edyta7510 wrote:

What is the difference between Sales Qualified Lead and Opportunity? or, to put it in other words, when you should create a new deal? It's very unclear for us today to align on what should trigger that. The outcome of the first call/meeting? More? Less? I know this is very different for each business, but wondering how others define this. 


HubSpot defines a SQL as a contact that your sales team has qualified as a potential customer and an opportunity as a contact who is associated with a deal (e.g., they're involved in a potential deal with your organization). Yes, this can be a bit ambiguous and can be interpreted quite differently. A SQL meets certain criteria defined for the sales process (e.g. the request of a demo). An opportunity signals a higher probability of closing. What exactly that means for your company is to some extent up for interpretation.

 


@Edyta7510 wrote:

As per HubSpot definitions, The Lead Status property describes the sub-stages within a Sales Qualified Lead lifecycle stage. Does it mean the lead status should only be updated if a contact is a Sales Qualified Lead already? 


Technically yes. That is how the field is supposed to be used. You can of course decide to live dangerously and re-interpret how you use this field, especially if you have SDRs or BDRs working on contacts with the Lifecycle stage Lead. This field does not have any automation associated with by default. Feel free to do what you want here.

 


@Edyta7510 wrote:

3. If a Marketing Qualified Lead is routed to sales and they need to "disqualify it", should they change the lifecycle stage to a Sales Qualified Lead and then update Lead Status to unqualified? this seems quite complex.


Different opinions here. Resetting the Lifecycle stage is a bit of a hassle (would have to be done via workflow by clearing the Lifecycle stage property), contacts retain the "Became a ... date" which a lot of reports are referring to. So you're not making your life easier in reporting.

 

I'm a fan of keeping the Lifecycle stage and maintaining a disqualification reason custom property. That way, it's easier to keep track of SLAs (just imagine if sales reset contact lifecycle stages and they're not counted toward marketing's attainment anymore).

 

Hope this helps!

Karsten Köhler
Freelance Digital Marketing Advisor

Beratungstermin mit Karsten vereinbaren


Did my post help answer your query? Help the community by marking it as a solution.

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Edyta7510
Top Contributor

Hi @karstenkoehler and many thanks for these insights! 

Below a few comments from my side, just to make sure I got this right. 

 

  • A contact makes it until the Sales Qualified Lead, but then, based on various reasons, sales team decides they no longer qualify. 
  • The Contact Lifecycle stage in this case should be kept as Sales Qualified Lead or manually updated to "Other"? (This one is still not 100% clear to me). 
  • More info on disqualification reasons can be stored in a custom property. 

Thanks!

0 Upvotes
karstenkoehler
Solution
Most Valuable Member

Hi @Edyta7510,

 

Correct, an SQL could be updated to "Other", but this is really up to the team's preference and how they've aligned with marketing. For the sake of keeping things clean, it would make sense.

 

Best regards!

Karsten Köhler
Freelance Digital Marketing Advisor

Beratungstermin mit Karsten vereinbaren


Did my post help answer your query? Help the community by marking it as a solution.

View solution in original post

Edyta7510
Top Contributor

Thanks @karstenkoehler 

Edyta7510
Top Contributor

Hello @karstenkoehler

I have one more question on this topic, perhaps I'm overthinking it, but: 

 

1. Customer - this status is being set now to all contacts that are associated with a company that has at least 1 closed won deal (it does't matter if they are associated with a deal or not).

 

2. Opportunities - by default, we have 1/2 contacts associated with an open deal, but there are multiple contacts associated with the same company. Shall these be promoted to an opportunity stage in the lifecycle?  In theory, all contacts from this company should be treated the same way in the system from the moment the deal is open... 

 

Would love to hear your thoughts on this!

Thanks!

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