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How do I handle free users vs paying customers in the CRM?


We offer a SaaS product and have until now sold it with a free trial. That means our funnel is straightforward: Lead -> MQL -> SQL - > Opp -> Customer


Now we're introducing a free-forever simplified version of our product and that raises the question of how to handle this in Hubspot.

We can either treat a signup as a customer with zero revenue or as an MQL, since the free product is ultimately for leadgen.


The key, I guess, is to be able to separate free from paying customers, so we can communicate separately to them.


I guess others must be dealing with the same setup - how have you solved it?

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Hi, @troelsfeodor. It sounds like you're wondering what Lifecycle Stage should apply to free customers, or if Lifecycle Stage should even be used to make this distinction. 


First, the Lifecycle Stage values you see can't be customized, so that's going to limit your options. There's the default value of "Other", but this presents some challenges, especially for CRM-only users. This value is at the end of the lifecycle stage values, and records can't move backwards through lifecycle stages. [They can, however, be set backwards via a manual edit; or, programmatically via workflows by first clearing the value, then setting a new value. If you're not using the Marketing product, however, workflows aren't an option.]


In a practical sense, it's probably not viable to use a value of "Other" with free users. Given these caveats, you'll probably want to create a custom property which indicates whether someone is a free user, and use that instead. 

Brad Mampe, Salesforce Analyst, Fidelity
I'm probably wrong. I may not be right about that.

Thanks for the input. I agree and think we're gonna go with another way of indicating a free user.

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@troelsfeodor something you may consider is using a custom contact property: https://knowledge.hubspot.com/contacts-user-guide-v2/how-to-create-contact-and-company-properties


For example you could have a property called customer tier and then provide 2 options: paid and free. You'd then be able to use this to filter views, and you could display it in the "about me" section of the contact record. 


A little late, but I hope this helps!