CRM

MWolf
Contributor

Use of the lead status with existing customers

SOLVE

Hello,

A frequently asked question to which I have not yet been able to find a satisfactory solution concern specifically the handling of existing customers:

 

- Do lead statuses only serve the sales processing of a lead during the SQL phase (and thus only for new leads/new customers), and are lead statuses only used during the SQL phase of a contact? Are (suitable) lead statuses (e.g., in process, open deal, etc.) not also set for follow-up orders from existing customers (lifecycle phase "Customer")?

 

- Business with existing customers (in B2B) must also be managed and nurtured - also in the sense of the Flywheel philosophy. Therefore, you also need lead status information on possible follow-up business (up-/cross-sell) in the customer lifecycle phase. Or am I fundamentally misunderstanding this?

 

- Last question: What is the best practice for dealing with won deals? Does it make sense to set a lead status to "deal won" or "customer" (or similar) after a deal has been won? Or is it better to delete all lead statuses of the contact via workflow? Until the sales rep/key account has reestablished contact (with the existing customer) and then sets the lead status back to "in process"?

 

How do other Hubspot users handle this circumstance - especially in the B2B project business?

 

I've done much research in the last few months, reading and watching videos on the lifecycle phase and lead statuses. But almost everything I have found deals with lead statuses as a detailed "subdivision" during the SQL phase - and thus with new customers. So far, I have hardly been able to find anything on dealing with existing customers - but especially, unfortunately, nothing that would satisfactorily resolve my question marks on dealing with existing customers.

 

There is probably no answer as to how it "should" be done, but it would be great to get some insights into how others deal with this issue.

I'm sure other HubSpot users have had this issue as well.

 

@KyleJepson, please allow me to bring this post to your attention.  Thank you very much for your support and some inspiration! 

1 Accepted solution
Jnix284
Solution
Key Advisor | Partner
Key Advisor | Partner

Use of the lead status with existing customers

SOLVE

Hi @MWolf ,

 

I think you may find a lack of documentation on existing customers because there are so many ways this can be handled beyond the lead status property. For example, existing customers could be handled exclusively in a dedicated pipeline for upsell opportunity, subscription renewal, etc.

 

By using deal pipelines for existing customers, you retain their lifecycle stage as a customer and allow them to flow through your pipeline as many times as needed.

 

I have seen a few instances where leads flow through all the way to customer and then come back around and are treated as a new lead (usually years later) - each of these were in B2B situations where the lifetime of the lead was much shorter compared to the lifetime as a customer (i.e. buying a home or a car).

 

So to answer your questions:

 

- yes, I would say that in most cases, lead status is used to further breakout SQL lead definitions. I have seen exceptions here as well.

 

- this depends, once they are a customer, are they always a customer? can they leave and come back? if they are "still" a customer, would you not be working them via deal pipeline, tickets, etc. to upsell and service their account?

 

- I don't think I can answer your question about deal won without better understanding your specific use case, going back to whether you have the need to "reuse" the lead status property, or if you will use another property or combination to identify existing customers that could benefit from additional products/services.

 

Perhaps some of the other experts will have better insights and examples to help clarify. 🙂

 

Hope this helps you get started on answering your questions,

Jennifer

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5 Replies 5
Jnix284
Solution
Key Advisor | Partner
Key Advisor | Partner

Use of the lead status with existing customers

SOLVE

Hi @MWolf ,

 

I think you may find a lack of documentation on existing customers because there are so many ways this can be handled beyond the lead status property. For example, existing customers could be handled exclusively in a dedicated pipeline for upsell opportunity, subscription renewal, etc.

 

By using deal pipelines for existing customers, you retain their lifecycle stage as a customer and allow them to flow through your pipeline as many times as needed.

 

I have seen a few instances where leads flow through all the way to customer and then come back around and are treated as a new lead (usually years later) - each of these were in B2B situations where the lifetime of the lead was much shorter compared to the lifetime as a customer (i.e. buying a home or a car).

 

So to answer your questions:

 

- yes, I would say that in most cases, lead status is used to further breakout SQL lead definitions. I have seen exceptions here as well.

 

- this depends, once they are a customer, are they always a customer? can they leave and come back? if they are "still" a customer, would you not be working them via deal pipeline, tickets, etc. to upsell and service their account?

 

- I don't think I can answer your question about deal won without better understanding your specific use case, going back to whether you have the need to "reuse" the lead status property, or if you will use another property or combination to identify existing customers that could benefit from additional products/services.

 

Perhaps some of the other experts will have better insights and examples to help clarify. 🙂

 

Hope this helps you get started on answering your questions,

Jennifer

MWolf
Contributor

Use of the lead status with existing customers

SOLVE

Hi Jennifer,

Thank you for your input. I understand that there is no "recommended" solution for dealing with existing customers. The more I am interested in what scenarios are conceivable and used.

In the scenario I have, customers remain customers. They don't leave and come back. So they only go through the SQL phase once. But they (hopefully) place repeat orders as existing customers.
Since, for internal reasons, all deals are to be covered by a single pipeline, (individual) lead statuses such as "In process" or "Open deal" are also relevant for existing customers in this scenario. Therefore, lead statuses are also (re)used for existing customers.

But of course, this doesn't have to be the best solution. That's why I'm happy to hear about other approaches and ideas.
If I understood you correctly, you would map deals of existing customers in a separate pipeline and not use lead statuses in the pre-deal phase for sales control, but start controlling only after a deal has been created?

Thanks so much for sharing and for the inspiration. This helps a lot to set up HubSpot well!

Michael

Jnix284
Key Advisor | Partner
Key Advisor | Partner

Use of the lead status with existing customers

SOLVE

@MWolf 

Hi Michael,

 

I'm happy to help get the conversation going, and to provide a bit of inspiration too!

 

It doesn't sound like you have subscriptions, if you do, I would recommend setting up a recurring revenue pipeline.

 

Here is the information on adding an additional pipeline.

 

By creating a separate pipeline for existing customers, I think there are many benefits - to start with your initial question regardling lead status, these leads have already converted to customers, which has the opportunity to add force to your flywheel. How you engage with them is likely to be very different than a new lead.

 

This also opens up an opportunity for more accurate reporting, with pipeline reporting you can better separate out repeat orders from existing customers and so much more.

 

I really liked this lesson from HubSpot Academy on mapping the sales process, I think it could help provide insights into "why" you might want more than one pipeline.

MWolf
Contributor

Use of the lead status with existing customers

SOLVE

Hi Jennifer,

Isn't this what it's all about in the community - help and inspire? I appreciate this a lot! Thank you very much for that 👏🏻

 

We don't have subscriptions. Our business is B2B project-based.

 

I will dig deeper into creating separate pipelines. Maybe this solves our problem - although internally not preferred. 

 

Thank you again so much 

Michael 

kvonloesecke
Community Manager
Community Manager

Use of the lead status with existing customers

SOLVE

Hi @MWolf,

 

Thanks for reaching out to the Community!

 

These are excellent questions 😊

 

I'll add some active members from our Community to get this conversation going.

Hi @danmoyle@johnelmer@Ben_M@Josh@Dan1@Jnix284 - How do you use lead status for existing customers? Do you have any tips for @MWolf?

 

Thank you!

 

Best,

Kristen


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