How do you handle skipped Lifecycle stages?

SOLVE
donrua
Top Contributor

I really like the Funnel report for lifecycle stages, and how for the "all" setting, it will give you the running conversion percentage for each stage.

However, we have many situations where sales doesn't always go through every stage. If they make a hot contact that's ready to go, they might enter the deal at Opportunity, skipping lead, mql, sql, and other stages in the Deal stage pipeline.

I have workflow that says "when a company moves to X position in the pipeline, update their lifecycle stage". But when these deals skip pipeline stages, then my lifecycle stages aer skipped. When that happens, they are not shown in the funnel diagram. This happens alot, and is rendering the funnel useless atm.

I'm ignorant of how to fix this. Are their ways using workflow logic, or reporting logic, to solve the problem. Assume that getting all of the sales team to put someone in every pipeline stage, save, put them in the next, save, etc etc, rather than just jumping to the higher level, isn't feasible.

I thought about trying to write a workflow that compensates for the skipped stages, but I believe workflow cannot put lifecycle stages back, and I'd need tojump back 3 levels in some cases, then put 2 levels, then 1 level, then update it to current, to catch up all the skipped stages.

(showing image of funnel for deal stages, because my lifecycle funnels are flat due to the issue described above)

donrua_0-1618245623967.png

 

0 Upvotes
3 Accepted solutions

Accepted Solutions
karstenkoehler
Solution
Thought Leader | Partner

Hi @donrua,

 

I agree that this is a pain to deal with. Fortunately, you can make use of the fact that contacts can't go back in their Lifecycle stage. In each workflow, before setting a Lifecycle stage to, let's say "MQL", set it to all previous stages, one after another, first. For example, a workflow that set a lifecycle stage to "MQL" should look like this:

 

karstenkoehler_0-1618250024666.png

 

Earlier lifecycle stages will be skipped automatically (since contacts can't go back) and the contact will eventually end up in the correct one. That way, each contact will also get the Became a [lifecycle stage] date property and will show up in each section of the funnel report.

 

I've made it a habit to do this in every single workflow that sets lifecycle stages.

 

As far as backfilling values goes, you would have to clear the property first before you can send contacts through the process described above. (Clearing the property value is the only way to send a contact back in Lifecycle stage.) This would be tedious and you would have to be very careful. You would identify contacts who are missing a Became a [lifecycle stage] date, reset their Lifecycle stage via workflow and then set it to the desired Lifecycle stage value.

 

For example:

 

All contacts with Lifecycle stage "Lead" and missing Became a subscriber date value Clear Lifecycle stage Set Lifecycle stage to "Subscriber" and then "Lead"

All contacts with Lifecycle stage "MQL" and missing Became a subscriber date or Became a lead date value Clear Lifecycle stage Set Lifecycle stage to "Subscriber", then "Lead", then MQL

etc.

 

Keep in mind that this would also "reset" all Became a [lifecycle stage] date values. You wouldn't be able to rely on those date properties anymore – but the contacts would show up in the funnel report.

 

Hope this helps!

Karsten Köhler
Freelance Digital Marketing Advisor

Beratungstermin mit Karsten vereinbaren


Hat mein Beitrag deine Frage beantwortet? Bitte hilf der Community und markiere ihn als Lösung.

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donrua
Solution
Top Contributor

Karsten. Major props for taking the time to think it through, and write it up. I appreciate it.

I started to try something like the above, but I didn't think about making sure that it's reflected in every "first touch" of a workflow assigning lifecycle stages. I'll see if I can manage to pull that off. Much appreciated.

I think I probably would need to do the Clear stage, set stage, then again clear stage, set stage, etc. If it's true that I can't move a stage forward without clearing it first. If the clear is only for setting thigns backwards, and I can catch t hem all at the start, then I may not need to use the clear function.

View solution in original post

karstenkoehler
Solution
Thought Leader | Partner

Hi @donrua,

 

You can switch off this automatic update to "Opportunity" when a deal is created, see here: https://knowledge.hubspot.com/crm-setup/manage-how-lifecycle-stages-sync-between-objects#deals-and-t...

 

And yes, clearing the Lifecycle stage via workflow is a brute force option to go back in Lifecycle stage. Going forward in Lifecycle stage is possible at all times without any additional steps.

 

Best regards!

Karsten Köhler
Freelance Digital Marketing Advisor

Beratungstermin mit Karsten vereinbaren


Hat mein Beitrag deine Frage beantwortet? Bitte hilf der Community und markiere ihn als Lösung.

View solution in original post

6 Replies 6
karstenkoehler
Solution
Thought Leader | Partner

Hi @donrua,

 

I agree that this is a pain to deal with. Fortunately, you can make use of the fact that contacts can't go back in their Lifecycle stage. In each workflow, before setting a Lifecycle stage to, let's say "MQL", set it to all previous stages, one after another, first. For example, a workflow that set a lifecycle stage to "MQL" should look like this:

 

karstenkoehler_0-1618250024666.png

 

Earlier lifecycle stages will be skipped automatically (since contacts can't go back) and the contact will eventually end up in the correct one. That way, each contact will also get the Became a [lifecycle stage] date property and will show up in each section of the funnel report.

 

I've made it a habit to do this in every single workflow that sets lifecycle stages.

 

As far as backfilling values goes, you would have to clear the property first before you can send contacts through the process described above. (Clearing the property value is the only way to send a contact back in Lifecycle stage.) This would be tedious and you would have to be very careful. You would identify contacts who are missing a Became a [lifecycle stage] date, reset their Lifecycle stage via workflow and then set it to the desired Lifecycle stage value.

 

For example:

 

All contacts with Lifecycle stage "Lead" and missing Became a subscriber date value Clear Lifecycle stage Set Lifecycle stage to "Subscriber" and then "Lead"

All contacts with Lifecycle stage "MQL" and missing Became a subscriber date or Became a lead date value Clear Lifecycle stage Set Lifecycle stage to "Subscriber", then "Lead", then MQL

etc.

 

Keep in mind that this would also "reset" all Became a [lifecycle stage] date values. You wouldn't be able to rely on those date properties anymore – but the contacts would show up in the funnel report.

 

Hope this helps!

Karsten Köhler
Freelance Digital Marketing Advisor

Beratungstermin mit Karsten vereinbaren


Hat mein Beitrag deine Frage beantwortet? Bitte hilf der Community und markiere ihn als Lösung.

View solution in original post

donrua
Solution
Top Contributor

Karsten. Major props for taking the time to think it through, and write it up. I appreciate it.

I started to try something like the above, but I didn't think about making sure that it's reflected in every "first touch" of a workflow assigning lifecycle stages. I'll see if I can manage to pull that off. Much appreciated.

I think I probably would need to do the Clear stage, set stage, then again clear stage, set stage, etc. If it's true that I can't move a stage forward without clearing it first. If the clear is only for setting thigns backwards, and I can catch t hem all at the start, then I may not need to use the clear function.

View solution in original post

donrua
Top Contributor

Do I need to Clear the lifecyclce property then set it, to move a lifecycle stage forward? Or is that only a requirement if I'm trying to move them backwards?

0 Upvotes
donrua
Top Contributor

I'm trying to implement your method, then I came across this auto rule by HS:

  • Opportunity: a contact who is associated with a deal (e.g., they're involved in a potential deal with your organization). This is automatically set by HubSpot when a contact is associated with an open deal.
    It is from this KB page: https://knowledge.hubspot.com/contacts/use-lifecycle-stages

    So, if HS automatically changes their lifecycle to Oppty when there's a deal associated, and our sales guy hasn't updated their stage in sales pipeline, they could skip the workflows associated along the way because of this HS automation that I can't contol. We have sales people that enter deals in as soon as they set up a hot contact that is ready to go. If HS then automatically set their stage to OPPTY, I wouldn't have a chance, via workflow, to properly put them in the earlier stages, so they would never show up in our funnel reports.
    So then, how do I ever get them "back" into the skipped stages after HS does this? 
karstenkoehler
Solution
Thought Leader | Partner

Hi @donrua,

 

You can switch off this automatic update to "Opportunity" when a deal is created, see here: https://knowledge.hubspot.com/crm-setup/manage-how-lifecycle-stages-sync-between-objects#deals-and-t...

 

And yes, clearing the Lifecycle stage via workflow is a brute force option to go back in Lifecycle stage. Going forward in Lifecycle stage is possible at all times without any additional steps.

 

Best regards!

Karsten Köhler
Freelance Digital Marketing Advisor

Beratungstermin mit Karsten vereinbaren


Hat mein Beitrag deine Frage beantwortet? Bitte hilf der Community und markiere ihn als Lösung.

View solution in original post

donrua
Top Contributor

Outstanding! Karsten you are a prince. I had read that bit from the KB and was discouraged. Now by turning off that automatic sync, I'm in near total control of when Lifecycle stages change, I believe.

Don