Lifecycle stage for manually entered Contacts


We have a BDR team that is manually entering Contacts into the CRM for their outbound prospecting efforts. These Contacts have not responded to a marketing campaign, they are simply raw records against which the BDR team are doing cold calls and 1:1 email sequences.


When creating a new Contact record manually like this, the Lifecycle stage by default is set to Lead. However, I'm concerned that this practice will distort my funnel metrics by overstating the number of Leads created when looking at the standard Hubspot funnel reports. Should we instead have BDRs set the Lifecycle stage to Subscriber? Or to "blank"?


Assuming Subscriber or "blank" is the way to go, what's the best way to automate the advancing of the Lifecycle stage to Lead once the prospect responds/engages to a BDR cold call or email?

1 Reply 1
Thought Leader

Excellent question, @jclayman. However, no easy/short answer.

First of all HubSpot Lifecycle Stage is a HUGE topic. The ramifications of setting this stage correctly are far-reaching, and incorrectly setting this property can be nothing short of disasterous for conversion metrics.

- see Difficulty reporting due to violation of HubSpot Lifecycle Stage Best Practice
- see Use lifecycle stages

The above withstanding ... here are a few things to consider when we REQUIRE Lifecycle Stage at MANUAL contact creation time.

Pros - (struggling to think of any)

Con - Humans are allowed to see/touch Lifecycle Stage DIRECTLY
This practice isn't scalable because it invariably leads to dirty data. We've rarely encountered an organization where every single person with access to manually create contacts in the CRM are in 100% agreement about what each Lifecycle Stage represents to the organization.

This has a HUGE impact on conversion metrics between stages, and potential data loss for same. There is currently no built-in HubSpot functionality to prevent a human with access from back-leveling the Lifecycle Stage for a contact (or company), thereby destroying conversion data.

Some organizations only allow Lifecycle Stage to be set by automation, but that takes a serious investment in setup time to be successful, so ...

Best recommendation?

Maybe use Lead Status, or a customized Lead Status to 'status' your manually created prospects instead of involving the much more powerful, impactful (and risky) Lifecycle Stage property.


Note: The date of each post here is increasingly important as HubSpot evolves to be the #1 CRM platform of choice world-wide.

-- Visit


Hope that helps.


Be well,

HubSpot's Hiring World-Wide!