Moving lifecycle stage backwards?
I need to measure the number of contacts in each stage of the sales & marketing funnel (always looking at a group of leads created during a specific time period and seeing how those leads converted). We're considering allowing leads to move backwards in the funnel which confuses EVERYTHING.
We're a Salesforce-first organization that uses leads and opportunities. The funnel is made up of lead rating values and opportunity stage values (Raw, MQL, SQL, Discovery, Evaluation, Negotiation, Signature).
The reason we are considering allowing contacts to move backwards is because if a lead reaches SQL stage or later and then drops off, we want to be able to reengage them as Raw and track them through the funnel again. But this causes so many problems:
- I couldn't base the time period off "create date" because re-engaged leads need to be included based on when they were bumped back to a previous stage, not when they were created.
- SQLs and opportunities aren't actually leads in Salesforce, they're contacts. So if a Contact needs to go backwards in their funnel stage, I'd have to use a new "Contact Rating" value. Then, to measure Raw leads and MQLs, I'd be pulling 2 reports: a lead report with lead rating, and a contact report with contact rating.
That's why I'm considering using Hubspot, which doesn't differentiate between leads and contacts. I could create a custom "Funnel stage" or "Lifecycle stage" field that is synced to the Lead Rating and Contact Rating value, but report on it in a single report in HubSpot.
But I've read that HubSpot lifecycle stages also aren't meant to go backwards and that they make it pretty difficult to do in workflows. Obviously I'd have a custom lifecycle stage field so that doesn't matter as much but it seems like moving backwards is highly discouraged.
I'm wondering what experiences other people have had moving leads/contacts backwards in their funnel (or deciding against it) and what advice you have. Thanks!