Tracking the number of days contacts spend in a particular Lifecycle Stage

sttang
HubSpot Employee

HubSpot currently has a few default contact properties for you to track the dates when contacts hit a new stage such as:

  • Became a marketing qualified lead date
  • Became a sales qualified lead date
  • Became a customer date
  • And so on

"But.. what if I wish to know exactly how many days my contacts spend in those stages?" 💭

 

Using the default properties, you can dive deeper into your marketing insights by tracking the number of days contacts spend in each lifecycle stage.

 This can help you create reports to identify which stages do your prospects/customers tend to be stuck at and create strategies to prevent them from being stagnant leads.

 With this information, you can target your marketing campaigns to those customers who have been stuck at a particular stage for a long time, and help your sales team move them down the lifecycle stages faster to turn them into customers. 

 

To set this up, we will need:

  • 1 custom property
  • 1 static list
  • 2 workflows

 

To better explain the process and visualize things, let us use the lifecycle stage “MQL” as an example. Feel free to change the names of the list, property and workflows to better suit your use case.

 

Step 1: Create a custom number property called “# of days as an MQL”

You can see the steps to create a custom property here. This property will be the contact property you’ll be using to store the number of days the contact has been an MQL.

 

Step 2: Create a static list called “MQLs”

You can see the steps to create a static list here. Do note that you should create a static list with no criteria on the left as this is a static list that’s going to be populated by one of the workflows and contacts will only be on this list based on that workflow itself. When you first create the list, it should be empty as it will be populated via a workflow later.

 
*This list will be the list we will use to add contacts to, to re-enroll them back into the workflow for the daily count. 

Static ListStatic List

Step 3: Create a contact workflow “MQL Tracker: Became an MQL”

Workflow "1"Workflow "1"

  • Think of this as workflow 1 whereby we will pick out those who just became MQLs to enroll them.
  • We delay it by 1 day and remove them from the list (this part is for re-enrollment so ignore this for contacts in this workflow for the first time), as well as check if they are in other stages.
  • If they are still MQLs, they will go through the “No” branch and be placed in workflow 2.
  • Do note to set the enrollment triggers here for re-enrollment

 

Step 4: Create a contact workflow called “Set number of days as an MQL

Workflow "2"Workflow "2"
  • This workflow (workflow 2) will then increase the “# days as an MQL” property by 1 and add them to the MQL list.
  • Thereafter, as they are now added to the list which is a trigger for workflow 1, workflow 1 is then re-triggered and the re-enrollment will go on and on to count the number of days a contact is in the lifecycle stage.
  • Once contacts are not MQLs anymore, the workflow 1 “MQL Tracker: Became an MQL”, will send them down the yes branch at the very end and the MQL days will stop counting.

 

Let's go through everything with a scenario example:

  • For example, Josh becomes an MQL on 10th August, and enrolls in workflow 1 as his Became a marketing qualified lead date is now known. 

  • Josh is then put through a delay till 11th August and is “removed from the static list” (this is not that Josh was ever on the list but this part will only be important later). Essentially, this step makes sure he is not on the list at this time.

  • Josh then goes through the “no” branch as he are still an MQL on 11th August, and gets enrolled into workflow 2.

  • John enrolls into workflow 2 on 11th August and gets a +1 on the property “# of days as an MQL” as it’s been 1 day since he has been an MQL. 

  • John then gets added to the MQL list. This action will then trigger him to re-enroll in workflow 1 again as this list is an enrollment (and re-enrollment) trigger for workflow 1. 

  • John then gets added back to workflow 1 and the cycle will go on and on and the number of days will get added on every single day until John is no longer an MQL, then he will go down the “Yes” branch of workflow 1 which will stop the count. 

Example of how your property history will look like:Property history shows the count going up by dayProperty history shows the count going up by day

 

 

 

Things to take note of:

  • When you switch on workflow 1, be sure to select “No, only enroll contacts who meet the trigger criteria after turning the workflow on” as this tracker will only work for contacts who hit the lifecycle stage after turning the workflow on. This is because if you choose to switch it on and count existing contacts in the MQL stage for example, current contacts who may have been an MQL a year ago, will only have their count starting from the day you switch it on, making the count inaccurate. 
  • Be sure to allow re-enrollment for workflow 1 for the tracker to work.
  • You need to create these things (custom property, static list, workflows 1 and 2) for each lifecycle stage.
  • You can use this for your custom lifecycle stages as well.

 

📈 How to report using these figures?

With the above information, you can conduct various reports on the number of days your contacts are spending in each lifecycle stage such as this report:Reporting using the # of days spent in MQLReporting using the # of days spent in MQL

This tells you the average number of days your leads are taking to reach other stages. Looking at the graphs, you can see that your MQLs are relatively new with their “age” being an average of 1.48 days old. You can also see that generally, your customers and prospects take about 15-18 days to move from an MQL to something more (i.e. SQL, Opportunity or Customer). 

 

Therefore, drawing from these results, you can determine if this means your marketing campaigns are effective (if the # of days are short), or decide if you need to work on moving them along to other stages faster.

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