Using Workflows to set Contact Lifecycle Stage

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00437
Participant

I've read a bit about this and want to make sure I'm not setting myself up for failure here, or rendering my funnel conversion data nonsensical.

 

I've built workflows to communicate with contacts based on their Lifecycle Stage. Here's how I've built it:

 

1. Initial 'sorting hat' workflow. This sets contact owner and creates a task to call the contact for a screening chat. After that call, the contact is owner is required to manually set Lifecycle Stage to one of three possibilities: Lead, MQL, or SQL. A workflow is then triggered based on 'Lifecycle Stage = xxxx '.

 

2. Lifecycle Stage = Lead is to be used when the screening call fails (wrong number or an unwilling person on the other end). The workflow focusses on encouraging the contact to reconvert or book a call at a time that works better. If the contact meets none of our criteria for an upgrade to Lifecycle Stage = MQL, they're downgraded to 'Subscriber' and will only receive marketing newsletters going forward, unless we built a re-engagement process.

 

3. Lifecycle Stage = MQL is triggered either by a 'Lead' being upgraded as a result of interaction during the aforementioned workflow, or set manually after a positive screening call with a contact who has shown intent to make a near-future purchase. If the contact interacts positively and meets the right criteria during this workflow, they're then upgraded to SQL. A contact can also be downgraded to MQL by falling through the SQL workflow without converting to sale.

 

4. Lifecycle Stage = SQL is triggered by an MQL being upgraded, or set manually after a screening call with a contact who's ready to purchase. The majority of this workflow is setting tasks, the communication will be conducted on a case by case basis - this is the lowest hanging fruit.

 

I believe Hubspot works in the background to set Lifecycle Stages too, which has the potential to make a real mess for my communication with contacts. 

 

So - that's a lot of detail about how our workflows are built. My question is, am I setting myself up for major headaches by allowing contacts to be downgraded from SQL > MQL > Lead > Subscriber if they do not interact positively during workflows? Will Hubspot even allow that or are these workflows simply not going to set a new LCS if it's a downgrade? I've read that you need to clear the property and then reset it to downgrade, is that current information of out of date?

 

If the short answer is "Yes, that's bad practise" can you recommend the best way to make the process more robust? Our contacts are individuals, not companies, so whilst I could use deals, it may be too much detail. We're a B2C business.... I also don't use Lead Scoring at this stage.

 

I want to get this right before we turn the tap on.

 

Thanks in advance!

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2 Accepted solutions

Accepted Solutions
karstenkoehler
Solution
Most Valuable Member

Hi @00437,

 

This comes down to personal preference. Some people consider the Lifecycle stage as a tracker how far a contact has ever made it, others try to have it always reflect the current qualification of the contact. I don't think you're setting yourself up for headache as long as you keep the below in mind.

 


I believe Hubspot works in the background to set Lifecycle Stages too, which has the potential to make a real mess for my communication with contacts. 

Correct, you can find those automatic rules for Lifecycle stage updates here. In your case, you'd have to keep in mind that any form submission will upgrade a contact to a lead. This might also happen between companies and contacts.

 


I've read a bit about this and want to make sure I'm not setting myself up for failure here, or rendering my funnel conversion data nonsensical.

When a workflow of yours clears a Lifecycle stage for a contact before moving it to a lesser value, HubSpot will reset the Became a [lifecycle stage] date value. This is used in some default reports. It's not necessarily bad, you just need to keep in mind that the default lifecycle stage funnel report will now show how many contacts have made it ever to the SQL phase but how many currently are in there. You'll draw very different conclusions from such a report depending on that.

 

Personally, I'd try to keep the back and forth between the stages to a minimum. I'd also recommend reviewing the definitions of each stage. In my eyes, a contact that is receiving a call is already a lead. If the call is not successful, the call could be logged with a specific outcome and you could enroll contacts into the encouraging workflow by looking at "Lifecycle stage is any of Lead" and "Contact is associated with at least one activity that has Call type Screening call and Call outcome...". You always have the option to work with additional properties. Currently, you're including a lot of implicit information in your lifecycle stages which has more potential for automation going wrong. HubSpot gives you a lot of other contact and activitiy properties to be more specific.

 

If the screening call promises potential, I would move a contact to SQL (a contact that your sales team has qualified as a potential customer), if not they'd stay in the lead stage. I wouldn't encourage the sales person to select the marketing qualified lead stage since, per definition, this is a contact that the marketing team has qualified as ready for the sales team. Of course this again all comes down to personal preference and which definitions you'd like to apply.

 

I also want to highlight, that you can customize the Lead Status property. It's meant to detail sub-stages of the SQL.

 

Hope this helps!

Karsten Köhler
Freelance Digital Marketing Advisor

Beratungstermin mit Karsten vereinbaren


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karstenkoehler
Solution
Most Valuable Member

Hi @00437,

 

Before moving the Lifecycle stage to a lesser value, you need to clear the property in a workflow. You should find a a "Clear property value" action in the right sidebar.

 

Best regards!

Karsten Köhler
Freelance Digital Marketing Advisor

Beratungstermin mit Karsten vereinbaren


Did my post help answer your query? Help the community by marking it as a solution.

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3 Replies 3
karstenkoehler
Solution
Most Valuable Member

Hi @00437,

 

This comes down to personal preference. Some people consider the Lifecycle stage as a tracker how far a contact has ever made it, others try to have it always reflect the current qualification of the contact. I don't think you're setting yourself up for headache as long as you keep the below in mind.

 


I believe Hubspot works in the background to set Lifecycle Stages too, which has the potential to make a real mess for my communication with contacts. 

Correct, you can find those automatic rules for Lifecycle stage updates here. In your case, you'd have to keep in mind that any form submission will upgrade a contact to a lead. This might also happen between companies and contacts.

 


I've read a bit about this and want to make sure I'm not setting myself up for failure here, or rendering my funnel conversion data nonsensical.

When a workflow of yours clears a Lifecycle stage for a contact before moving it to a lesser value, HubSpot will reset the Became a [lifecycle stage] date value. This is used in some default reports. It's not necessarily bad, you just need to keep in mind that the default lifecycle stage funnel report will now show how many contacts have made it ever to the SQL phase but how many currently are in there. You'll draw very different conclusions from such a report depending on that.

 

Personally, I'd try to keep the back and forth between the stages to a minimum. I'd also recommend reviewing the definitions of each stage. In my eyes, a contact that is receiving a call is already a lead. If the call is not successful, the call could be logged with a specific outcome and you could enroll contacts into the encouraging workflow by looking at "Lifecycle stage is any of Lead" and "Contact is associated with at least one activity that has Call type Screening call and Call outcome...". You always have the option to work with additional properties. Currently, you're including a lot of implicit information in your lifecycle stages which has more potential for automation going wrong. HubSpot gives you a lot of other contact and activitiy properties to be more specific.

 

If the screening call promises potential, I would move a contact to SQL (a contact that your sales team has qualified as a potential customer), if not they'd stay in the lead stage. I wouldn't encourage the sales person to select the marketing qualified lead stage since, per definition, this is a contact that the marketing team has qualified as ready for the sales team. Of course this again all comes down to personal preference and which definitions you'd like to apply.

 

I also want to highlight, that you can customize the Lead Status property. It's meant to detail sub-stages of the SQL.

 

Hope this helps!

Karsten Köhler
Freelance Digital Marketing Advisor

Beratungstermin mit Karsten vereinbaren


Did my post help answer your query? Help the community by marking it as a solution.

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00437
Participant

Thanks Karsten,

 

Really appreciate your detailed response. A quick question which I'm not clear on:

 

Will Hubspot allow my workflow to set a new LCS without clearing the existing value, if the new value is lower or a downgrade from the existing value? Or will my workflow simply not execute that action?

 

Seeing as I'm only hoping to do all of this preparatory work once, I'm tempted to do it 110% and use lead scoring, and perhaps base everything around some custom properties rather than Lifecycle stage. I like the suggestion to set a 'Call Outcome' property. That's smart.

 

Thanks!

0 Upvotes
karstenkoehler
Solution
Most Valuable Member

Hi @00437,

 

Before moving the Lifecycle stage to a lesser value, you need to clear the property in a workflow. You should find a a "Clear property value" action in the right sidebar.

 

Best regards!

Karsten Köhler
Freelance Digital Marketing Advisor

Beratungstermin mit Karsten vereinbaren


Did my post help answer your query? Help the community by marking it as a solution.

View solution in original post