If you've decided to run your marketing & sales funnel through Hubspot (great choice btw!) and want to ensure you're set up correctly so that you can
you've come to the right place.
If you're trying to evaluate Hubspot vs other CRMs this article is not for you. Moreover, if you are unsure of what makes a lead "qualified" for your product or serve, you have some homework to do before you dive in here.
Everything I'm sharing here I've learned through setting up the Hubspot implementation for Cuda and many of the clients I work with. I also reviewed all of the Hubspot Academy videos as of June 15th, 2023 to ensure I'm up to date on their latest recommendations.
For companies just getting started, you can get far with views & lists. A “view” is a filtered segment of your CRM entries. You can create a filtered view of any object in Hubspot, including Contacts, Companies, Deals and Tickets. Views are great for quick check-ins on the status of your pipeline or for identifying a subset of CRM entries that need action. Views are easy to create but can’t be used as a part of Hubspot automations. If you want to run automations on a list of Contacts or Companies, you need to create a list.
You can only create lists of Contacts & Companies (unlike with Saved Views where you can segment any object in Hubspot). Lists can be enrolled in a Hubspot automation workflow and are also commonly used for sending a one off email blast. You can create a list based on object properties as well as behaviors / past actions.
The simplest way to segment contacts and companies in Hubspot is to create & save a view on the contact / company records page. For this section, I’m going to refer to just Contacts for simplicity but the same can apply to Companies. Navigate to Companies -> Companies. From there, choose “Add View” and once you’ve created your view, you can add additional filters.
To create a list, go to Contacts -> Lists and choose “Create List”.
There are two types of lists. A static list will consist of contacts that fit your criteria at the time you create the list. This is good for a one off action, like sending an email blast. An active list updates over time. For example, you may have an active list of Sales Qualified Leads. As new leads fit your qualification criteria, they are added to the list (and can automatically be enrolled in a workflow, such as being assigned to a sales rep and triggering an SMS notification to let them know to reach out!).
You can create views & lists to your heart's content, but without a clear plan of attack then you’ll have a jumbled mess of contacts & companies and deals will fall through the cracks.
Hubspot comes with a built-in Lifecycle stage property designed to keep things on track. The life cycle stage exists to track contacts & companies as you nurture them from a cold lead to a customer.
The default setup will get you far, but you can customize it by going to Settings, Data Management, Objects, Contacts, Lifecycle Stage. Here you can update stages as well as see / update when Hubspot will automatically update stages. By default, Hubspot will keep the lifecycle stage of associated contacts & companies in sync.
Maintaining accurate lifecycle stages will make life easy for your marketing and sales team. For example, you may want to let all existing customers know of a new feature and blast an email to everyone in the customer or evangelist stage. If you want to announce a holiday first time discount, you’ll only want to contact companies that haven’t yet signed up.
When a lead indicates they have intent to buy, it’s time to update their Lifecycle stage to “Sales Qualified Lead” and assign them to an account executive!
You can set up workflow automation to update the account owner of every contact that moves to the “Sales Qualified Lead” lifecycle stage. You may also choose to pair this with an SMS or email notification to let your sales rep know.
How do you know that a lead has intent to buy? One option is to put a Hubspot powered “contact sales” form on your website. Go to Marketing -> Lead Capture -> Forms to create a new form. You may choose to set every contact that fills out the form to be an SQL or use form entry to filter for the best quality leads.
If your goal is to book as many meetings for your sales team as possible, you can ditch the form and send prospects straight to a scheduling page. Go to Sales -> Meetings -> Create Scheduling Page where you can set up individual meeting links or a round robin page to rotate through all your reps.
If you have more leads per month than you can handle, then go ahead and pat yourself on the back because that’s a great problem to have. For the vast majority of companies, you can stop reading now and implement the lead routing strategies I went over in the last section.
If you’re still here, I’ll assume your sales team is swamped with qualified leads. Lead scoring will enable you to prioritize your prospects with the most potential. Your contacts and companies come with a pre-built “Hubspot score” property. You can customize this property to continually update so that you can stack rank leads based on potential. You may choose to bump someone’s score if they download your company’s e-book, visit the pricing page, or fill out a contact sales form. You can also use a platform like Clearbit to enrich contact data and bump leads at large companies or who’s job title fits your buyer persona.
Scoring your leads will allow you to set up more granular automations. You may choose to assign any lead with a 90+ score to your top Account Executive to receive white glove treatment and email leads with a score <50 with a link to self-serve onboarding.
If you're an early stage company just getting started, you can get far initially with just filtered views & static lists. As you start to achieve some scale, it will be worthwhile to update the Lifecycle Stage property so no leads fall through the cracks. If you're ever lucky enough to have too many inbound leads than you know what to do with, you'll want to set up Lead Scoring so you spend your time with the most important contacts.