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How to Use Lead Statuses to Manage Your HubSpot Contact List

Are you aware of where every one of your contacts is in their buyer’s journey through your sales and marketing process? Gathering this information and tracking where your contacts are in their journey is an important piece of data to have. This data allows you to send the correct information to leads, segment your contacts into smaller lists, and create more meaningful interactions with your contacts. The best way we’ve found to keep track of where our contacts are in their journey is by using HubSpot lead statuses.

HubSpot allows you to take full control of your contact list and helps you collect data and information about your visitors and contacts to provide them with the best level of service possible. One of the big things it helps you track is where the contact is in your sales and marketing process.

Contact lists can have a variety of different people in them, from leads to customers to vendors or partners to your own employees. The best way we have found to track each contact and know who they are to us as a company is through the lead status property.

Lead Status vs Lifecycle Stage

Within HubSpot, there are two different properties that track how a contact relates to your business. These two properties are the lead status property and the lifecycle stage. While they track similar things, they are actually two different but beneficial tools.

Lifecycle stages track who a contact is to you. These stages are set by HubSpot and cannot be modified. Your contact will be set to the appropriate stage based on certain actions they take and will be progressed through the stages as they progress with your company. Typically, they won’t move backwards through the stages.

The lifecycle stages progress from the following:

  • Subscriber
  • Lead
  • Marketing Qualified Lead
  • Sales Qualified Lead
  • Opportunity
  • Customer
  • Evangelist
  • Other

Lead statuses track where a contact is in relation to their buyer’s journey with you. This property can be modified based on your company’s individual sales and marketing process. While lifecycle stages are informative for learning who each contact is, lead statuses are crucial for the actual management of your contact list.

Because lead statuses can be modified to meet the needs of your individual company, they are useful for you to learn exactly what a contact is doing and what the next steps should be to help them progress, whereas lifecycle stages will just give you a general overview of who the contact is.

Unlike lifecycle stages, lead statuses can be repeated or moved backwards if the contact starts another purchasing cycle with your company.


What Lead Statuses Do You Recommend?

To keep track of your lead throughout your entire sales and marketing process, we recommend using the following lead statuses in your portal:

  • New Prospect - This is used to classify leads who you are beginning to reach out to. You may have identified them as a prospect or they may have taken the first steps to contact your company through your website or other means.

  • Open Prospect - This stage is used for leads who have began to interact with your company. You may have had an initial call or meeting to discuss your products or service. You may have also sent them additional information, applications or contracts.

  • In-Progress Prospect - This stage is used for leads who in serious talks with your business and are about to close as a customer. At this stage, you have probably had a serious meeting to outline what your service or product can do for their company specifically and are just waiting for a signed contract or statement of work.

  • Client/Customer - This stage is pretty straightforward - it is used to classify contacts who are current customers with your business, either because they have signed a contract with you or made a purchase.

  • Unqualified - Contacts with the lead status ‘Unqualified’ are ones who have been through your sales and marketing process up until the point where they were identified as not suitable for your product or service. It is usually helpful to note in their contact record the reason why they were unsuitable for future reference.

  • Quarterly Checkup - This status is used to identify leads who are interested in your product or service, but not ready to commit yet. Contacts who have this status should be placed in a list and followed up with at set intervals so as not to lose the lead.

  • Went Dark - Contact with this lead status may have initially been in communication with your team, but now they have stopped responding. For example, they could have requested a download from one of your offers but declined to respond to any further communication. Since they are not necessarily unqualified and you haven’t lost them as a lead yet, you can classify them as ‘Went Dark’ and follow up with them in the future.

  • Closed-Lost - The ‘Closed - Lost’ lead status references contacts who have made it through your sales and marketing process but then made the decision they are not interested in your product or service. Because of this, their deal is closed, but they did not sign as a customer.

  • Referral Partner - A contact who has the lead status ‘Referral Partner’ is someone who is not necessarily a customer or a lead. Instead, they are a contact who works with you as a source who can vouch for you and your product or service. They are important assets for any business to have and should be clarified as such.

  • Business Partner - A business partner differs from a referral partner in that they are a company you work with, not just one that vouches for you. For example, if you outsource your bookkeeping or HR, the contacts you have from those businesses would be classified as your business partners.

  • Do Not Market - The final lead status to have is ‘Do Not Market.’ This status applies to any individual or business that, for whatever reason, you do not want to include in any marketing communication. They may have requested to be unsubscribed or you may have made the choice that you do not want to work with this business beyond them being unqualified.

While you may see the need for other lead statuses in your HubSpot portal, these are the main statuses we recommend to mark where every contact in your database is within your own sales and marketing process.

How to Use Lead Statuses

Once you have cleaned up your contact list and labeled each contact with the correct lead status, you are ready to see them in action. There are many different ways you can use the data provided to you by your lead statuses.

Some of them include:

  • Keep up with deal stages - You can set workflows that will tie your deal stages to your lead statuses. For example, the workflow could make sure that every time a contact moves stages in their deal, they are assigned the correct lead status. This is useful so that your sales team only has to keep their deals organized instead of also having to update contact properties.

  • Segment lists - You could create email campaigns to go to different groups of people based on their lead status. For example, you could send an exclusive content offer to every contact who is classified as a Open Prospect to encourage them to move forward in the sales process. You could also send different emails or offers to the Quarterly Checkup group or the Went Dark group to encourage them to reconnect with your company.

  • Kick off other campaigns - Finally, you can base other campaigns off of each lead status. For example, you could have certain campaigns that kick off based on a contact being set to the Customer lead status. Once they are a customer, you would wait a set number of days and then have a campaign go out that requests reviews from happy customers as well as asking for referrals.

There are many other ways to use your lead statuses, but the main goal of this property is to keep track of your contacts as they move through your sales and marketing process. Once you know where everyone is and what they are doing, it will be easier to send the correct information to the correct group of people to keep the process moving along.

Written by Amy Silberman

Client Success Manager