Sea of Knowledge

How to Use Custom Lifecycle Stages in HubSpot

What are the HubSpot Lifecycle Stages?

HubSpot Lifecycle Stages help categorize your contacts based on where they are in your marketing and sales process and give you insight into how your leads make their way from marketing to sales. Though a powerful tool that offers great insight, "default" rarely satisfies every use case.  

How to Use Custom Lifecycle Stages in HubSpot

The ability to create custom Lifecycle Stages is a long-awaited feature in HubSpot that opens up Lifecycle Stage conversion reporting possibilities. This customization offers teams with custom processes the opportunity to create stages that the standard Lifecycle Stages don't accommodate. For example, if signing up for a free trial is a key part of your lifecycle, you can add a "Free Trial" stage between Opportunity and Customer for Free Trial users to provide a more accurate conversion rate from free to paid customers for SaaS businesses.

HubSpot Custom Lifecycle Stages

Benefits of HubSpot's Custom Lifecycle Stages

HubSpot users accepted in the Beta will now have the ability to create custom Lifecycle Stages to track the customer journey through categories that better capture their entire lifecycle.

With HubSpot's custom Lifecycle Stages, Beta users can:

Cautions of HubSpot Custom Lifecycle Stages

All great things come with a price, or in this case, a word of caution. Some things to consider:

  • This feature is still in Beta. While anyone can ask their HubSpot Customer Success Manager to participate in this Beta, HubSpot will likely only accept newer customers not currently using the Lifecycle Stage property.
  • Adding a custom Lifecycle Stage will clear historical Lifecycle Stage data. Just like moving a contact from the SQL stage to the Lead stage will erase the data for MQL and SQL, adding new Lifecycle Stages will erase the existing funnel data. So, accounts that have been around for a while are not a good fit for this Beta.
  • You may be tempted to use Lifecycle Stages as a substitute for the Lead Status property in HubSpot. Remember that the Lead Status property is meant to break down the sales process while connecting with a Sales Qualified Lead before creating a deal. The Lifecycle Stage property should not be used as a substitute for Lead Status. Instead, it should be leveraged to create a more accurate view of the customer journey.

How to Implement Custom Lifecycle Stages in HubSpot

  • First, request access from your HubSpot Customer Success Manager via email or submit this interest form.
  • Once approved for the Beta, build a plan for how you'd like to implement custom Lifecycle Stages. Ensure that the stages you plan to add are strategic stages of your customer journey and not a replacement for the Lead Status property.
  • After you have a plan in place, follow the steps in this HubSpot Knowledge Base article. Or, watch this video to see an overview of implementing, automating, and reporting on HubSpot custom Lifecycle Stages.