Lifecycle Stages: HubSpot CRM functions Explained

6 min read

Lifecycle Stages: HubSpot CRM functions Explained

The HubSpot Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system is a powerful tool that helps businesses manage their interactions with customers and potential customers. It's designed to streamline the sales process, improve customer service, and increase profitability. One of the key features of HubSpot CRM is its lifecycle stages function, which allows businesses to track the progress of a lead through the sales funnel.

This article will delve into the lifecycle stages feature of HubSpot CRM, explaining its functions and how it can be used to improve business operations. Whether you're a small business owner, a sales manager, or a marketing professional, understanding the lifecycle stages function can help you make the most of your HubSpot CRM system.

Understanding Lifecycle Stages

The lifecycle stages in HubSpot CRM are a way of categorising contacts based on their position in the sales funnel. They help businesses understand where a lead or customer is in their journey, from first contact to conversion and beyond. There are seven lifecycle stages in HubSpot CRM: Subscriber, Lead, Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL), Sales Qualified Lead (SQL), Opportunity, Customer, and Evangelist.

Each stage represents a different level of engagement with your business. For example, a Subscriber has shown some interest in your company by signing up for your newsletter, while a Customer has made a purchase. Understanding these stages can help you tailor your marketing and sales strategies to meet the needs of your contacts at each stage of their journey.


The Subscriber stage is the first stage in the lifecycle. This is someone who has shown an interest in your company and has subscribed to your blog or newsletter. They may not be ready to make a purchase yet, but they are interested in learning more about your products or services.

Subscribers are a valuable source of potential leads. By providing them with valuable content, you can nurture them into becoming leads and eventually customers. It's important to keep in mind that not all subscribers will become customers, but they can still play a valuable role in spreading the word about your business.


The Lead stage is the next step in the lifecycle. A lead is someone who has shown a higher level of interest in your business, such as by downloading a whitepaper or requesting a demo. They are still in the early stages of the buying process, but they are more engaged than a subscriber.

Leads require careful nurturing to move them further down the sales funnel. This can involve providing them with more detailed information about your products or services, answering their questions, and addressing their concerns. It's also important to monitor their behaviour to identify when they are ready to move to the next stage.

Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL)

A Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL) is a lead who has been deemed more likely to become a customer compared to other leads. This qualification is based on what web pages they have visited, what content they have consumed, and other behavioural criteria.

MQLs are often handed over to the sales team for further engagement. They are considered a high-value prospect and require a more personalised approach to convert them into customers. It's important to have a clear understanding of what qualifies a lead as an MQL in your business, as this can vary from one company to another.

Sales Qualified Lead (SQL)

A Sales Qualified Lead (SQL) is a lead who has been vetted by the sales team and is considered ready for a direct sales push. This is someone who has shown a clear intent to buy and meets your business's criteria for a good customer.

SQLs are the leads that your sales team will spend the most time with. They are ready to make a purchase, and it's up to your sales team to close the deal. Understanding the difference between an MQL and an SQL can help your sales and marketing teams work together more effectively to convert leads into customers.


The Opportunity stage is when a SQL has been converted into a real sales opportunity. This is someone who is in active negotiations with your sales team about making a purchase.

Opportunities require careful management to ensure that the deal is closed. This can involve providing the prospect with a detailed proposal, negotiating terms, and addressing any last-minute concerns they may have. It's important to keep track of all interactions with an opportunity to ensure that nothing falls through the cracks.


The Customer stage is when an opportunity has made a purchase and become a customer. This is the ultimate goal of the sales process, but it's not the end of the relationship.

Customers require ongoing support and engagement to ensure that they are satisfied with their purchase and to encourage them to make repeat purchases. This can involve providing them with training, answering their questions, and resolving any issues they may have. It's also important to seek their feedback to improve your products and services.


The Evangelist stage is when a customer becomes a promoter of your business. This is someone who is not only satisfied with their purchase, but is also willing to recommend your products or services to others.

Evangelists are a valuable source of word-of-mouth marketing, which is one of the most effective forms of marketing. Encouraging your customers to become evangelists can help you attract more leads and customers. This can involve asking them to write reviews, share their experiences on social media, and refer their friends and colleagues to your business.

Using Lifecycle Stages in HubSpot CRM

Now that we've explained what each lifecycle stage represents, let's look at how you can use them in HubSpot CRM. The lifecycle stages feature is designed to help you manage your contacts more effectively and make more informed decisions about your sales and marketing strategies.

One of the key benefits of using lifecycle stages in HubSpot CRM is that it allows you to segment your contacts based on their level of engagement with your business. This can help you tailor your communications to meet the needs of your contacts at each stage of their journey. For example, you might send different emails to your subscribers, leads, and customers to provide them with the most relevant information.

Setting Lifecycle Stages

Setting lifecycle stages in HubSpot CRM is a straightforward process. When you add a new contact to your CRM, you can assign them a lifecycle stage based on their level of engagement with your business. You can also update a contact's lifecycle stage as they move through the sales funnel.

It's important to be consistent in how you assign and update lifecycle stages. This will ensure that your data is accurate and reliable, and that you can make informed decisions based on this data. You might choose to automate this process using HubSpot's workflows feature, which can automatically update a contact's lifecycle stage based on their behaviour.

Analysing Lifecycle Stage Data

Once you've set your lifecycle stages, you can use HubSpot CRM's reporting features to analyse this data. This can provide valuable insights into your sales process, such as how many contacts are at each stage, how long it takes for a contact to move from one stage to the next, and what percentage of contacts eventually become customers.

These insights can help you identify bottlenecks in your sales process and make improvements. For example, if you find that many of your leads are not converting into MQLs, you might need to improve your lead nurturing strategies. Or, if you find that many of your opportunities are not converting into customers, you might need to improve your sales techniques.


The lifecycle stages feature in HubSpot CRM is a powerful tool that can help you manage your contacts more effectively and improve your sales and marketing strategies. By understanding what each stage represents and how to use them in HubSpot CRM, you can make the most of this feature and drive more successful outcomes for your business.

Whether you're new to HubSpot CRM or an experienced user, we hope this article has provided you with a deeper understanding of the lifecycle stages function. Remember, the key to successful CRM usage is not just in understanding the tools available, but in how you apply them to your business processes.

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