If you want to make your teams immeasurably happy, and save yourself headaches, automating as many marketing, sales and service processes as possible is the way to do it. Even more important—do it right away during your HubSpot CRM implementation. Or any CRM implementation for that matter.

One of the best ways to do this is by automating the management of your contacts' lifecycle stages. Why?

  1. Efficiency: Automating lifecycle stage updates takes the manual task off your team’s plate, allowing them to focus on more strategic activities. This is particularly important during CRM implementation to avoid overwhelming your team with data entry tasks.
  2. Sales Process Optimization: Automatic updates, such as moving a contact to SQL after a qualifying call, ensure that no lead falls through the cracks and that your sales process is seamless. Establishing these processes during implementation ensures that your team can follow a consistent and efficient workflow from day one.
  3. Accurate Reporting: Using HubSpot fields like "Date Entered X Stage" and filtering by source provides critical insights into the effectiveness of your sales and marketing efforts. These reports can help refine your strategies and improve ROI. Setting up accurate reporting mechanisms during CRM implementation ensures that you have reliable data to inform your decisions right from the get-go.

Incorporating strategies to automate lifecycle stage automation during your CRM implementation means that your sales and marketing teams can work more effectively in the long run. AKA better long-term results and user adoption.

HubSpot makes this wicked easy with workflows, forms, lead scoring and more. Using these built-in features means your teams aren't constantly relying on manual processes to push leads through the funnel or pass off important contacts to the right people.

Before you start out, make sure that your lifecycle stages in HubSpot are tailored to your unique business needs!

HubSpot Automation

HubSpot has universal lifecycle stage settings you can apply based on set circumstances. Navigate to  Settings > Objects > Contacts > Lifecycle Stage. From here, if you'd like to update a contact's stage based on contact creation, deal creation, and deal wins, you can! lifecycle-stage-automation-settings

Importing Contacts

One of the easiest ways to make sure the contacts you're adding to your new CRM are assigned the appropriate lifecycle stage takes place on the import spreadsheet. 

If you include a Lifecycle Stage column to indicate each contact’s stage, you won't need to worry about creating automation strategies after import. 

On a tradeshow list, for example, you might categorize everyone as a lead except for a few individuals with whom you had significant conversations. These high-priority contacts can be marked differently, such as SQLs, right off the bat.

Pro tip: adding a Contact Owner column means each contact is immediately assigned to the right sales representative too. If contacts are imported with the correct lifecycle stage and owner, your team can follow up without delay.


High-value forms, such as those used for requesting quotes, are a pretty clear example of someone demonstrating a high level of interest and intent. In HubSpot, you can assign an advanced lifecycle stage like MQL or SQL right in the form options.

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This ensures that your sales team can prioritize and follow up promptly without the need for manual updates. If you set up specific forms CRM implementation, setting up these automations from the start ensures that your team can hit the ground running and focus on closing deals rather than administrative tasks.

Non-HubSpot Forms

Perhaps not all forms on your website were created in HubSpot. No problem. For these non-HubSpot forms, you can create workflows that automate the lifecycle stage updates.

For example, if someone fills out a general inquiry form, you can set up a workflow to move them to the appropriate stage based on their responses or actions.


Workflows can also be employed to update lifecycle stages based on the contact source. For instance, if a contact source is identified as an ad or referral, you can set up a workflow to automatically update their stage to MQL rather than start at subscriber—this ensures that contacts are nurtured appropriately based on their origin.

Workflows are also great for moving a contact backwards in the lifecycle stage. HubSpot doesn't play very nice when attempting to regress a contact's lifecycle stage using lead scoring, so workflows are a great workaround. Consider a job application form. When an application is received, you can clear the current lifecycle stage and set it to a new stage called "Job Applicant." This ensures that applicants are categorized correctly and can be easily distinguished from leads or customers so they don't move along your lifecycle stages with legitimate prospects.

All you'll need to do for this is set up your workflow with the required trigger, then:

  1. Add a step with clear property value
  2. Select your target property type (in this case, lifecycle stage is a contact property)
  3. Add a step with set property value
  4. Select your target property type (in this case, lifecycle stage is a contact property)


Note that when you do this the "Became a [lifecycle stage] date" property value corresponding to the most recent stage will remain!

If you have workflows like these set up from the get go you can immediately give or remove marketing contact status, nurture leads appropriately, keep sales from chasing bad prospects and so much more.

Lead Scoring

Lead scoring is critical when defining your contact management strategy during your CRM implementation. By assigning scores based on contact interactions and behaviors, you can automate the process of moving contacts through different lifecycle stages.

For example, if a lead has engaged with multiple pieces of content or has visited key pages on your website, you can award points. You could then create a workflow to progress a contact's stage MQL to an SQL once they hit a predetermined point threshold.

While lead scoring should be set up during CRM implementation, it should be reviewed regularly well after! Don't be afraid to modify if you notice it isn't producing the right results (we usually recommend quarterly or bi-annually). If HubSpot is set up to accurately prioritize leads, your sales and marketing teams can focus on the most promising opportunities.

If you need help with lead scoring, check out our HubSpot Helper Video!

HubSpot lead scoring (that actually works!)


Lifecycle stages are such an easy way to make your marketing, sales and service processes more streamlined.

If you plan ahead and work through customizing and automating stages during your CRM implementation, you can avoid having to try to apply things retroactively further down the line.

If you need help with CRM implementation or your lifecycle stages, reach out to Kiwi Creative today!