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What are the main workflows you should have set up in HubSpot to improve lead management? In this blog, I will show you ten workflows that help you automate your internal and external processes. Have a read and find out more. 

If you’re using HubSpot Professional or Enterprise, you have access to a key tool which isn’t included with any of the smaller versions of HubSpot: the workflow tool.

HubSpot’s workflow tool allows you to automate repetitive marketing, sales and customer service tasks to scale up your activities. Using workflows, you can be more efficient, productive and consistent. It's brilliant!

But if you’re a brand-new HubSpot user – or perhaps you haven’t delved into HubSpot’s workflow tool or automation just yet – don’t fear, we can help. In this blog, we will provide you with the best workflows for successful lead management,  all of which you can use today and will automatically improve your use of HubSpot (if you aren’t using them already).

Example 1: Assigning lead owners

What happens to new leads that are generated through HubSpot? First of all, you should have form submission notifications set up to notify your marketing, sales and customer success teams when new contacts are generated.

But how do you make sure the right person will then follow up on the lead? This is where assigning lead owners is important; by setting up a simple workflow in HubSpot, you can automatically assign leads to the relevant person in your team.

So, how do you set these workflows up? Well, this depends on the size of your team and everyone’s roles and responsibilities. Many of our global clients, for example, assign contact owners based on the lead’s country.

Or, if you have a list of qualified leads and want to automatically split and distribute them amongst your sales team, you can use the Rotate Leads action. This action works in a “round-robin” style – it allows you to add any number of owners to the rotation and they will be assigned the leads evenly.

Example 2: Updating lifecycle stage

Lifecycle stages define where your contacts are in the  buyer's journey. The stages are typically defined as subscriber, lead, marketing qualified lead (MQL), sales qualified lead (SQL), opportunity, customer, evangelist and other –  unless you’re using your own custom lifecycle stages of course.

You can learn more about how to use lifecycle stages here.

So to make sure you are sending the right content to the right contacts at the right time, it’s essential to keep those stages updated. Luckily this is another process you can easily automate in HubSpot!

For example, if one of the criteria for your MQLs is that they are working in a specific industry, you can update this through a workflow. Or, you could update your contact’s lifecycle stage to SQL if they have reached a specific deal stage.

Example 3: Qualifying out leads

While most of the leads you generate through your Inbound Marketing activity will be legitimate, on occasion you will get the odd false lead, competitor submission or student looking to learn more about a specific industry.

We’ve seen them all. Leads calling themselves James Bond or Mickey Mouse, false emails such as ab@abc.com, and leads with mobile or phone numbers that most definitely don’t belong to any known network…

You don’t want your sales team following up and you definitely don’t want to include these people in your performance reports. So, set up a workflow to exclude them.

First and foremost, you need to exclude any lead that has qualified out (leads that you don’t want to follow up with, e.g. competitors) from any email activity and lead management. You then need to ensure that the leads aren't associated with a certain lifecycle stage, or lead owner. There are several fields in each lead’s contact record in HubSpot that you can change to ensure this:

  • Lead owner - you should clear the property so that the contact no longer has a lead owner

  • Lifecycle stage - you should clear and revert the lifecycle stage to ‘other’

  • Lead status - you should change the lead status to ‘unqualified’ - meaning that someone has run the lead and the lead doesn’t need to be contacted any further

Example 4: Lead score notifications

Lead scoring is where you assign values (scores) to leads to help both marketing and sales to prioritise engagement and determine just how interested leads are. Scores are assigned to leads based on the actions they take on your website, including (but not limited to): website visits, number of page views, amount of form submissions, which specific forms they’ve completed, where they’re based, what industry they’re in – the list is endless!

When you have lead scoring configured, we often find it useful to set up some of these workflows to ensure your sales team will follow up with the contacts that have a high lead score.

You can create a workflow to say, ‘once contact has reached a lead score of X’, change these two properties:

  • Change Lifecycle stage - switch from marketing qualified lead (MQL) to sales qualified lead (SQL)

  • Change Lead owner - switch from marketing to one of your sales team

  • Or send an internal notification to the lead owner to follow up with the contact

If you want to know more about how HubSpot’s lead scoring tool works, and how it can help you enhance your sales engagement, check out our blog here.

Example 5: Lead nurturing

Lead nurturing is one of the key activities we use HubSpot workflows for. Nurturing your leads with relevant content is essential to help move them further along the buyer’s journey.

For example, your lead could first convert on your website by downloading a high-level eBook called “Inbound Marketing 101”. Perhaps you would like to follow up with that lead a week later to see if they are interested in another piece of useful content, such as a comparison sheet of different Inbound Marketing tools.

But you also want to ensure your contacts never receive a piece of content that they’ve already read previously. A simple way to avoid this is by adding if/then branches to your workflow, which you can set up so the contact skips an email if they’ve already downloaded the piece of content. 

Example 6: Internal notifications

Sending internal notifications to your team is another great example of how HubSpot’s workflows can help you not only automate your external processes (like lead nurture emails) but also your internal processes running in the background.

Internal notifications can be sent either via email, via text, or in-app – which are the standard options you can choose from. 

But if you are - like us - big fans of the messaging app Slack, here’s some good news for you: HubSpot allows you to send notifications straight to your Slack channel! (Read more about the integration in our blog here.) 

This integration allows you to not only send notifications to follow up with prospects, but also send automated messages to your team channel whenever you close new deals And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. 

Example 7: Assign tasks

Another great yet simple way to utilise workflows in HubSpot is to set up tasks. HubSpot allows you to create tasks and assign them to users in your portal (you can learn more about this here). By using workflows, you can trigger these tasks to be created automatically based on specific actions.

Let’s use our example of a new deal you have just closed. One of the next follow-up actions will be to pass over the deal from sales to your client success team to begin the onboarding process. A simple notification can be set up through a workflow to assign a task to the relevant team member.

Example 8: Manage your ABM activities

Is your company running account-based marketing (ABM) campaigns to target high-value accounts? If so, there are going to be a bunch of processes you will want to automate.

For example, you might have different tiers set up depending on the fit of the company. Those tiers could be defined by industry, company size, annual revenue, or location. To automatically assign the right tier, why not set up a workflow with some if/then branches to set the “tier” property for each new company.

By categorising your leads, your sales team will easily be able to identify the high-value companies they need to follow up with first.

Learn more about ABM and HubSpot in this guide.

Example 9: Ticket feedback

Is your customer service team using the HubSpot ticket tool? HubSpot's tickets tool allows you to track and organise all your customer issues in one central place accessible to your whole team. 

It’s a great tool to manage all your customer service enquiries –but did you know there are also a lot of ticketing processes that you can automate through a workflow?

For example, if you have asked a customer a question and are waiting for them to come back to you (so you can further the progress of the ticket), you could set a reminder to follow up with the contact via email a day after. Or, if you have successfully closed a ticket, why not send out a feedback email afterwards?

Example 10: Webinar or event promotion with a reminder

The last example I wanted to share are workflows based on a specific event or webinar. Similar to your lead nurture workflows, you might want to set up a workflow to send out a series of emails to your contacts. The only difference is that you want to make sure these emails all go out at a specific date or time. 

Luckily, HubSpot’s workflow features have you covered, so you can prepare and schedule your workflow actions. Simply select the action “delay until a day or time” to trigger the next action in your workflow.

For example, you could send out an invite to your (virtual) event 30 days in advance. And to anyone who didn’t open it, you might want to send it again. As the event gets closer, you could set up a workflow to send a reminder two days before to all of your attendees. Also, after the event, wouldn’t it be nice to send out a little thank you email, linking to the event content? You can do that, too!

As you can see, there are lots of workflows you can build to manage your leads in HubSpot based on different scenarios and possibilities. The best way to think about workflows is to picture someone converting on one of your forms, or submitting a ticket, and then try and work out what’s needed at each step to move them further into the buyer’s journey.

You should have workflows in place to manage every aspect of the process, whether that’s managing new leads, handing leads over to sales, updating lead statuses or moving leads from an opportunity to closed/won. You want to reduce the amount of manual data entry wherever possible and let HubSpot do the work for you.

If you still need help, we run one and two-day lead management workshops. These workshops are specifically designed to help you plan and build out your lead management process in HubSpot.

Click here to get in touch with us today.

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