How to Use HubSpot Lifecycle stage

Bastien Paul
Bastien Paul
April 11, 2024

Understanding HubSpot Lifecycle Stages

Why using it?

HubSpot's lifecycle stages are pivotal in mapping out a prospect's journey within your sales and marketing funnel, marking each phase of engagement and purchase intent. These stages, from the default lifecycle stage to custom lifecycle stages, enable a structured approach to segmenting, tracking, and engaging with each contact or company based on their current position and readiness to advance.

Why is it important?

Implementing these lifecycle stages allows for a more strategic alignment between your marketing team and sales team, ensuring that every interaction—from the initial marketing qualified lead (MQL) stage to the sales qualified lead (SQL) stage and beyond—is tailored and relevant. This strategic alignment is crucial for optimizing the sales process, enhancing lead nurturing through the sales funnel, and ultimately, achieving successful conversions.

By customizing and regularly updating the lifecycle stage property in your HubSpot account, you can ensure that your sales and marketing teams are synchronized, using the most appropriate content and engagement strategies for each stage of the customer journey. This not only streamlines the sales processes but also enriches the customer lifecycle, leading to more meaningful sales conversations, better lead scoring, and a higher rate of closed-won deals.

Dive Into Each HubSpot Lifecycle Stage

hubspot lifecycle stages funnel

For a more detailed understanding, let's examine each HubSpot Lifecycle Stage:


Individuals show early interest by engaging in actions like newsletter subscriptions, marking their entry into the hubspot lifecycle stages without significant further interaction. This stage serves as the foundation within the hubspot lifecycle, allowing sales and marketing teams to identify potential customers at the very start of their journey.


This stage in the HubSpot lifecycle represents a deeper level of interaction, where potential customers begin to engage more meaningfully with your content, signaling their readiness for further qualification in the sales funnel.

Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL)

Within the HubSpot lifecycle stages, contacts that show substantial engagement with marketing content or LinkedIn Ads are designated as Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs), demonstrating an increased propensity towards making a purchase in the buyer's journey and closer alignment with the sales process criteria.

Sales Qualified Lead (SQL)

Within the HubSpot lifecycle stages, leads advance to the Sales Qualified Lead (SQL) phase when the sales team validates their preparedness for direct interaction in the sales process, moving potential customers closer to the closed won stage, and is a critical step in aligning the marketing and sales teams' efforts towards converting leads into paying customers.


In the HubSpot lifecycle stages, contacts become Opportunities when they demonstrate significant buying interest following positive interactions with the sales team, aligning with the Ideal Customer Profile and indicating a readiness to move towards the closing stages of the sales funnel.


Individuals reach the Customer stage once they complete a purchase, marking their transition from prospects to confirmed customers.


Evangelists are satisfied customers who become vocal proponents of your product or service, frequently promoting it through word-of-mouth.


This category includes contacts that don't fit the standard stages, such as partners or employees.

Use these for an effective marketing Strategies

Utilizing HubSpot Lifecycle Stages enables businesses to navigate the customer journey with precision, tailoring marketing strategies to each stage. By defining each stage—from Lead to Customer—companies can align their marketing and sales teams, ensuring that each potential customer receives the most relevant content and engagement.

Mapping the Customer Journey

HubSpot's Lifecycle Stages offer a roadmap for understanding where a potential customer stands in their journey. Early stages like Lead or Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL) require educational content to nurture interest, while later stages such as Sales Qualified Lead (SQL) or Opportunity demand more direct sales engagement.

Tailoring Communication Strategies

Tailoring communication tactics to align with each contact's HubSpot lifecycle stage maximizes marketing impact. For leads, engaging materials such as blog posts or webinars elevate awareness, whereas for those at the Opportunity stage, customized demos or case studies can catalyze the decision-making process.

Continual Optimization

Adjusting communication approaches based on the specific HubSpot lifecycle stage of each contact enhances the effectiveness of marketing activities. Educational content, such as blog posts and webinars, is key for leads to gain awareness.

Increase Conversions

Boosting conversions hinges on effectively utilizing each HubSpot lifecycle stage, with personalization and segmentation at the core, enhanced by HubSpot's lifecycle management tools.


Customize your outreach by leveraging insights from each contact's lifecycle stage. HubSpot enables targeted email campaigns, tailored website content, and precise ad targeting. Tailoring messages from lead education to customer optimization can deepen engagement and propel contacts through the sales funnel.


Group contacts by lifecycle stage for pinpointed messaging. HubSpot's CRM facilitates segmentation, allowing for focused campaigns to MQLs or other stages, improving relevance, engagement, and conversion rates.

Tailor your Lifecycle Stage property

Customizing the lifecycle stage property within HubSpot is pivotal for fine-tuning your sales and marketing alignment. By creating custom lifecycle stages and regularly updating these to reflect the nuanced stages of your contact's journey, you can significantly enhance the efficiency of your sales processes and marketing funnel.

Deepening Sales and Marketing Integration:

  • Custom Lifecycle Stages: Develop bespoke stages that mirror the unique steps in your customer journey, from initial contact to closed-won deals, ensuring a seamless transition for each potential customer.
  • Sales Funnel Optimization: Align your tailored lifecycle stages with specific deal stages within your sales funnel, enabling a clearer visualization of progress and pinpointing areas for strategic intervention.
  • Contact and Company Insights: Utilize the contact record feature to gain a comprehensive view of where each contact or company stands within your customized stages, facilitating targeted sales conversations and marketing content delivery.
  • Lifecycle Stage Value: Assign value to each stage to prioritize efforts and resources, focusing on moving qualified leads through the sales process more effectively.
  • Workflow Automation: Create workflows based on your custom lifecycle stages to automate the progression of contacts, ensuring timely engagement and nurturing.
  • Reporting and Analytics: Leverage HubSpot's reporting tools to monitor the performance of your tailored lifecycle stages, identifying trends and making data-driven decisions to refine your sales and marketing strategies.

By thoughtfully tailoring the lifecycle stage property in HubSpot, you can ensure that your sales team and marketing team are working in harmony, driving conversions, and fostering long-term relationships with your customers. This strategic approach not only streamlines your internal processes but also delivers a more personalized and effective customer experience.

Lifecycle stages vs Lead Status

Once a contact enters a sales process—usually when they become an MQL or SQL—the Lead Status property provides a more detailed view of where they are in that process. It offers information on how your sales team is handling different types of leads.

For instance, after a contact becomes an MQL, your sales team may start prospecting them. Here, you can use the different values of Lead Status (like "Attempting to Contact", "In Contact", or "Unresponsive") to identify where these contacts are and what the next steps should be.

In other words, while lifecycle stages offer a high-level view of a contact's journey, Lead Status offers a more detailed insight into their interactions with your sales team. Using both in tandem can provide a comprehensive view of your contacts, helping you understand their needs better and guide them more effectively towards a sale.

Pitfalls to Sidestep

Effectively leveraging HubSpot Lifecycle Stages can significantly boost your marketing and sales efficiency. However, a misunderstanding or misapplication of these stages can lead to missed opportunities and wasted resources. Here are some common mistakes that businesses often make and how to avoid them:

1. Misalignment Between Marketing and Sales Teams

One of the most common errors is the lack of alignment between the marketing and sales teams. This misalignment can result in different interpretations of what qualifies a contact to move to the next lifecycle stage. To avoid this, ensure both teams have a shared understanding of each lifecycle stage and the criteria for moving contacts between them.

2. Failing to Fully Utilize All Lifecycle Stages

Many businesses make the mistake of not using all the lifecycle stages, often overlooking stages like MQL or SQL. Each stage provides unique insights into your customers' journey, allowing you to deliver the right content at the right time. To rectify this, ensure you fully understand each stage and utilize them in your marketing and sales processes.

3. Inadequate Segmentation

Incorrectly segmenting contacts or failing to segment them at all can lead to miscommunication and loss of potential leads. It's essential to segment contacts based on their lifecycle stages to deliver personalized and relevant communication. If you're sending the same email to subscribers, leads, and customers, you're likely missing out on opportunities to engage more effectively.

4. Neglecting Lead Nurturing

Not every lead will be ready to buy right away, and trying to push sales too early can deter potential customers. It's vital to nurture leads, particularly those at the MQL stage, with relevant content that addresses their pain points and progresses them towards a buying decision.

5. Ignoring Evangelists

Businesses often focus so much on acquiring new customers that they overlook their evangelists - satisfied customers who actively advocate for the company. Ignoring these evangelists is a mistake as they can play a significant role in acquiring new customers through word-of-mouth referrals. Recognize and engage your evangelists, encouraging them to share their positive experiences.

6. Lack of Regular Auditing and Adjustment

Lifecycle stages aren't set in stone; they're dynamic and should be reviewed and adjusted based on evolving business needs and market changes. Failure to regularly audit and adjust your lifecycle stages can lead to inefficiencies and missed opportunities. Regular reviews ensure your lifecycle stages remain relevant and effective.

Avoiding these common mistakes can help businesses more effectively utilize HubSpot Lifecycle Stages, leading to more efficient marketing and sales processes, better customer engagement, and ultimately, increased conversion rates.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to edit lifecycle stages in HubSpot?

To edit lifecycle stages in HubSpot, go to the contact's profile, select "View all properties", search for "Lifecycle Stage", and then choose a new stage from the dropdown menu and click "Save".

How to add more lifecycle stages in HubSpot?

If you are on Enterprise plan for any Hub you can customize lifecycle stages.

What are the lifecycle stages of HubSpot?

HubSpot's lifecycle stages include Subscriber, Lead, Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL), Sales Qualified Lead (SQL), Opportunity, Customer, Evangelist, and Other, each representing a different level of engagement in the sales and marketing funnel.

Bastien Paul
Bastien Paul
Bastien is the CRO of Hublead. With over 5 years in marketing and sales, using Hubspot, Bastien has written several studies and marketing guides based on data, many of which are well-known in the industry. Bastien likes to question standard marketing and sales beliefs and aims to make things simpler and more efficient.
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