Interested in leveraging HubSpot workflows in your sales and marketing process? You can use some of the contact-based workflows below to automate processes and move prospects more effectively (and faster) through your sales funnel.
1. Page View
What are some of the key pages on your website and what do they tell you about your visitors? You can brainstorm “topic areas” you have on your website and send visitors unique, triggered emails based on their specific interests. Some topic area examples include:
- Industry (ex: manufacturing, distribution, etc.)
- Product content (ex: a specific software you offer, or a certain functionality)
- Prospect validation (ex: viewing your case studies, testimonials, etc.)
After you define some of your key topic areas, you can create a series of emails targeted to those visitors and establish a workflow to send them those emails. Targeted/segmented emails such as below have, on average, a 14.32% higher open rate and a 100.95% higher click rate than non-segment campaigns (WordStream).
In the example below, we are enrolling visitors to our ‘Distribution industry’ page in a workflow that contains a series of 4 emails:
- Email 1 – Do you have any questions? A simple, text-based email asking the visitor if they have any questions on our distribution offering and offering some additional resources.
- Email 2 – A link to a read a distribution blog on our site.
- Email 3 – A link to download a distribution whitepaper on our site.
- Email 4 – A link to a distribution case study on the website with a invitation to request a demo or consultation.
Bonus: you can update contact properties (ex: industry) based on page views too!
2. Downloads or Form Submissions
This workflow uses similar logic to the ‘Page View’ one above. If a visitor downloads something on your website like a guide or whitepaper, demo, attends a webcast, etc., you can establish a series of highly-targeted emails that continues to nurture them with additional content or promotion for future events.
In the example below, the visitor has downloaded our “Guide to Financial Management for CFOs”. From this download, we can make two assumptions about the prospect: 1) they are a CFO or in a finance position, and 2) they are interested in financial management topics/improving their existing finance processes.
- Email 1 – Thank you email. A simple, text-based email asking the visitor if they have any questions on the download, a link to access the download at any time, and offering some additional resources
- Email 2 – An email with a link to an article: 10 Tips For Automating Your Financial Management Processes
- Email 3 – A link to another whitepaper on the site: 2020 Trends all CFOs Need to Know
- Email 4 – A link to a financial management case study on the website with a brief product overview and invitation to request a demo or consultation.
We send the thank you email on a very slight delay, and then delay emails 2-4 for at least 7 days each.
You can take the example above and apply it to nearly any industry, application, or topic. The key is to make the content extremely relevant to the original download!
Now, HubSpot does allow you to setup or schedule follow-up emails directly within the form editor. Within the forms tool, you can schedule up to three follow-up emails (with delays) for a specific form. However, these will all be simple, text-based emails without the full functionality available within the HubSpot drag and drop editor. A couple of other downsides to establishing follow-ups via the form is you won’t have the option to set goals, and therefore, conversions, and add any final automated steps to the end of the email series like updating contact properties.
3. Form Abandonment
Don’t let a form stop your prospects from downloading or consuming your content. After all, you already have their contact information!
If one of your contacts views a page with a form, but does not submit it – you can setup a workflow to email them the content “un-gated”. Be sure to monitor the prospects activity to see if they DO consume the content after being sent the un-gated version.
In the example below, the prospect has viewed our on-demand demo video page but did not fill out the form. We would love for them to watch the demo to move them further down the funnel and don’t want the “intimidating” form to discourage them. Therefore, we sent them an email that contains a link to watch it directly. Even better, you can use an ‘If/Then’ branch to send a followup email based on the action they take (ex: watching/engaging with the content vs. not).
- Email 1 – A simple, text-based email with content similar to: I saw you had interest in a demo.. You can watch it directly at this link: ___.
- Email 2 – A thank you message/followup email sent to those that watch the demo: “Thanks for watching the demo.. if you have any questions, or would like to setup a custom demo..” with a link to some additional resources.
Bonus: enroll a contact in one of your nurture workflows, or update their lifecycle stage based on an action taken in this workflow!
4. Assigning Leads to Your Sales Team for New Contacts
This workflow will vary depending on the size of your sales staff, your qualification process, sales team segmentation, and other factors. The good news is that this workflow is very flexible and can accommodate nearly any sales process. Check out some of the different use cases below to update the contact’s owner automatically.
If you have a 1-person sale team, you can simply assign the lead to that person. Alternatively, we have come across clients where 1 person on the team does the qualification and assignment of new leads. In that scenario, you can also simply assign the lead to that contact, who can then reassign it after they go through their qualification process:
If you have a larger sales team, you may want to rotate the leads between your team members. This workflow will allow you to evenly distribute assignments amongst a team or specific owners. In the example below, we are rotating the leads evenly between our US-based team:
Please note, this functionality will require you to have a Sales Hub Professional or Enterprise or Service Hub Professional or Enterprise account.
And finally, you may want to use some of the information about the prospect to assign to your proper sales team member. For example, if the prospect is located in Illinois, you would want to assign to your sales rep that covers that geographic area. Or, if they are interested in a specific product, you would want to assign it to the sales rep for that product. And so on. Be sure to add a small delay after enrollment to make sure that HubSpot has updated the appropriate field before the if/then branches start working.
5. Setting Lead Status
When someone fills out a form on your website, their lead status is left blank by default. However, the lead status can be such a useful field for segmentation down the line that we would recommend leveraging it. If used correctly, you can ensure your team is contacting new leads or following up on leads that are in progress.
Here is how to set the lead status to “New”:
Now, you can update that lead status to “In Progress” after your sales team has engaged with the lead. This workflow will update the lead status after any activity (email, call, meeting, or note) has occurred on the contact record.
6. Changing Lifecycle Stage
We work with many clients who handle moving contacts through lifecycle stages in HubSpot manually based on their unique sales process. For example, they will move a prospect from ‘Qualify’ to ‘Develop’ after a phone or email conversation takes place.
However, sometimes larger clients with a larger volume of leads need to handle this automatically in order to ensure their sales team is focusing on the most important leads. In order to achieve this you can use Lead Scoring. In short, lead scoring is when you automatically assign values (scores) to leads based on the actions they take on your website like the amount of times they’ve visited your website, form submissions, number of page views, engagement with emails, and so much more. Stay tuned for our blog post on more tips for setting up lead scoring in HubSpot.
You can see how some of the actions described previously can indicate how “interested” or “warm” a lead is. Therefore, it is a great metric for moving prospects to a new lifecycle stage or even assigning to a different team.
In the example below, we have switched the lifecycle stage from a marketing qualified lead (MQL) to a sales qualified lead (SQL) after they reach a lead score of 20. Also, we switched the contact owner from a member of the ‘Marketing’ team to the ‘Sales’ team.
7. Nurturing Prospects
In between “lead generation” and closing the sale lies the critical middle ground – where lead nurturing is required to move prospects through the funnel:
- 66% of buyers indicate that “consistent and relevant communication provided by both sales and marketing organizations” is a key influence in choosing a solution provider (Genuis.com)
- 80% of new leads never translate into sales and companies that excel at lead nurturing generate 50% more sales ready leads at a 33% lower cost (Invesp)
And depending on your category (ex: enterprise software, government, etc.) the sales cycle may be longer and require even more touches, making nurturing your leads even more critical. HubSpot can help your team automate this in many ways – check out just two ideas below.
As part of your nurture strategy, it is important to tailor your content and communications to where prospects are at in your funnel (or their lifecycle stage in HubSpot). Your mission should be to use your content to guide your prospects toward eventual conversion. Intuitively, you can infer what some of those content buckets might look life:
- Top of the funnel (subscriber, lead, marketing qualified lead): educational content like blogs, webinars, guides, videos, etc.
- Middle of the funnel (sales qualified lead): educational content + validation content like case studies, demo videos, product descriptions or data sheets
- Bottom of the funnel (opportunity): educational content + validation content + value proposition content like product-specific information, testimonials, reviews, etc.
In the example below, we are leveraging a HubSpot workflow to automatically enroll contacts in an email series when they move from a MQL to a SQL. There are 10 emails in total, that deliver every 3 weeks. This will ensure they receive a consistent stream of content relevant to their position in the funnel with the aim of moving them to the next stage.
Be sure to update your Unenrollment and suppression settings if you use this type of workflow. In the example above, I would want to remove them from my previous stage workflow (MQL) to ensure they don’t receive emails in that workflow any longer.
Using the same idea or logic as above, you can offer even MORE tailored content to your prospects to move them through your funnel. One great example of this is industry. If you sell a product/software that has multiple industry applications – send them content relevant to their industry!
Like above, we are leveraging a HubSpot workflow to automatically enroll contacts in an email series when they move from a MQL to a SQL. However, we are adding another enrollment criteria – their industry. Again, we created here 10 emails in total, that deliver every 3 weeks. Now, the emails we are sending are not only specific to their position in the funnel but their industry as well. So when we email them about a blog – the topic of the blog is specific to the distribution industry, the case study we send them is specific to the distribution industry, etc.
Make sure to set a goal for these (and all) workflows! In this specific example, my goal would be for the contact property ‘Lifecycle Stage’ to move from SQL to the next stage.
Some other ideas for further segmenting prospects beyond lifecycle stage or industry include:
- Company size
- Job title
- Product line they are interested in
8. Engage Neglected Prospects
Don’t let prospects fall through the cracks! You can create a workflow to remind your sales team to reach out to a contact if it has been a certain amount of time since they’ve last been contacted.
In the example below, we have created a task for a sales team member for them to check in with a prospect if it has been more than 12 weeks since they’ve last been contacted. To ensure the sales team is focusing on “higher priority” leads, we’ve also added additional criteria to ensure the prospects meet our qualification minimums.
Similarly, you could attempt to re-engage inactive contacts with an email about an exclusive offer or discount you are offering. For this, you could use a variety of enrollment criteria such as:
- The length of time since their last website visit (ex: more than 6 months)
- The length of time since their last email click/open
9. Important Internal Notifications/Tasks
Is your sales team using the HubSpot activity feed? If so, they may be already getting a wealth of information like when their prospects perform specific activities like opening/clicking an email, visiting your website, filling out a form, etc. With this (potential) overload of information, it may be possible to miss something.
You can use workflows to setup a notification or create a task when a prospect visits a key page or takes a key action. This can ensure your sales team follows up immediately and doesn’t miss anything.
- Create a task for a HubSpot user
- Send an internal SMS to a HubSpot user
- Send notification (in-app alert or mobile push) to teams or users
- Send internal email
In the example below, we have set up an email notification when a prospect views the demo page:
Be sure that the internal notification email template contains as much important information about the lead as possible to make it even easier for the sales team to follow up – at minimum their first name, last name, company name, phone number, last conversion, and a link to the full contact record.
10. New Customer
When someone moves from a lead to an official customer there are a ton of processes that will now need to start. You can use workflows to handle some of that busy work. Here are some common ones we use:
Add them to your customer list – We like doing this for a couple of reasons. First, data hygiene is critical and it is important to have an updated list of your customers. We use this specific customer list to send important company updates like closures, product updates, and more. Second, we suppress the customer list on a lot of our marketing communications. This is a quick and simple way to ensure customers don’t receive the wrong message.
Update Lead Status – Once a contact becomes a customer you can update their lead status to ‘Closed’ to ensure no other sales people try to follow up.
Update Contact Owner – Now that the sales process is complete you may want to move the owner of the account from the sales person to a member of your customer service team. You can do that using a workflow like below:
Send emails – When a contact becomes a customer a number of processes now need to take place. Depending on your product/service, you may want to send a contract, onboarding email, a series of training emails, or even try to upsell a customer at a later point. All of these scenarios are a possibility with HubSpot workflows – you can send an email (or a series of emails) when a contact becomes a customer.
In the example below, a customer success teams sends an email 6 months after the contact becomes a customer soliciting a testimonial and to provide a satisfaction survey. Then, at the 1 year mark, they send an “anniversary” email thanking them for being a customer, etc.
There you have it! These are just 10 workflows that can set your sales team up for success, while saving time. To measure the success of your workflows, make sure you set a goal for every single one! A workflow goal is the ultimate objective of your contact-based workflow. When an enrolled contact meets the workflow goal criteria, they are automatically unenrolled from the workflow.
Looking for More Leads?
If you need help developing content to support these robust workflows, or optimizing your HubSpot for lead generation or sales, contact us. Or register for a free marketing assessment. Your custom consultation includes a complete marketing assessment, in-depth Website/SEO analysis, and marketing plan recommendations that will help you dramatically increase website traffic quality and quantity, leverage a systematic process for identifying marketing qualified leads (MQLs) and converting to sales qualified leads (SQLs), and more.