Discussing Hubspot Deal Stages and Sales Pipeline with Max Cohen and Andy Steuer

Discussing Hubspot Deal Stages and Sales Pipeline with Max Cohen and Andy Steuer

Hubspot Deal Stages are a great way to get visibility into your sales pipeline.

Marketing doesn’t stop at just content planning and getting traffic and leads to your website. The next step is equally important. Once you start getting leads from various marketing channels, tracking and measuring Hubspot deal stages and pushing the leads through the sales cycle to get revenue.

Max Cohen from Hubspot and Andy Steuer from WriteForMe discuss how to navigate Hubspot deal stages and sales reporting better.

Andy:

Hey Max, how are you buddy?

Max:

Hey. I’m doing good Andy how are you?

Andy:

I’m doing great, great. So, Max why don’t you introduce yourself, I’ll introduce myself and then we’ll jump right in to some interesting things for everybody.

Max:

Yeah it’s going to be interesting. So first off hey everybody. My name’s Max. I am a product trainer or facilitator on HubSpot’s learning and development team. Been on HubSpot or I’ve been out of HubSpot for it’s wow going to be five years in December which is nuts. But before I was doing training for HubSpot’s new employees I was an implementation specialist. So I got to spend a lot of good time with customers really diving into HubSpot, learning the tool from front to back and getting people on board with an inbound strategy. Also as things shifted over time and HubSpot evolved into a CRM we did a lot of sales stuff too as well. I think that’s what we’re going to be talking about today.

Andy:

That’s right, yep. I’m Andy Steuer. I’m the chief marketing officer at Write For Me. At Write For Me what we do is we build content teams for our clients so that our clients can successfully have a content marketing effort delivering useful content to their buyers and prospects and attract and convert leads better. So, Max and I have been doing these conversations now for several conversations Max.

Max:

Yeah.

Andy:

So a few of these calls. Today what we’re going to dig into is pipeline, how to build a pipeline in HubSpot. So I always find this interesting because you have so many different channels that leads come through and I think what we want to showcase here is how do I track the performance of each one of those channels? So if I’ve got leads coming in through organic traffic or ad words, Facebook, LinkedIn, email outreach, a number of these different channels. I want to track the performance of each one of those channels and looking at my deal board and how I might set that up with the reporting, what that would look like. How do I do that? What are some best practices?

Max:

Yeah and the other thing too it’s one thing to just look at those channels from your more, I hate saying funnel. But more top of the funnel efforts in terms of just driving a lot more traffic and giving a lot more eyeballs onto your site. It’s a totally different thing to then say, “Okay, yeah we’re getting all this traffic but how well is it actually converting into a lead and how much of that traffic is actually converting into an actual customer? How do we track that and how do we make it easy?” What’s cool about HubSpot is that if you’re using the HubSpot CRM or even if you’re using Salesforce for example which has a beautiful sync between the two tools, you can track all that stuff out of the box, which is great.

Digging Into Hubspot Deal Stages

Max:

So what I was thinking is we’ll hop into HubSpot, we’ll show you how to set up your pipeline, the first time. We’ll do a very basic setup. We’ll talk about Hubspot deal stages and things like that. Then we’ll actually go and revisit the traffic analytics tool and show you where customers are actually going to be showing up once these deals start getting close by your sales team. So we’ll start a little bit with the pipeline, we’ll show you what that looks like. Show you how to edit your Hubspot deal stages and then we’ll look say, “Hey you closed the customer. How is that going to reflect in your reporting at least from a traffic perspective?”

Andy:

Love it.

Max:

So why don’t I share my screen here. Boom, boom. All right you can see my screen Andy?

Andy:

Yes.

Max:

All right wonderful. So, before maybe we even get started and showing people in the tool, Andy what are some of the things you run across with customers when they’re first setting up HubSpot and if we’re starting to think about how they’re managing their sales process and the CRM. What advice do you give them before they start diving into things like Hubspot deal stages and stuff? I’ll let you talk about that for a second while I navigate and get us ready to go.

Andy:

Yeah so a lot of this stuff can be overwhelming and especially when you have leads coming in through these different channels, tracking the performance of those channels becomes really important. To your point, tracking not only the leads but the conversions. What that will tell you is where you want to double down, where you want to put more gas behind and where you want to optimize you budget and your time. So, having metrics around each one of these channels is super important. So, identifying what are the channels where your traffic is coming from or where the leads are coming from. Then looking at the full conversion path. What leads are coming in, sales qualified leads to marketing qualified leads to a close. What does that whole process look like and with attribution to each channel. I think that’s the initial hard part and what we recommend is first let’s very simply, let’s get a spreadsheet out. Identify what are the channels that you have leads coming in from. Let’s name them and then let’s talk about the Hubspot deal stages that you have. We have clients for example that are e-commerce companies. They have a very different sales funnel process than a SAS company would where they have maybe a demo in the mix and what that might look like.

Max:

Sure. Yeah.

Andy:

So yeah. So let’s talk a little bit about how we help people who are looking at this.

Max:

Yeah. This is always something that I like to visit with people when they’re first getting started with HubSpot because what I always tell people is when you’re first getting started with the tool, the last thing you want to do is completely reinvent the wheel and adopt a brand new piece of software at the same exact time.

Andy:

Yes. Yeah, it’s overwhelming.

Max:

It’s tough, right? And you’re just setting yourself up for failure when you do that. So when you’re getting your sales team acclimated with HubSpot yeah maybe the way they do things currently isn’t the most efficient way in the world, but step one you got to get them comfortable with this new environment first before you say, “All right here’s a new software environment for you to work in, but also here’s a completely new strategy that we’re following. Adopt both at the same time.” So I typically when I would work with customers I would show them how to set these Hubspot deal stages up based on what their current sales process looked like. If you can adopt their current process into the new piece of software, that’s something familiar to them, right? They’re going to be able to jump in and continue doing the job the way that they’ve been doing it instead of trying to do a fundamental shift in their day to day plus adopt a new piece of software at the same time. It’s super tough.

Setting Up Hubspot Deal Stages

Max:

So, the deals tool basically let’s you set up these different things called deal stages. Now before I show you how to edit these deal stages, let me show you where deal stages actually manifests themselves within HubSpot. Where do you see this? What does it actually do? So on and so forth. So I’m going to actually go back up to the top of the page. I’m going to go to sales and I’m going to go to deals. So we’re going to let this board load up. So when you see deals, deals are basically an object inside of HubSpot that represents a potential sale to someone. Just like a contact represents a human, a company represents a company. A ticket represents you helping someone with something. A deal represents you selling something to someone, either potentially or some closed deal or a lost deal. So this is the deals board and this board shows you all the different open deals that you have with all of your potential customers, as well as ones that you’ve closed.

Max:

You’ll notice up here at the top you have a whole bunch of different options to view different sets of deals based on different sets of criteria. You can set custom filters. So for example if you only want to see deals that belong to a certain sales rep you can do that. If you want to see deals that closed within a certain timeframe, you can do that. But what you’ll notice is when you’re on this deals page and you click this little button on the top left that has these nine dots right here, this is going to bring you to the deals table. What the deals table let’s you do is organize all these different deals that you have by the stage that they’re in. So think of a deals stage as a milestone in your sales process. It’s the next step that you’re waiting to happen, all right?

Max:

So, I’m going to actually go and look at this deal I have here. It’s just called test, nothing-

Andy:

One thing Max that I wanted to mention is that what we like to do is put those deal stages in order of activities that have already happened, right? So that’s an important thing right? They’ve already met the criteria for that stage rather than saying they’re going into the next stage because they haven’t met the criteria of that stage yet.

Max:

Yeah.

Stages in Your Sales Pipeline

Andy:

So have they filled out a form? Have they had a qualified sales call? Have they whatever the next stages are.

Max:

Yeah, the reason I brought it up the way that I did is I’ve seen lots of customers when they’re building out their deal stages put these little micro actions that the deal has no business just sitting there. So for example, what I’ve seen people do is they say, “All right we have a stage called demo scheduled, demo complete and scoping call scheduled.” So let’s say you have three of those in there and what happens is they go, “Okay, well if you have the demo call and then schedule the scoping call, whatever it may be on that demo call, then that middle stage of demo call complete has no value.” So it sounded like we disagreed there, but we’re saying the same thing.

Andy:

Yeah.

Max:

The thing is you don’t want to have any stages in there that you wouldn’t be sitting in for a little bit. You wouldn’t want to have this micro stage that you skip over and don’t even really have a reason because then you’re just clicking extra buttons. So be careful of that and when we go through setting up the different deal stages, you’ll see exactly what we’re talking about here.

Andy:

Yes, yeah.

Max:

Cool. We said the same thing just in different ways.

Andy:

That’s right, that’s right yeah.

Max:

Yeah. So the thing is when you’re looking at a deal on the left hand side you’ll see this little Hubspot Deal Stages thing here and you’ll see all your different deal stages, as well as this little graphic that will show you how far along the process that this deal actually is. So you get a little visual representation right? When it comes to setting up the pipeline we got to remember not every single business is going to be following the same exact sales process. In fact, I’d wager almost every business has a different sales process because your product’s different. Your experience that you’re providing is different. Your sales maneuver can vary. There’s all these different things that could cause your sales process to be different and you want to make sure that the deal stages in HubSpot reflect that, right? So let’s actually go and edit these and change these deal stages.

Max:

So to change your Hubspot deal stages or edit or adjust your deal stages in HubSpot you’re going to go to this little gear icon in the top right hand corner and then on the left this automatically went to it because I was already on that page. But if you’re not already on the deals page when you click that on the left hand side of your settings if you scroll down there’s this sales dropdown that you can click and then there’s one that says deals and that will bring you here, all right? So this is going to show you all of the different Hubspot deal stages that you have set up and this is how your pipeline basically gets organized within HubSpot. When you first get started with HubSpot these are the Hubspot deal stages that are in there by default right? Appointment scheduled, qualified to buy, presentation scheduled, decision maker bought in, contract sent, close won, close lost. This obviously isn’t everyone’s sales process. So Andy walk me through when you sit down with a customer here for the first time, how are you advising how they take their sales process and translate it into Hubspot deal stages?

Andy:

We do exactly what you’re doing here. We typically do it in Excel just so we can make it easily editable and we start there. But the idea is that we say okay let’s talk about the very first touch that you have with a prospect. How do they find you? Could be an email that they received. Could be an ad that they saw. Could be an organic link that they found you on and came to your website and maybe filled out a form.

Max:

Yep.

Andy:

So we start from there, from that process and then we step through their sales cycle. So exactly what you’re saying. Let’s not reinvent the wheel, let’s mirror what your sales process is. We get into the details that we just unpack it.

Max:

Cool.

Andy:

Then from there we consolidate any of the steps that you mentioned so we don’t have a lot of steps, we have the meaningful milestones along the way that are going to carry through so that they can identify how qualified that prospect is and how likely they are to close based on what stages they are in the sales process. Then also think a little bit about what the appropriate messaging might be at each one of those stages to really help them crystallize what are the right stages that they should think about that they can enter here in their deal board. Then from there then we get these finite sets of stages within the deal process and we put into HubSpot and then we build it out.

Max:

Yeah, so why don’t we go through setting one up here and we can use some fictitious business or maybe we can even mirror yours or something like that.

Andy:

Sure.

Max:

We’ll figure it out here. But what I would usually recommend people do to start with, is when you’re faced with these, what is it seven? Yes these seven default ones, generally I recommend deleting all of them except for close won or close lost because everyone is going to have a close won and close lost. You either won the business and you closed the deal or you didn’t.

Andy:

Right.

Max:

So it makes sense to keep those ones in there. So what I’m going to do is I’m going to go ahead and delete all these ones up at the top. We’ll move this one to close lost. What you just saw there is HubSpot noticed that there was an open deal that was in that stage and basically said, “Oh, what do you want to do with that one or which one do you want to move it to?”

Andy:

Yeah.

Max:

So HubSpot’s looking out for you in that case. So I’m going to delete all these and we’re going to start with nothing, right?

Andy:

All right.

Max:

So I’m going to add our first Hubspot deal stage here. This is going to be our opening original starting point for your Hubspot deal stage. Now this is something you want to think critically about in terms of when are you actually opening up a deal? You don’t want to just be opening up deals willy nilly inside of HubSpot because that can have some pretty chaotic negative effects on the way you measure the performance of your sales people. Depending on what metrics and KPIs for your sales team that your team values and what your sales people’s performance is based on or measured upon. You want to just think critically about how you’re setting these up and when deals get created. So I want to hear your thoughts on this Andy. For me generally what I say is, “Okay what is the point in the process where you think a customer is serious about actually having a conversation about purchasing something from you?” For me the default that I always go to is when you get that first call on the books.

Max:

So, not necessarily when someone fills out a form saying I want to schedule a demo or I want to talk to someone. But once you’ve had that first conversation and you’ve reached out a little bit and they’ve scheduled that next call with you. So what I’d say is I’m going to use very generic terms here. We’ll just call this intro call booked. So maybe you’ve had a conversation with the customer over email or briefly via phone once you’ve gotten in touch with them. They’re like, “Yeah, I’d like to have a conversation. I’d like to dig deeper into this. I’d like to open up the discussion around buying something” whatever it may be. That way you know there’s some interesting intent there.

Andy:

So until then they’re just a contact right? That’s how you’re thinking about it.

Max:

Yeah.

Andy:

What’s interesting about that is that you’re not getting a deal board messy with unqualified opportunities.

Max:

Yes and I harp on this because one of the biggest mistakes that I’ve seen customers make is immediately deciding, “Oh, hey we’ve got access to all this automation and the workflows too inside of HubSpot. Wouldn’t it be great if every single time someone filled out a form to talk to one of our sales reps, we automatically generated a deal so we can cut back on all the manual work it takes to put together a deal.

Andy:

Right.

Max:

While that sounds enticing, what’s tough about that situation is when you have a lot of traffic coming to your site and a lot of people filling out those forms because they think they want to talk to a sales rep, you’re going to have a ton of people who shouldn’t have filled that form out in the first place. In the world of sales it’s all a numbers game. You get a lot of people that say they want to talk to you but then it’s still only a small amount of those folks that actually follow through with it, right? So the problem with automatically opening up deals through workflows in HubSpot is that your close, win ratio or close, win rate of your deals for your sales reps is at the whim of the people who just book meetings or book calls or request certain things from your sales team on your site. You may have someone go and fill out a form because they think that’s what they need, but they were never qualified to begin with or maybe they just never even pick up or get cold feet or not even want to talk to you or buy something else. Then all of a sudden you’re going to see the close, win ration of your sales reps plummet because all these deals are getting opened in the first place when they never should have been.

Andy:

Right that’s a really good point.

Max:

Yeah so I-

Andy:

It puts all this negative inertia on your sales guys when actually you want to support your sales guys and help them increase their close rate.

Max:

Yes, exactly.

Andy:

Yeah.

Max:

I’ve always been in the school of thought that a deal getting open should be a manual process. When I say manual, I don’t mean you have to fill everything out manually. There’s still ways that you can leverage workflows to auto generate a bunch of information and cut down on the amount of typing you have to do to open these. But, the deal getting created to me should always be a conscious decision that a sales rep makes when there is some percentage chance that you could close business with someone, right?

Andy:

It’s an event yeah. It’s an event. You’re thinking about this like, “Okay this is an opportunity now. I will put it on the board.”

Max:

It’s a judgment call.

Andy:

That’s right, yeah.

Max:

Totally.

Andy:

Yeah.

Max:

So whatever that first thing is that you’re going to do when you’re waiting for it to happen, that’s generally what I recommend setting as your first Hubspot deal stage right? Then this is where it really gets dependent on what your actual process looks like. So after you add that first one in there, you can keep adding these Hubspot deal stages and you can move them in. So for example what would you … If this was a sales process that had an intro call and then they had to for example I don’t want to say get the decision makers bought in because that’s one of the original ones that’s in there. If we’re talking about that second step in the process, maybe either presenting a solution.

Andy:

Yeah let’s call it demo. Did you give a demo? Sometimes the intro call can be a meet and greet and you’re just getting to know each other to see if there’s a fit.

Max:

For sure.

Andy:

And whether you should have the next call.

Max:

Yeah.

Andy:

That next call can be the demo.

Max:

Yep, so for example we’ve got demo booked here.

Andy:

Yeah, yeah.

Max:

Now what you want to start thinking about as you start to add in more of these bits of your sales processes, when a person continues through your sales process, the likelihood that they’re going to buy does go up because they’re not completely thrown off and they give up on the first call. So you want to start thinking about over here on the right is this thing called win probability all right? Now what win probability is going to do is it’s going to help you forecast your revenue all right? One of the properties on deals is obviously Hubspot deal stages which is what we’re talking about here. But there’s also a property called amount and amount is basically the dollar amount of that sale, right? What you could potentially close if you were able to close win this deal. When you’re looking at your sales reporting in HubSpot it looks at that dollar amount and then it also looks at whatever your forecasting the close date to be, right? So when you build a deal you have the stage, you have the dollar amount, so how much it’s actually going to be if you actually sell that thing to that person. But then you also have a perspective close date. When do you think the business is going to be closed by?

Andy:

Yep.

Max:

When you look at your revenue forecasting reports in HubSpot, the way that HubSpot forecasts that revenue is it looks at the deal close date, so what day is this supposed to close? It then looks at the amount that the deal is worth and then it looks at the win probability here to say, “Hey well you may close this much revenue within this timeframe.” So if this was a deal for $1,000 and it was set to close in September and we had this deal in this demo book stage but it’s set to close in December, it’s going to show that as $300 worth of forecasted revenue for whatever timeframe that you’re looking at, for September for example. So just think critically about how likely someone is to close if they get to these certain stages and this is something that involves trial and error and playing around with. I don’t expect anyone to get this right the very first time. You may already have some win probability calculated from your previous sales process that you want to build into here. I wouldn’t bang your head over the table about it though all right. It’s something that you’re going to iterate over time. Andy what’s thoughts do you have on probability?

Andy:

I would say keep your probability low until you have qualified who the actual decision maker is for the [inaudible 00:23:37].

Max:

For sure.

Andy:

And you’ve talked about price.

Max:

Yep.

Andy:

You’ve qualified them, you have to do that. If you haven’t talked about price yet or if you haven’t qualified are you the decision maker or do you have to go to your boss, your boss’s boss? Who’s actually the one who’s going to approve the budget? You need them to approve budget and you need to know that they’re a qualified buyer.

Max:

Yeah.

Andy:

Otherwise your win probability is just going to always be wrong and it’s going to be a frustrating experience.

Max:

Yeah.

Andy:

So I would keep your probabilities low until there’s a point in your Hubspot deal stages here where you’ve had that pricing discussion.

Max:

Yeah. So maybe let’s use this as an example right? Of course there will probably be some additional stages between this if we’re talking about something like a SAS company. But let’s say you have one of those late stages where you’ve gotten the verbal yes, you’re literally just waiting for them to approve the contract, whatever it may be. At that point you may want to set a win probability higher.

Andy:

Yeah.

Max:

So maybe if you’re a contract sent phase, for example.

Andy:

That’s a 90%-er.

Max:

Yeah you’d put that at 90% because you’ve got a really good chance to actually close this deal. Now, setting up the Hubspot deal stages is one thing and this is a pretty easy thing to do. Before we go and take a look at how this changes things on the deal board and go look at the traffic and analytics and stuff, for folks who are using sales pro which is the second tier level of HubSpot’s sales hub, there are two lesser knowns, but really, really cool features to just talk about really quick here if you really, really want to get the most out of Hubspot deal stages. There’s two things you’re seeing on this page. You’ll notice when I scroll over all these different stages right here on the right it says edit properties, okay? If you click on edit properties and this is underneath this update stage properties field here, what you can actually do is you can make it so that in order to advance to that stage certain properties on that deal need to be filled out.

Max:

So for example, if I move someone to the demo books stage, or actually no we move to the contract sent phase and we want to make sure that no matter what there is an amount filled out. We can hit edit properties, choose amount and then require it and hit next. What’s going to happen here is if your sales rep tries to move a deal from demo booked to contract sent HubSpot is going to make sure that they have that amount field filled in. This goes for any other property. So if there’s certain bits of information you have to collect, going through the different stages of your sales process, you can force your sales rep to make sure they have that information in there before they can advance to that stage. So people are being very hygienic with their data and information and input and stuff when it comes to moving people on the sales process. So that’s one thing.

Max:

The other one is this automation tab here. If you’ve had any experience with the workflows tools which is HubSpot’s flagship automation tool if you will. What’s really great here and this is great for all you sales directors or sales managers that want to stay on top of what’s happening with all the deals in your team’s pipeline, you can basically build these different micro workflows I like to call them that trigger certain things to happen between certain stages. So for example here, if you want to know when a deal gets to presentation scheduled, maybe you want to get an email or a text or something like that. You can hit create workflow under this stage and you can send an internal email notification to one of the sales directors for example saying, “Hey this deal moved to this stage” that way you don’t have to be watching your deal board 24/7. You can just get a notification when you need it.

Andy:

Right. Love that.

Max:

This is just an easy quick way of setting it up in here. You can also do this just in the regular workflows tool as well. This is just giving you a much quicker way of doing it and it shows you all your different automation for all your different stages on one page versus a bunch of different workflows separately in the workflows tool. So, if you have sales pro, don’t sleep on this. This is a really, really cool feature. A lot of people were asking for it, for a long time. They implemented it, it’s super cool. All right, sweet.

Andy:

Awesome.

Max:

Andy, before we move onto now looking at what our deal board looks like, any other closing thoughts or ideas around Hubspot deal stages before we move on?

Andy:

No I think this is great. This is a good frame up to be able to say, “Okay this is how you march a deal down the field.”

Max:

For sure, cool. All right so let’s go ahead and save this here. So once you’re done, go ahead and hit save and just remember-

Andy:

Actually I do have, I do have one thing.

Max:

Yeah.

Andy:

I just have one thing. So let’s say that you have a deal and maybe you have a bunch of deals that stall out. They get down to we got presentations scheduled, decision maker bought in and they’re just hanging there. They haven’t gotten to the contract sent yet phase.

Max:

Yep.

Andy:

They’re becoming nonresponsive, maybe they got busy, maybe their priorities changed, who knows what. But they’re just in no man’s land. What do you recommend that you do at that point? You want to … Everybody is like, “I got to get it to the next phase.” Would you recommend putting them on a sequence. Do you recommend putting them into a category of a Hubspot deal stage, like a purgatory category or something? A get out of jail card thing? How do you get them out.

Max:

Sure. So what to do with the stuck deals. So I mean one it really depends on what your sales team policy is with that stuff. You’re going to have some sales teams that say, “Okay you get stuck in a certain stage for X amount of time and they become unresponsive, how hard do we push to make that happen?” The cool thing is with HubSpot you can easily set up workflows that can look for that to happen. So deal reaches a certain stage, sits there for X amount of time, trigger some action like a reminder email to the prospects or maybe even reminder emails to your sales reps to be like, “Hey what’s going on with this thing?” Or maybe even some notification to a sales director or sales manager saying, “This deal is stuck. Please go help your sales rep coach them through figuring this out.” You can do a whole number of different things. Definitely don’t do nothing, right? But there is so many creative ways that you can use automation to push that through to the next stage.

Max:

But again, it depends. Does that mean outward communication to the customer or does that mean some internal notification so people can help each other out? There’s a number of different things that you can do there. Usually what I would recommend in those situations though is a sequence. For anyone that doesn’t know what a sequence is, a sequence is a productivity tool in HubSpot. You can get it starting with sales starter, right? Essentially it allows you to manually trigger a series of automated emails that get sent to a prospect and tasks that get assigned to you to do certain things. It’s great for situations where either someone for instance ghosts you on a call and you want to get them to rebook with you. It’s also great if you’ve lost touch with someone that you’ve been working with or for instance if you want to reconnect with a customer that you haven’t talked to in a long time, or even introduce yourself for the first time.

Max:

But sequences are made for one on one automated email communication, not mass email communication. I want to make that super clear too. The best practice with sequences is to have a number of different sequences that your whole team has access to for any situation you can think of. For example, you’d want to have a specific sequence for customers that maybe are in that contract sent phase when you’ve sent the contract, but you haven’t heard back from them, right? A certain amount of things have happened in there. So you want that context in the body of those emails that are getting sent. Same thing if someone is just missed your first intro call. You want to have a specific sequence for that because you’re going to say different things in those emails.

Max:

So it’s always best to get as many different situational sequences that can account for any of the different common scenarios that your team finds yourself in and to leverage those because those are just set it and forget it, right? I’m a sales rep. I notice that I’m in a certain stage. Someone’s dropped off the face of the planet. Instead of perseverating all day on how I’m going to get back in touch with them, I rip them into a sequence, I let the sequence do its thing. If they get back to me, great. If they don’t, it can set a task for me to say like, “All right this person hasn’t responded from all these emails and the phone calls that you’ve made. Go ahead and close lost the deal as this point.” You can even have workflows that say, “If a deal has been open for a certain amount of time and it hasn’t been closed and it’s in a certain stage, close the deal.” Or tell the sales rep to think about closing the deal. You have all of the flexibility in the world, you’re just limited by your creativity and how your team wants to go about what their standard operating procedures in certain situations.

Andy:

Yeah, yeah.

Max:

There’s no one answer. The answer is the sky’s the limit, yeah.

Andy:

Right. What’s interesting also is it’s always so hard to push a deal into close lost for obvious reasons. You’re working on these deals and you don’t want them to go there. What I found is that you can have close lost if you know for sure that it’s close lost. But you can also have close lost-ish or something that is revisit this back. They’re not responding, they go into this purgatory state. Put them in another, even add another Hubspot deal stage to say let’s reach back out to them in three months. Put a task on it so you can reach back out in a month, two months, whatever.

Max:

Totally.

Andy:

And try to revive them at that point and those might be different than a hard close lost because a hard close lost is like I’m not going to do this. For sure the deal is off. That’s clear. If it’s ambiguous and you want to still give it a chance you may even create a Hubspot deal stage for those kinds of deals.

Max:

Yeah and to build off of that even more, don’t delete your close lost deals. Your close lost deals are a treasure trove of information that you can learn from because you can see all of the emails back and forth, all of the calls notes. All of the correspondents. Literally every single step that went through that sales process and you can go back and learn about why these deals aren’t closing. You can even report on this. You’ll notice here under this updates stage properties thing that we were talking about earlier, by default the close one reason and you can do a close lost reason too, can help you say why did this deals close? Why did this deal lose? You can set up different properties that help you measure why these deals aren’t going through. So don’t delete a deal just because it doesn’t go your way.

Andy:

That’s a really good point.

Max:

Hold onto it so you can make use of that data and also when that customer resurfaces later on just like you were saying Andy you’ve got all the correspondents from that previous engagement and you can pick the conversation off where you left off. Even if it wasn’t you that sales rep working with them the first time, right?

Andy:

That’s right.

Max:

Don’t delete your close lost deals. Keep them in there, learn from them. Now what I just realized is I hit the cancel button instead of save. So it reverted back to the other Hubspot deal stages. That’s okay I think we’ve shown you all at this point how to actually change your deal stages, but we’ll go through and again show you a couple things here. So, now that’s how you edit your Hubspot deal stages. Let’s go back into sales for a second. Let’s go to deals, right? Now, we talked earlier about how creating a deal should be a conscious thing that a sales rep does. So, how would we actually create a deal and get it to how up on here? Well let’s think about your sales rep workflow and how they’re actually … When they’re on a call what are they doing in HubSpot? What’s actually happening here? So let’s go find a contact. So I’m going to go into contacts. We’re going to go take a look at, do I have my all contacts here? Yes I do, cool. So I’ve got fake Fred right here, right?

Andy:

I love fake Fred.

Max:

Yeah, fake Fred. Now if I am a sales rep and I’m having a call with a customer chances are I’ve come into here, I’ve hit log, I’ve hit log a call and I’m taking notes on the call. So from here maybe we’re having our first reaching out after that person requested to speak to me. Maybe it’s someone I got connected with, it really doesn’t matter. We’re having that phone conversation. They go, “Hey yeah I’d love to set up an intro call or set up” whatever that first official part of the sales process is and you as the sales rep go, “Okay these people are serious, they’re qualified. I should probably open up a deal at this point. How do you actually do that? What you’re going to do is on the right hand side, you’ll see this little deals dropdown right here and you just click on add deal. From here it’ll bring up your little panel over here that will have you fill in some information. So maybe you’re filling this information in on the call, maybe you’re doing after the call. Again sky’s the limit. It’s totally up to you how you instruct your employees or your sales people how to actually go through this. Once they fill out all this information here I’m going to ahead and hit create and it actually builds the deal for us and this deal is now showing up on this board.

Max:

Now there’s something that you need to know from a reporting standpoint in terms of when you open up a deal okay? Well remember here that I used this contact fake Fred as the contact that I used to open up this deal. One thing you should know from a reporting standpoint is that fake Fred’s lifecycle stage once the deal has been opened automatically moves to opportunity. If you haven’t figured out lifecycle stages yet, I have a vide on it on my YouTube channel you can go check out. You can also look at HubSpot’s knowledge base about it. But an opportunity basically means this contact has an open deal currently and we’re trying to sell to them. That’s the basic gist right? Now, I call that out because what you’ll also notice is let’s say we go through the sales process with fake Fred. Fake Fred’s like, “Yep I want to buy all the stuff you have.” We’re like, “Great, cool.”

Max:

As we’re moving through these different deal stages, eventually what we’ll do is we’ll get down to closed one, right? Now closed one is basically saying, “Yeah we’ve closed the deal. They’re buying from us whether we go the verbal or they gave us the credit card or whatever it may be. Your company has to define what a closed deal literally means. It’s going to ask us here for the close one reason. Now this is again just because it’s set up by default but this is a great example of what I showed you earlier in terms of those required Hubspot deal stages. So just like I showed you earlier, if you wanted to make sure amount was in there at stage two or whatever it may be, you’ll notice I moved it to close one and HubSpot is forcing me to answer these questions or fill out these properties before I can do it right?

Max:

So close one reason is just the default but I’m going to go ahead and say, “They bought because he loved the pricing.” Cool I’m going to go ahead and hit save. Obviously you can do something more advanced than that. That’s just the basic one. But, we’ve now said, “Okay this deal is closed one” which literally means fake Fred is now a customer. So if we go back and look at fake Fred’s opportunity we might just have to refresh it here real quick. The lifecycle stage automatically changed over to customer. Now why is this important. Well earlier Andy we were talking about reporting and seeing which channels of your traffic or of your marketing efforts are actually producing the most customers. Like come on I haven’t set up anything custom here. This is still all completely out of the box. It’s even more out of the box because I didn’t even change the default records because I hit cancel instead.

Max:

But, if we go up to where it says reports and then we go to analytics tools, and we go to traffic analytics all right? Now I have my date and time stuff all screwed up here. But what would happen here is if I had generated fake Fred as a contact during this timeframe that I have this filtered as, here in this traffic analytics report you’re going to see in all the different sources of traffic that you could potentially get to your site right? So direct traffic, which is people basically either typing in your website or they’re visiting your website and they have some ad blocker on it and it’s stripping out their tracking information. So we have to bucket it under direct traffic. You’ve also got organic search which is people googling you and finding you through a result that’s not a paid ad.

Max:

You’ll also see paid search as an option here. I only have these four set up right now. Not set up. I only have traffic coming from these four sources, so I don’t see the other four that are here. But you’ll see social media, paid social media, email marketing for example will show up here. Referrals are linked from other websites. You can even see offline sources. So if you brought them in through an integration like a Salesforce import or something you’ll see this in here. But, what’s cool about this is that not only do you see how many sessions you’re generating from each one of these general buckets, you see a conversion rate to how many of those actually become net new leads which means they visited you from that source and then a brand new contact was created for them. But then you’ll also see of those people who were generated in this timeframe, how many of them actually turned into customers?

Max:

Again I don’t have this set up to reflect what we just did with Fred. But, as your marketing team starts to generate more traffic and generate more leads, when your sales team takes those leads and actually closes them, it will basically attribute that new customer to whatever that source was. Now what’s even cooler here is yeah it’s great that we can see the traffic coming from social media, but that doesn’t tell us Facebook. That doesn’t tell us Twitter. That doesn’t tell us Reddit or anything like that. If you drill down you’ll see all the same data broken down by the different sources within that source. So for example here you see YouTube, Twitter. We’d also see Facebook and I don’t know Tinder. Not Tinder, but any other social networks right?

Max:

So it’ll break it down, you’ll see that same data. So if you want to say, “Hey I’m getting this many customers from YouTube versus this many from Twitter, why is that happening?” Then you can extrapolate that and figure out how to adjust your strategy. It’ll show you that, but all your sales team needs to do is just do their own thing and close their deals within HubSpot or within Salesforce if you have the integration and probably with some others now at this point, I’m just not familiar with them, and you will start to see which channels are generating the most traffic from you. As long as your sales people are closing those deals in HubSpot, so it’s pretty cool.

Andy:

That is cool.

Max:

Andy what are your thoughts thus far?

Andy:

Yeah this is great. This is super important this view right here because what this tells you is where the activity is coming from and where you either if it’s low activity, what you need to do to be able to boost that activity.

Max:

Yep.

Andy:

That’s one thing. Or, if you’ve tried to boost that activity and you’ve just had … It’s just not successful, it’s not a good channel for you. You want to know that so that you can re-appropriate your budget and your time around channels that are performing so you can double down on those.

Max:

Yeah.

Andy:

So that’s how I use this view.

Max:

Yeah and I think there’s always when you look at a number being high or low, right? I think you always have to have that conversation of does that low number mean we’re going to pull resources away from it, or does that low number mean we need to give it more love?

Andy:

That’s right, yes.

Max:

How do you help customers make that determination, right? It’s like maybe you’re getting a lot of traffic from social and maybe you’re getting not a lot of traffic from some obscure social media site but you’re getting some. How do you get that customer to be like, “Oh, well we have to double down all of our efforts now on this traffic source just because it’s low.” Versus when do you say, or we just don’t focus on it. How do you help people make that determination?

Andy:

Yeah a lot of times what happens is we’ll talk to companies that are a start up and they don’t have a huge following on social media yet. So the numbers are naturally going to be low. That doesn’t mean abandon social media. That means get behind it.

Max:

Yeah.

Andy:

So what we’ll do is look at what are some activities that we can do to support that initiative of getting behind social media? What does that actually mean? In some cases it can mean reach out to your contacts. If you’re a b to b business for example, you may want to reach out to your contacts and you can do this through LinkedIn messaging to say, “Hey we’ve been colleagues for a long time. Would love it if you would be an ambassador for our business.” See if you can bring them in so that maybe you put them on an email list so that they can share articles when you post them to your blog and they can share those out in social media and through those different channels. We all have our own sphere of influence in social media. So, if we can have this collective benefit of having a number of influencers or ambassadors to help get the word out there that can accelerate the number of followers that we get in social media and therefore those numbers will start to go up.

Andy:

That’s a way that you can double own on that channel for example so that you can start putting some numbers on the board in social media. Then look at the supporting activities that get you there that help do that so you can double down on that if it’s working.

Max:

Yeah. When you see that contact to customer rate start to spike and go up that’s a pretty good indicator that that’s a good channel and you should be really putting a lot more effort into if you’re already seeing some success.

Andy:

Yes, absolutely.

Max:

Very cool. Sweet. All right everybody. Anything else you wanted to go through Andy?

Andy:

No this is great. This is a really good walkthrough of here’s where you start. Here’s how you build your sales pipeline. How you think about it, how you assign different deal stages and close rates to them. The value of those deals, so that you can look at your forecast and then tie that to the traffic sources that are generating the deals in the first place.

Max:

And the double beauty of it all is that we’re using one piece of software to do all of this.

Andy:

Yeah.

Max:

That’s the wild thing that sometimes I think with HubSpot is a little easy to overlook. It’s like usually you’d be doing this across multiple tools, right?

Andy:

It’s such a pain and it’s fragmented and then you get partial data and things slip through the cracks.

Max:

Yep. Yeah. Very cool, awesome.

Andy:

Love it.

Max:

Hope that was helpful everybody. Andy thank you for another fun conversation.

Andy:

Thank you man. I love these.

Max:

I love these. These are great.

Andy:

Yes these are great, good.

Max:

I’ll never, you know me, I’ll never pass on an opportunity to nerd out on HubSpot. It’s my favorite video game right?

Andy:

Love it.

Max:

Cool. All right man see you.

Andy:

All right thank you.

Max:

Very cool. Thank you everybody. Cool, so yeah let me stop the recording there. Why can I never find…

Related Posts

rachayeta@writeforme.io'

Rachayeta Singla

https://www.writeforme.io

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Free Playbook