09.07.2024

Marketing & Growth

Essential HubSpot workflows you should implement today (July 2024)

19 min read

Verity

Do you know the main workflows you should set up in HubSpot to manage the lifecycle of a contact from marketing, through sales, and into customer service?

Effective contact lifecycle management is the backbone of any successful organisation, and leveraging HubSpot’s workflow tool can significantly enhance this process. HubSpot’s Professional and Enterprise versions come equipped with a powerful workflow tool designed to automate repetitive tasks across marketing, sales, and customer service. This not only boosts efficiency but also ensures consistent and personalised communication with leads, opportunities and customers.

In this article we will look at various workflows that are tailored to the individual HubSpot Hubs - Marketing Hub, Sales Hub and Service Hub - as well as cross-Hub workflows.

We’ll explore essential workflows that every organisation should implement to streamline their operations and optimise contact lifecycle management. Whether you’re a new HubSpot user or looking to deepen your automation practices, these workflows will help you make the most of HubSpot’s capabilities. 

Why use HubSpot workflows?

HubSpot’s workflows are designed to cover a wide range of functions:

  • Marketing Hub workflows: Enhance lead scoring, segmentation, email campaigns, social media engagement, and lifecycle stage updates.
  • Sales Hub workflows: Automate lead assignment, deal stage progression, quote follow-ups, sales sequences, and internal notifications.
  • Service Hub workflows: Streamline customer onboarding, support ticket escalation, feedback collection, and renewal campaigns.
  • Cross-Hub workflows: Ensure cohesive operations across departments with lead qualification, task management, data formatting, and event promotion reminders.

HubSpot workflows can automate processes for various types of objects, which allow you to create more targeted and efficient workflows:

  • Contacts: Manage individual customer interactions, personalise communications, and track engagement history.
  • Companies: Automate processes related to organisations you do business with, ensuring cohesive communication and data management.
  • Deals: Streamline your sales process by automating deal progression, follow-ups, and notifications.
  • Quotes (Sales Hub Professional or Enterprise): Automate the follow-up and management of quotes, ensuring timely responses and actions.
  • Tickets (Service Hub Professional or Enterprise): Enhance customer service by automating ticket escalation, follow-ups, and resolution processes.
  • Custom objects (Enterprise only): Create workflows tailored to your specific business needs by defining custom objects unique to your organisation.
  • Conversations: Manage and automate chat and email conversations to ensure timely and consistent communication.
  • Feedback submissions (Service Hub Professional or Enterprise): Automate the collection and follow-up of customer feedback to improve service quality.
  • Subscriptions: Manage subscription renewals, reminders, and updates automatically to maintain customer engagement.
  • Payments: Automate payment processes, reminders, and follow-ups to streamline financial transactions.
  • Goals: Track and automate actions related to achieving specific business goals.
  • Leads (Sales Hub Professional or Enterprise): Manage and nurture leads through the sales funnel with automated actions and follow-ups.
  • Users: Automate processes related to user management, such as onboarding and permissions.

Let’s explore HubSpot’s workflows in detail, starting with the Marketing Hub.

Marketing Hub Workflows

Marketing Hub workflows are designed to manage and optimise marketing-owned contacts. These workflows cover the entire journey of a contact, from the initial generation of leads and first contact, to nurturing and transforming them into marketing qualified leads (MQLs). The ultimate goal is to create a seamless process that effectively hands over well-qualified leads to the sales team.

Let’s dive into specific HubSpot Marketing Hub workflows. 

Workflow: 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. After all, 79% of all marketing leads never convert to sales.

For example, your lead could first convert on your website by signing up for a webinar called "How to Use AI in Marketing." Best practice is to follow up with that lead straight away and provide them with the content and information requested. A few days later, you should follow up again with some more relevant content that might be of interest to them, such as a comparison sheet of different Inbound Marketing tools.

But you also want to make sure that your contacts never receive content that they have already read, as this would lead to a poor customer experience. 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 or engaged with a particular conversion point.

We usually break lead nurturing down into multiple workflow types:

  • Lead to MQL: To turn a contact from lead to MQL, we recommend creating some product or service-based nurture workflows to keep things simple. At this stage, avoid creating multiple long nurtures based on a variety of different content. The workflows can quickly become very long, complicated and resource intensive if you make it too complicated.

  • Sales cover: We recommend that you create nurtures to help your sales team process opportunities and provide them with "air cover". You can also think about using these lists for paid re-marketing, and smart content lists are part of workflows, not just paid media.

  • Re-engagement with lost leads/opportunities: To reconnect with past leads or contacts who revisit the website, consider launching a gentle outreach or scheduling re-engagement workflows, such as 3 months after a deal was lost.

Workflow: 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 others — unless you’re using your own custom lifecycle stages, of course.

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, which is another process you can automate in HubSpot.

If your website features multiple conversion points, some may indicate 'low intent' from the contact, warranting them to remain as leads. Conversely, other conversion points may signal much 'higher intent' from the visitor. In such cases, you could automatically update their lifecycle stage to 'Marketing Qualified' or even 'Sales Qualified,' depending on your company's criteria and definitions.

For instance, you could also update a contact's lifecycle stage when they reach a specific deal or opportunity stage.

An innovative approach involves aligning contact and company life cycles through workflows. For example, automatically designating a company as a SQL (Sales Qualified Lead) when a contact associated with that company reaches the SQL stage.

Moreover, ensure that the status of the newly created lead object is reflected accurately on the corresponding contacts. In cases where access to lead objects is restricted due to the absence of a sales seat, utilise a workflow to copy and maintain the status on contacts seamlessly.

Workflow: Event promotion reminders

Our final workflow example for HubSpot Marketing Hub involves specific events or webinars. As with your lead nurture workflows, consider setting up a workflow to automatically send a series of email reminders to your contacts. The only difference is that you want to make sure these emails all go out at a specific date or time. This approach helps maintain engagement momentum and ensures contacts are informed and prepared for the event, maximising attendance and participation.

With HubSpot workflows you can prepare and schedule your workflow actions. Select the action “delay until a day or time” to trigger the next action in your workflow.

For example, you could send out an invitation to your (virtual) event 30 days in advance and resend it to anyone who hasn't opened it. As the event approaches, you can set up a workflow to send a reminder to all participants two days in advance. After the event, you also have the option to send thank you emails with a link to the content of the event.

Sales Hub Workflows

While marketing workflows are primarily focused on generating leads and managing them until they are ready for sales acceptance, sales workflows are centred around managing active opportunities and advancing deals.

These workflows begin when sales accepts ownership of a lead or contact and extend through the entire sales process until they sign as a customer and onboard with your company. Sales workflows are critical for maintaining engagement, driving conversions, and ensuring a seamless transition from lead to loyal customer.

Let’s explore Sales Hub workflows that will optimise your sales process.

Workflow: Deal approval 

If your deals require sign-off from management or finance before closing or signing a contract, consider using HubSpot's new Deal Approval tool, or set up a manual approval process that does something similar.

A manual approval process can be established by creating mandatory fields that only certain users can edit. For instance, if you want your finance team to perform a credit check on deals before they move to the contract deal stage, follow these steps:

  • Create a custom property for credit check and assign editing access exclusively to your finance team.

  • Make the credit check property a mandatory field to ensure it is completed before progressing.

  • Build a workflow to notify your finance team to conduct the credit check when the deal reaches the contracting phase.

  • Alternatively, use HubSpot's new built-in Deal Approval tool (released June 2024) for a more streamlined approval process.

This ensures that all necessary approvals are obtained before deals progress, maintaining financial oversight and compliance.

Workflow: Create and 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 say you’ve just closed a new deal. 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.

Workflow: Deal stage automation

If a deal is reached with a prospect, a HubSpot workflow can be set to automate the deal stage and assign a task to the next person in line to complete. This tool is extremely useful for large-scale sales teams as it ensures that someone is always following up on opportunities. 

This automation workflow helps deals move from stage to stage and is beneficial for operational processes in your business as it generates tasks and automatically increases efficiency.


Learn more about ABM and HubSpot in this guide.

Service Hub Workflows

Service Hub workflows begin once a customer has been signed by the sales team, marking the crucial handover from sales to service.

From this point onward, these workflows are specifically designed to prioritise customer satisfaction, foster account growth, and maximise renewal rates. By automating key processes and ensuring consistent service delivery, Service Hub workflows play a vital role in nurturing customer relationships and driving long-term business success.

Workflow: Ticketing process automation

Ticketing process automation can be broken down into multiple workflow types:

  • Automated Email on ticket creation: Set up a workflow to automatically send an email to the customer when a new ticket is created. This email can include ticket details, expected response times, and next steps, ensuring customers are informed and engaged from the outset.

  • Closing ticket with a survey: Automate the process of sending a survey to customers when their ticket is closed. This helps gather valuable feedback on their support experience, which can be used to improve service quality. You can customise the survey to include questions about the resolution process, satisfaction level, and suggestions for improvement.

  • Escalation workflow for SLA misses: Create an escalation workflow that triggers when a Service Level Agreement (SLA) deadline is missed. This workflow can automatically change the ticket stage, notify the relevant team members, and escalate the issue to higher management or specialised support teams to ensure timely resolution.

These workflows help streamline the ticketing process, enhance customer experience, and maintain high service standards.

Cross-Hub Workflows

While automation within individual marketing, sales, and service hubs is essential, the integration of cross-Hub workflows is crucial for maintaining high-quality data consistency and effective CRM management. These workflows facilitate seamless collaboration between departments, ensuring cohesive operations and unified customer experiences across the entire customer lifecycle.

Let’s dive into Cross-Hub workflows that enhance efficiency, streamline processes, and uphold consistent standards of service and engagement.

Workflow: Format your data

By using the Format data workflow action you can automatically format, fix and maintain your CRM data. For example, if you want to standardise contact’s names, the workflow can automatically capitalise letters in a name. 

For example, you can ensure all phone numbers are formatted consistently, such as (123) 456-7890. This consistency not only improves data organisation but also enhances searchability and user experience. Once standardised, this data can be seamlessly copied into text properties or integrated with external tools like Google Spreadsheets.

This consistency is crucial for enhancing data organisation, improving searchability, and ensuring a seamless user experience. Standardised data reduces errors, enhances data cleanliness, and facilitates efficient data management and reporting across your CRM system. 

Additionally, formatted data can be easily integrated with other systems or tools, such as Google Spreadsheets, for further analysis and operational efficiency.

Workflow: 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 workflow in HubSpot, you can automatically assign leads to the relevant person in your team. There’s nothing worse for a user experience if they fill in a form on your website, and someone from the wrong team responds, meaning the person has to be passed to another person. In a scenario where this person is a customer and raising an issue, accidentally passing them to the sales or marketing team could cause more issues and annoyance.

By setting up these workflows, you can automatically assign contacts to the appropriate team member based on the reason for the communication. This could be Sales, Account Managers, or Marketing, depending on the reason selected in the form submission. Additionally, this workflow can set lifecycle stages based on the reason, ensuring leads are properly managed from the start.

For instance, if the contact reason is a sales inquiry, the lead can be assigned to a sales representative and the lifecycle stage set to SQL (Sales Qualified Lead). If it's a customer support inquiry, it can be routed to the customer success team with the lifecycle stage set to Customer. This might seem like a very standard workflow, but it's crucial for ensuring prompt and appropriate responses, enhancing user experience, and maintaining efficient workflow management across different teams.

Workflow: Qualifying out leads

Instead of simply qualifying out leads, it's more effective to reset lifecycles and qualify out appropriately.

Examples include:

  • Bad fit lead: Set the lifecycle stage to Other and make the contact non-marketable.

  • Not ready: Recycle the lead back to marketing and reset the lifecycle stage to Lead.

  • Churned customers: Depending on the reason, reset the lifecycle stages accordingly.

  • Deals where leads did not convert: For leads qualified as opportunities but where deals stalled or failed (e.g., choosing a competitor at the last moment), set up workflows to reset life cycles based on deal lost reasons. This ensures accurate pipeline reporting and better lifecycle management.

 

This workflow is essential for cross-Hub operations as they facilitate seamless coordination between marketing, sales, and service teams, ensuring accurate data management and effective customer lifecycle management across the entire organisation.

Workflow: Internal notifications

Sending internal notifications to your team is another great example of how HubSpot’s cross-Hub 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 when a follow up is required.

But if you are, like us, big fans of the messaging app Slack, HubSpot allows for seamless connection and to send notifications straight to your Slack channel. Additionally, HubSpot integrates with Microsoft Teams, enabling you to send notifications to your Teams channels as well.

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. 

Enhance your efficiency with HubSpot workflows

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 or 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, reach out to the Huble team for additional support and let us show how we can help increase your team's efficiency.

Not using HubSpot yet?

Book a demo with our team today.

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