How do I set the lifecycle stage of a contact backwards?

Last updated: May 15, 2018


The lifecycle stage property can only be set backwards manually on the contact's record or automatically in workflows by clearing the property and then setting the new lifecycle stage. 

For example, if a contact's lifecycle stage is set to customer, it cannot be set back to lead through an import or by a normal workflow process; you must first remove the current value. If you set up a workflow to move the lifecycle stage backward without clearing the value first, you will see the following error:

set lcs backwards wf error
set lcs backwards wf error

The lifecycle stages are in order as follows: 

Subscriber > Lead > MQL > SQL > Opportunity > Customer > Evangelist > Other 

If you'd like to change the lifecycle stage of a contact backwards (e.g. customer to lead), there are two methods you can use:
  1. Manually change the lifecycle stage on the individual's contact record
  2. Use a workflow with a specific set of actions to change the lifecycle stage backwards for a group of contacts

Please note: moving the lifecycle stage backwards will also clear the "Became a [Lifecycle Stage] Date" property value for all lifecycle stages that are down the funnel from the value you are setting the lifecycle stage backwards to.

For example, if your contact is currently set to the lifecycle stage "Sales Qualified Lead" and you use the processes described below to move them back to lifecycle stage "Lead," that contact's "Became a Sales Qualified Lead Date" and "Became a Marketing Qualified Lead Date" properties will also be cleared, because the lifecycle stages SQL and MQL are further down the funnel from Lead, the lifecycle stage you are setting the contact back to.

This also applies to the company lifecycle stage property.

1. Manually change the lifecycle stage of an individual contact backwards

  • Navigate to your contacts.
  • Click the name of the contact.
  • Click the View all properties button in the About section.
View all properties.
View all properties.
  • Find the Lifecycle Stage property (use the search bar to quickly find the property).
  • Click the dropdown to choose the new lifecycle stage for that contact.
  • Click Save
Change lifecycle stage

2. Change the lifecycle stage backwards using a workflow

Please note: workflows are available for Marketing Professional and Enterprise and/or Sales Professional accounts.

  • Navigate to workflows:
    • In your HubSpot Marketing Professional or Enterprise account, navigate to Contacts > Workflows.
    • In your HubSpot Sales Professional account, navigate to Sales Tools Workflows.
  • In the workflows dashboard, click Create workflow at the upper right.
  • Name your workflow and select Start from scratch as the workflow type, then click Create workflow at the upper right.
  • Set the enrollment triggers for your workflow.
  • Click the plus (+) icon under the starting condition box to add an action.
  • Choose Clear a contact property value.
  • Select Lifecycle stage from the dropdown, then click Save
  • Click the plus icon under this step.
  • Choose Set a contact property value.
  • Select Lifecycle stage from the dropdown, then choose the lifecycle stage to which you want to assign enrolled contacts. 
Clear lifecycle stage
  • Click ReviewWhen you are happy with your workflow settings, click Activate to turn your workflow on. 

To learn more about creating workflows, check out this article