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Use lifecycle stages

Last updated: February 21, 2023

Applies to:

All products and plans

Lifecycle stages help you to categorize your contacts and companies based on where they are in your marketing and sales processes. Using the Lifecycle stage property helps to determine where a specific contact or company is in your processes, and to better understand how leads are handed off between marketing and sales.

There are default lifecycle stages created by HubSpot, but you can also create and customize your own lifecycle stages.

Lifecycle stages

Lifecycle stages are used to track how contacts or companies move forward in your process. Default automatic updates to the lifecycle stage property will only move the stage forward (e.g., no value to Subscriber, Subscriber to Opportunity, etc.). Learn more about how to manually update lifecycle stage values.

The Lifecycle stage property contains the following default stages as options in sequential order:

  • Subscriber: a contact that has opted in to hear more from you by signing up for your blog or newsletter.
  • Lead: a contact or company that has converted on your website or through some other interaction with your organization beyond a subscription sign up.
  • Marketing Qualified Lead: a contact or company that your marketing team has qualified as ready for the sales team.
  • Sales Qualified Lead: a contact or company that your sales team has qualified as a potential customer. This stage includes sub-stages that are stored in the Lead Status property.
  • Opportunity: a contact or company that is associated with a deal (e.g., they're involved in a potential deal with your organization).
  • Customer: a contact or company with at least one closed deal.
  • Evangelist: a customer that has advocated for your organization.
  • Other: a contact or company that does not fit any of the above stages.

If you'd like to customize these options, learn how to create custom lifecycle stages and edit the default lifecycle stages.

Automatic updates to record lifecycle stages

You can turn on settings in your HubSpot account to automatically set lifecycle stages when a record is created, or to sync stages with a record's associations. You can also select a default lifecycle stage to set for records synced from each connected app.

  • If record creation settings are turned off, the lifecycle stage value will be left blank when a record is created, with the following exceptions:
    • Contacts and companies created on the contacts/companies index page or on an associated record will be set to the account's first lifecycle stage in display order, unless you set a Lifecycle stage value during creation.
    • Contacts or companies created via form submissions will be set to the account's first lifecycle stage in display order. You can customize which stage is set for each form's submissions within the form’s settings. If creation settings are turned on, the stage you set in the form's settings will override the default creation setting.
  • If sync settings are turned off, the lifecycle stage will not be automatically set based on the stage of associated records.
  • If sync settings are turned off for closed won deals, the Close date property for associated contacts and companies will not be automatically updated.

Update a record's lifecycle stage

While the lifecycle stage can be set based on the record being created or the record's associations, you can also update the Lifecycle stage property manually or via another tool in your HubSpot account. To update the Lifecycle stage property, you can do the following:

You can see the source of an update in the Lifecycle stage property history.

Please note:

  • Imports, forms, and the Set a property value action in a chatflow or workflow can only set a record's default Lifecycle stage property forward. To set the lifecycle stage backward via these tools, you will first need to clear the record's existing lifecycle stage value. The value can be cleared manually, or may be automatically cleared via a workflow or an integration that syncs contact data.
  • If you manually set a lifecycle stage to a lesser value, the Became a [lifecycle stage] date property corresponding to the greater value will be cleared, and the property corresponding to the new lesser stage will be automatically populated. If you clear the lifecycle stage value, the Became a [lifecycle stage] date property value corresponding to the most recent stage will remain.

Lead Status

The Lead Status property describes the sub-stages within a Sales Qualified Lead lifecycle stage. The default Lead Status options are:
  • New
  • Open
  • In Progress
  • Open Deal
  • Unqualified
  • Attempted to Contact
  • Connected
  • Bad Timing

Learn more about how to use the different lead statuses to manage your sales process. You can also customize this property, or use this property with workflows to automate your sales lead tracking and reporting.


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