<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=172061883552505&amp;ev=PageView&amp;noscript=1">
Offer Extended! Claim Your FREE Managed HubSpot Services Valued at $2500
Start Now

Subscribe to Our Blog

Stay up to date with the latest marketing, sales, and service tips.

5 Reasons to Customize Your HubSpot Deal Stages

HubSpot is often easy to learn, but difficult to master. Getting the most out of your HubSpot subscription requires having an in-depth understanding of its tools and how you can use them to the fullest.

The HubSpot Deals index is one example of a tool that can easily be used as is, but can be so much more powerful if you take the time to really dig into it and customize it to more closely match your sales process. This is where customizing deal pipelines comes into play.

Why should you customize your deal stages in your HubSpot deal pipelines? How can you customize them?

Let’s dive into the benefits of customizing deal pipelines and some best practices for customization.

Who Can Create Custom Pipelines?

The ability to customize pipelines is built into the HubSpot platform and available to any HubSpot subscription. To customize a Pipeline on a Free or Starter account, you will need to have a Core Seat assigned to you with pipeline editing permissions.

To add extra pipelines and customize them, you will need to be on a HubSpot Sales Hub Professional or Enterprise subscription and have a paid Sales Seat assigned to you with pipeline editing permissions. Free tools accounts are limited to one pipeline, but Starter, Professional, and Enterprise Sales Hub subscribers can create extra pipelines and manage them separately.

Note: If you connect a third-party eCommerce tool with your HubSpot, that integration will automatically create a new pipeline based on that eCommerce tool. This auto-generated pipeline cannot be edited in HubSpot.

5 Reasons to Customize Your HubSpot Pipelines

So, why should you take the time to set up and customize pipelines in your HubSpot Deals Index?

Here are a few of the reasons you should customize your pipelines sooner rather than later:

1. Streamline Your Sales Process Management Across Multiple Brands or Product/Service Types

For many businesses, having a single deals pipeline is sufficient. However, if your organization has multiple brands or products/services that each have different sales processes attached to them, then creating and customizing distinct pipelines with unique deal stages can be immensely useful for streamlining the process for your sales teams.

For example, say that you have a subscription service that offers regularly scheduled deliveries of a product or service at set intervals as well as a one-off sales process that delivers a single instance of that product or service.

Here, creating a second deals pipeline specific to the subscription version of the service with extra steps to account for signing the contract could help make managing the sales process for that subscription easier and more streamlined for your team.

2. Improve Sales Team Efficiency and Consistency

Having a documented process that closely aligns with real-world practices and needs helps your sales team better understand what is expected of them and how to move prospects along the sales funnel.

Take the previous example of subscription pipelines vs one-off service/sale pipelines. If there weren’t distinct, customized pipelines for each, sales reps would have to adapt the way they move prospects along the funnel on a case-by-case basis. This would increase the risk of mix-ups during the sales process and of a rep missing an important step when trying to close a deal.

By creating distinct pipelines that are closely matched with the actual steps of the sales process, you can improve sales team efficiency and consistency—creating a smoother experience for both your sales reps and your customers.

3. Increase Traceability for Each Phase of the Sales Process

Another potential problem of trying to adapt a mismatched sales process and deals pipeline is that it can create gaps in the documentation and tracing of deals as they move from initial contact to the final closing of the deal.

When a deal is currently in a phase that isn’t matched to the deal pipeline, it becomes more difficult to trace that deal’s progress. This puts a heavier burden on sales reps to move the deal along until it reaches a phase where it can be properly moved to the next applicable stage of your pipeline.

By customizing pipelines in HubSpot, you can increase the traceability of deals to make it easier to tell if a deal is stagnating or if it’s progressing smoothly.

4. Apply Automation to Each Stage of the Pipeline

The automation tools in HubSpot are incredibly useful for keeping all kinds of processes moving along smoothly. Take, for example, HubSpot workflows. When you customize deal pipelines, you can use each stage of that pipeline as a trigger for a workflow that can then be used to keep the deal moving forward.

For example, you could create workflows that send automated task reminders to sales reps to reach out to customers within 24 hours of moving a deal to a specific pipeline phase, send prospects reminder emails about meetings booked, or almost anything else that you can think of in response to a deal entering a new phase.

Remaining top of mind with your customers is an enormous challenge, but having customized deal pipelines combined with workflow automation in HubSpot can be an enormous help.

5. Match Deal Pipelines to a Variety of Brand/Team Needs

Say that you have multiple brands that you oversee as part of your organization. Odds are that each brand will have at least slightly different needs for its sales processes compared to the others.

By creating different deal pipelines with different deal stages, you can shape each pipeline to closely match the needs of different brands—including setting different requirements for moving a deal forward in the pipeline.

This helps each sales team for each brand meet their obligations and keep the processes for each brand moving along smoothly.

Best Practices for Managing Deal Pipelines

Now that you know some reasons why you should customize your deal pipelines, let’s cover some best practices for how to most effectively manage them. Here are a few simple guidelines that can help you make the most out of your deal pipelines:

Clearly Define Your Deal Stages

Before customizing your deal stages in HubSpot, it’s important to clearly define what they are for each product or service type you have to offer. What does each phase of your sales process look like? What are the criteria for moving from one stage of the deal to the next? What resources are needed for each deal stage?

Defining your deal stages and communicating the requirements for moving deals from one stage to the next helps to ensure consistency and transparency for your sales process. It also helps you assign appropriate labels and validation criteria to deals in the deal pipeline. The more granular you can make your pipeline, the more specific it is to each interaction with the prospect or customer, the better.

Regularly Review and Update Pipeline Stages

It might be tempting to simply create a pipeline and then never think about it again—to just leave it to the sales team to use the pipeline. However, it’s better to periodically revisit your custom deal pipelines and verify that they’re still accurate to your sales process and your team’s needs.

For example, did your sales process change? If so, then you likely need to update your pipeline to reflect that change. Did you add a new product or service? If so, then it’s important to either find an existing pipeline that matches the sales process for that product/service or to create a new pipeline just for it. Are sales reps noting an issue with the pipeline that needs fixing? If so, then it’s important to review and update the pipeline to fix the issue.

Speaking of sales team feedback…

Talk to Your Sales Team

Your sales reps are going to be using your pipelines on a daily basis. So, if there’s a glaring issue that needs fixing, they’ll notice it fairly quickly. After launching a new pipeline, be sure to watch out for sales rep feedback about it. Or, be proactive and reach out to your reps to ask if any improvements could be made to make the pipeline flow more smoothly for them or reduce customer friction.

This helps keep your pipelines optimized for user experience and, if you can apply sales rep feedback, demonstrates that the rep’s voices are being heard. This can help to drive employee engagement on your sales team so they’re happier and more productive.

Collect Customer Feedback

In addition to sales team feedback, try to collect customer feedback and use it to further refine your sales pipelines. While the customers won’t know the specific steps of your sales pipeline, they will have input on the sales process as a whole and any issues that stood out to them that may have impacted their purchasing decisions.

Here, getting feedback from prospects who you lost deals with can be even more important than getting feedback from the customers who closed. Knowing why a prospect chose not to close a deal can help you refine your sales process, marketing messages, and even product/service offerings to improve sales results in the future.

Implement Pipeline Rules for Your Deals

In HubSpot, you can set rules for deal pipelines that:

  • Limit deal creation to a single stage.
  • Restrict deals from skipping stages of the pipeline.
  • Keep deals from being moved backwards in the pipeline.
  • Control who can edit deals.

Deal Pipeline Rules Screen Cap

Using these rules helps ensure that your deals are moved forward consistently and that important deal stages aren’t skipped.

Track Deal Stage Conversion Rates

In addition to collecting customer and sales team feedback, it’s important to take a look at conversion rates in your deal pipelines. This can help you discover where you’re losing your prospects the most frequently so you can modify your sales process to remove obstacles.

Leverage Automation

To get the most out of your pipelines and help ensure that prospects are moved along each stage of the process as smoothly as possible, consider leveraging automation for your sales pipeline.

In the HubSpot Settings menu, you can find an option to enable automation for your pipelines by going to “Deals” under the “Objects” dropdown under “Data Management” in the left nav menu, then clicking on the “Pipelines” tab. From there, you can click on the “Automate” option for your pipeline, where you’ll be shown options to create and add workflows for each stage of that pipeline.

Pipeline automation highlight

This makes it easy to create workflows that trigger when a deal enters a specific phase of the pipeline. You could use these workflows to send task reminders to sales reps, provide necessary resources to prospects (such as emailing them a user agreement or other document), or anything else you can think of that helps move your prospects along the sales cycle or keeps your sales reps on task. For deals that are lost, you could create a “Closed/Lost” workflow that sends breakup emails or requests for feedback to the prospect—or put them in a reengagement workflow for the future to see if they might reconsider in the future.

Having workflows for each step of the way helps automate processes so that nothing is missed in your sales cycle.

Get Help Managing Your Deal Pipelines

Managing deal pipelines can be incredibly difficult, even with robust tools like HubSpot. If you find that you need some help setting up deal pipelines, automated workflows that keep your deals moving along smoothly, or anything else in your HubSpot portal, reach out to the experts at Bluleadz.

A quick consultation can help you find the best way to make the most out of your HubSpot subscription and maximize your ROI from HubSpot tools!

Douglas Phillips

Douglas Phillips

Former military brat, graduated from Leilehua High School in Wahiawa, Hawaii in 2001. After earning my Bachelor's in English/Professional Writing, took on a job as a writer here at Bluleadz.