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4 Advanced Ways to Use HubSpot Workflows

HubSpot Workflows is the engine for marketing automation.  The workflow tool is flexible and easy to use.  Yet many people find themselves in a bit of a pickle, with what started out as a great idea turning into a complex solution that is difficult to support and change.  One such example is sales territory assignment, so I thought I would set out a few options and highlight the pros and cons of each.

There isn’t a single way that suits everyone, but in considering the best way for your company we recommend that you start off by thinking about:

  • How often do territories change?
  • How often do sales people move territory?
  • What is sales staff turnover like?
  • The number of countries, territories and sales people.

The reason for thinking about this is to understand how much maintenance you need to do when something changes.  

Here are a few ideas to help kick-start your workflow to allocate leads to sales people:

Suppose you are a global company with sales people in different regions in the world.  You want to automatically assign sales people based on the country code for the lead.  You have a few options:

1. Single workflow for all sales assignments

You could set up a single workflow, listing all the countries in the world and assigning individual sales people.  If country = UK, France, Italy, set Owner to Jane.  If not, then if country = USA, set Owner = Jack if not, then if country = Africa… etc.

Sales Territory Allocation Workflow ScreenshotPROS – everything is in one workflow

CONS - There will be multiple branches to the workflow depending on the number of countries you wish to include.  This format works well until you need to change the territory assignment or a sales person leaves.  At that point you must work through all the branches of the workflow to find that person / region and change things.  Not too bad a job if you only have a few sales people and large territories, but you may want to consider option 2.

2. Set up one workflow to assign territories to each lead based on their country. Then create separate workflows for each sales person to assign them to the right territory

This is a good solution where you have a fixed territory map and you want a very simple way to cope with changes in sales personnel.  Use one workflow to assign territories to leads based on their country code.  Then set up a workflow for each sales person to assign them to their territory / territories.  Then when a sales person moves territory or leaves the company, you can simply go to their workflow and in one easy move, change all the leads from them to another sales person.

PROS – Easy to find a salesperson and deal with their territory assignment changes.

CONS – Multiple HubSpot workflows in place.

3. Territory allocation workflows by sales person

If, however, you are a growing business, changing territories and adding new sales people to your team regularly then you may want to consider territory allocation workflows by sales person.  This is a different way of thinking that might just work for you.  It might be turning your thinking on its head as we are starting to think about the sales person rather than the country, but bear with me……. 

PROS - The advantage of this is that it is easy to replace people and/or move territories around – you simply think about the people who will be affected by the change and change their workflows accordingly – because you simply have one workflow per sales person. 

CONS - The disadvantage is also that you have one workflow per sales person!  But, good naming conventions will help here, e.g.  name each workflow as the sales person’s name followed by a description of their territory and the word “territory”.   E.g. “Jane Broomfield UK Territory” That way you can search workflows by sales person, by territory or all get a list of all territory workflows.

(Even better HubSpot could create folders for workflows… I would love this.  Someone else has already suggested that so you might want to add your votes here HubSpot Ideas forum )

4. Territory allocation for teams

What about those businesses who have multiple sales people per territory? That, of course, depends on your own rules for managing the situation.  Is there additional criteria to be included like industry or company size to help you automate the allocation? Or do you have a sales manager or co-ordinator for each territory who simply reviews each lead and manually determines which sales person should be the owner?  

This example shows that there are multiple ways of setting up HubSpot workflows – all answers work, but it’s good to think through what might happen in the future and the changes that you may need to deal with in order to set up the option that is easiest to support in the future.

Our approach is to keep things simple. 

Like the old adage about eating an elephant, workflows are often easiest to maintain in bite-sized pieces.  With good naming conventions, multiple workflows can make supporting sales territory allocation easier.

Of course, this is just one example of the diverse ways that HubSpot workflows can be used.  Other ways include:

  • Notifying sales managers when deals haven’t moved from one stage to the next within a given time period
  • Notifications about bookings in GoToWebinar or Eventbrite
  • Lead grading (as opposed to scoring)
  • And, of course, lead nurturing

Want to learn how best to use HubSpot workflows for lead nurturing?  Come and join one our small group training courses that are running at locations around the UK.


Topics: HubSpot