Closing the Loop With HubSpot CRM

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Kyle Jepson
Kyle Jepson



Most of what's been written or said about HubSpot CRM has focused on the way it benefits sales teams. But if you're a marketer, there's a huge benefit available to you if your sales team is using the CRM. It's called closed-loop reporting.


What is Closed-Loop Reporting?

If you aren't familiar with closed-loop reporting, I highly recommend this introduction from our friends at New Breed Marketing. The idea is that the data you collect as a marketer is incomplete if it doesn't include what happens to leads after you hand them off to sales. Sure, a certain CTA might have an excellent conversion rate, but if none of those leads close into customers, what's the point? The best measure of success for both marketing and sales is the amount of revenue being generated, and that requires tracking a lead's behavior from first marketing touch to final sales action.

Of course, if you're using HubSpot for both marketing and sales, you get some of these insights automatically. But there's one piece you might have overlooked: when the leads you send to your sales team don't end up closing, do you know what went wrong?

There's a simple adjustment you can make to the CRM that will give you powerful insights into why some leads don't go the distance, and it has to do with a property called Closed Lost Reason.

What is Closed Lost Reason?

Every deal created in HubSpot CRM is destined to reach one of two final destinations: Closed Won or Closed Lost. Closed Lost is where your reps put the deals that don't make it, and for a lot of teams, that's the last time those deals ever get looked at.

Don't let your company fall into this trap. Lost deals can generate a ton of useful data for your marketing efforts. Anytime a sales rep moves a deal to Closed Lost, the CRM asks them for a reason the deal was lost. It looks like this:


That reason explains where things went wrong. Did the lead have false expectations about something? Were they simply not ready to buy? Do they maybe just need to be passed back to you for additional nurturing? The Closed Lost Reason can answer all of these questions.

But there is one minor catch: by default, Closed Lost Reason is a text field, so you often end up with reasons like this:


If your sales team is anything like some of the teams I've worked with, you'll get even more colorful responses than that. So I have a simple recommendation for you:

Create Closed Lost Buckets

You can change Closed Lost Reason from a text field into a dropdown of pre-defined options. I recommend these four:

  • Bad timing
  • Bad fit
  • Cost
  • Competitor

Doing this will limit your sales team to meaningful Closed Lost reasons that you can then act on:

All of those leads with "Bad timing" deals should be passed back to you for nurturing.

Leads with "Bad fit" deals shouldn't have been given to sales in the first place, and you should dig into these to figure out how they got to the bottom of the funnel. Do you have a particular offer that's attracting the wrong kind of people? Is the positioning on your website somehow misleading or confusing? If you notice really clear patterns, you can use the "Bad fit" deals to create a negative persona that you need to be actively avoiding.

"Cost" is an interesting one. Are you inadvertently marketing your product to overly price-sensitive groups? If so, you need to rework your positioning. Or maybe you simply need to be more transparent about what your prices are. Of course, there's also the chance that your product's price point is just too high. Lots of very important conversations can be had around deals lost on the basis of cost.

There are a few directions you can take the "Competitor" reason. If you have a few specific competitors that you're regularly up against, you might want to break out this reason into "Competitor X," "Competitor Y," etc. Then you can start to tell where you're getting outplayed. Is there a specific persona that's disproportionately likely to choose Competitor X over you? If so, why? How is Competitor X differentiating themselves from you?

(As an aside, "Competitor" is an important closed lost reason for sales managers to keep an eye on, too. If one rep is losing all of their deals to the competition, they probably need some coaching.)

How to Create Closed Lost Buckets

Navigate to your Deal Properties (this link will take you there) and use the search bar to find Closed Lost Reason.


Click on the name of the property to edit it. You'll see this:


Change the "field type" from Single Line Text to Dropdown Select, and then add your options and save the change.

Now your reps will see this when the move a deal to Closed Lost:



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