For a long time, HubSpot lead reporting was the Moriarty to my Holmes. I relied on the "became a lead date" report, but the numbers never seemed to line up what I thought the total lead number should be. For example, let's say I was hosting a webinar and tracked 200 form submissions from the registration page. If I pulled the "became a lead date" report for the month in which I promoted the webinar, the number from that report was almost always significantly lower than the submissions I recorded from that form, which doesn't make sense at all, seeing as we see submissions from more than one form per month anyway.
After a lengthy discussion with HubSpot Support, we were able to narrow down why this was happening. The "became a lead date" report pulls in leads who initially became leads in a certain month. Therefore, contacts who, say, became leads in December and then submitted forms in January would not get pulled into January's "became a lead date" report.
On a related note, the dashboard lead metric pulls from the "became a lead date" report, so I couldn't rely on that either. Remember, I wasn't just looking for new leads - I wanted the total lead number.
To remedy this, I came up with a two-pronged approach to get the number I need, which I'll detail here if anyone else is running into the same issue I was.
1. Go to Reports -> Reports Home, and create a new attribution report by "became a lead date" for the time period you need.
2. Export the report to your email - it defaults to XLSX.
3. Now, go to Contacts -> Lists and create a list with this criteria: Contact has filled out any form on any page between [your date range].
4. Export this list to your email as either an Excel or CSV file. Remove all columns except for email address.
5. Open both reports. Get rid of all columns except for email address, then copy and paste the email addresses from one spreadsheet into the other. It doesn't matter which one - they just need to both be in the same sheet.
6. Select all data. In the ribbon at the top of the spreadsheet, go to Data -> Remove Duplicates. Excel will bring up a box that tells you how many duplicate records there are and how many unique records will remain after you've removed duplicates. The number of unique records that will remain is your total lead number.
Of course, your lead definition may differ from mine, but definitely try this method out if you're running into reporting issues similar to mine.
Do you have any reporting tips and tricks? Please share in the comments!