Lead Scoring – It’s About Quality, Not Quantity

Posted by Jeffrey Scholes on May 2, 2013
lead scoring lead measurement

Lead scoring (aka lead measuring, lead ranking) has come quite a long way.

Marketing automation packages that integrate with CRM systems, like Salesforce, have sort of led the charge in this regard. Often, lead scoring can conger up icky feelings like “oh boy, do we really want to go there?” That’s due in large part to marketing and sales teams overthinking the process, the scoring criteria, and making it too complicated for major primetime.

But the climate has changed, as has lead scoring adoption, and it’s largely to do with marketing automation packages evolving and making it way easier to deploy, adapt and adjust.

A well thought-out lead scoring initiative, if done right and with the right tools, can increase marketing and sales efficiency, effectiveness and ultimately result in increased revenue. 

By focusing your sales team on the right leads at the right time - the leads that your organization deems the most valuable - your sales reps will spend less time and effort on the ones that have a lower chance of closing.

If you haven’t already, invest in a marketing automation solution that integrates with your existing CRM (customer relationship management)  infrastructure.

There are several products available to help you manage lead scoring. Marketo, Eloqua and HubSpot are a few of the well-known ones and each can help you make this important process easier.

Of course, the marketing software you have will ultimately determine what factors you are able to score on, but here are some broad ideas of what to look for when determining which leads should be worked first.

Factors to consider when formulating lead scoring:

Depending on your business, lead qualities, lead behaviors and  lead activities can vary, but here are some ideas to help you determine the right software to go with and scoring system criteria.  You should also think about which lead characteristics should result in a negative score.

  1. Contact and Company CRM Data and Properties:
    • Roles: who are the prospects that have the purchasing authority? Which job role or function ultimately decides if they are going to spend money on your product or service?
    • Ideal organization: what is your target company annual revenue? Are they in your target industry and how far along the sales pipeline are they?
    • Budget: are the companies with devoted budgets who can purchase your goods/services marked appropriately?
    • Geography: are you only selling to certain geographic areas? Lead scoring will assign a negative score to folks that reside outside your preferred geographic area (you can score on zip code, region, state).
  2. Website Form Downloads and Requests:
    • Has the lead requested aformal product demonstration?These folks should likely receive a higher score than say a lead who has only downloaded one white paper.
    • Have they registered and attended a recent webinar or a series a webinars? This shows they are coming back to you for the information, which could warrant a higher point value.
    • How often have they requested/downloaded something from you?  Five or more in the last month, then make sure their lead score reflects that. 
  3. Who is Seeking You Out at Industry Events and Tradeshows?
    • Has a person visited your booth at a recent tradeshow? Better yet, did they request a one-on-one meeting or product demo at the show or after? Well, then give them points.
  4. Which and How Many Pages on Your Site have Your Leads Visited? 
    • Has the lead visited several key pages in the last month or quarter? Have they visited five pages or 25? A higher score value can be placed on leads that have visited a high number of pages or specific pages. A demo page visit might be worth more to you than an “about us” visit.
  5. Email Interaction: How engaged are your leads?
    • Who has recently opted-in to receive email communications or product announcements from you?
    • How many times have they opened an email or clicked a particular link? Over 10? This level of interest could warrant more points. Are they in a digital nurture campaign but never click or open your emails? You may want to rank them lower.
  6. Where did the lead actually come from? Was it your blog, organic search, paid advertising, social media?
    • A lead from a direct search may show more interest in your company, as that person is actively seeking information now.  Conversely, a lead from a paid advertisement may be more top of the funnel and just looking for some preliminary information.

Lead scoring can help your team focus on the the most qualified and sales-ready leads now. And most sales folks we work with tell us it’s about quality, not quantity.

sales marketing alignment lead scoringLead scoring will also result in stronger sales and marketing alignment.

Sales looks to marketing to make sure they are getting the right kinds of leads and not focusing on the junk. Your sales team will be even more successful when they are equipped with in-depth knowledge of who they are calling and who they should be focusing their time on. 

And your company will be awarded with more sales and increased revenue.

Topics: Marketing Automation

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