Do you want to prioritize your prospects, convert more sales and make better use of resources? Well, that is where lead scoring can help.
The process sales and marketing departments use to decide the worthiness of a lead or potential customer is called lead scoring and is done by attaching values to each of the leads based on certain implicit and explicit attributes relating to their interest in your products or services. The value of each lead is generally characterized by the amount of interest shown by that lead in the company or the stage they are at in the buying cycle.
Companies are able to segregate and qualify leads with the help of a point-based system, or by referring to them using terms like ‘hot’, ‘warm’ and ‘cold’ based on the kind of interaction. But only 21% of B2B marketers (Marketing Sherpas) have an established lead scoring program, which leaves a vast majority of sales reps wasting their time and efforts on leads that aren’t yet sales-ready.
Here are 5 steps that will get you started and well on your way to better lead conversion rates through the process of lead scoring.
1. Ground Work
- Gather Information – With the help of your sales team gather data that indicates the interest and sales-readiness of your buyers’.
- Review past deals and current opportunities
- Track the online page activity of the prospect
- Find out the presales interactions of the prospect
- Determine the ideal target – Using relevant information, create your target buyer profile. When doing so keep in mind both explicit and implicit attributes so as to later assign relevant points.
- Align sales and marketing objectives – Your buyer persona information must be reviewed and approved by your sales team. This will help you:
- Create the profile of the ideal customer and define what is a sales-ready lead
- Establish a lead scoring style – either through terms like hot, warm and cold or through a point system
- Determine what score threshold will indicate a sales-ready lead
- Assign appropriate lead scores based on explicit data
- Select score criteria
By making a list of possible demographic and behavioral scores that you and your sales team is looking for in a viable prospect, you will be able to think of other different scoring attributes that may be relevant to your organization. This will include explicit, implicit and even negative attributes.
2. Creating the Score Model
- Explicit Attributes
- These attributes include job title, purchasing authority, years of experience, company revenue growth, location, website traffic, competitors, etc.
- Once the influencing factors have been decided, you would need to determine the lead score.
- Put appropriate points against each category like job title, company revenue, etc.
- Implicit Attributes
- Active buying behaviors: These are critical and deserve higher points as it consists of pricing page visits, download reviews, watching demos, etc.
- Latent buying behaviors: These are influencing behaviors and need to be noted but are not as important as the active buying behaviors. This includes watching webinars, visiting any of the web pages, etc.
- Negative behaviors: There are some activities that deserve a negative score. This includes unsubscribing to an email list, non-product related website visit, spam complaints, etc.
3. Calculate The Lead Score
Even though the explicit and implicit lists are separate from each other, you will need to add them together to get the total lead score. Keep in mind that before you do so, the explicit score should not be more than half of the final lead score as a lead that shows inactive or latent behavior is a failed lead and may not be ready for any sales interaction.
4. Refine The Lead Scoring Model
Determine the threshold – The threshold is the point at which you hand over a prospect to your sales team. Sending too many leads would lead to an inefficient use of the sales teams’ time. On the other hand, sending too few leads would result in the sales team not being able to sustain their pipeline. All those leads that do not reach the optimum threshold should be put into a nurturing track until they start showing sales-readiness through implicit behavior.
5. Test The Scoring Model
- Pre-deployment optimization
– Before launching the new lead scoring system, you need to test it on existing leads and opportunities to see if the scoring works properly.
– Setting your own test:
- Take a random sample of records like open opportunities from your company’s CRM system.
- Examine the demographic characteristics and the online activity records for each contact.
- Incorporating the new scoring system, score each sample contact.
- Examine the percentage of sales qualified leads from the sample you have chosen
– As these samples were previously sales qualified leads, this scoring test should result in them either becoming equal to or exceeding the threshold point barrier.
- Post-deployment optimization
– The moment you start seeing results from the score model, you should be able to modify and revise the processes.
– Due to changing market dynamics and launching of new products, your lead scoring model must evolve so as to optimize the lead scoring system.
- Review the scores of won and lost opportunities
- Analyze the high scoring leads that didn’t become opportunities
- In the demographic segment, keep a look out for the region, title and company scores to make sure it isn’t improperly adjusted.
- Online behaviors help you understand whether your best leads are being properly scored.
- Allow sales team to control scoring
– If a sales rep believes that a lead is not sales ready then they could ignore it and place it in a static stage.
– If sales reps are given control over the score then they can place the lead in the appropriate stage in the buying cycle.
The most important skill in lead generation is learning how to score leads. Follow the above 5 steps to create and maintain a great lead scoring system that helps you increase your conversions and utilize your sales teams’ time, energy and skill set efficiently.