Lead scoring is a valuable system to make the sales team more efficient through pre-qualification and prioritization, and if done right, can be an unfair advantage in your market. It’s critical to get your scoring model off to a strong start and to develop its accuracy over time.
Following are key steps for successful scoring:
1. Gather intelligence from Sales regarding the typical makeup of a qualified lead.
Sales and Marketing will need to work together to define the profile of the ideal customer. Sales needs to buy into the scoring system and trust it, so it’s important to include all parties from the onset.
2. Establish Demographic and BANT (Budget, Authority, Need, and Timeline) scoring formula.
These set criteria might include company size, industry, role, and product/service interest and are often assessed through website forms.
Caution: Beware of false positives from website window shoppers and exaggerated BANT responses.
3. Consider content assets and lead behaviors to better define your ideal customer profile.
In a department store, you can watch a potential buyer take clothing off the rack, look at the price, hold it up, and try it on, then the salesperson can see clearly when to approach. We also have to assess online behaviors and apply the score values for prospects who register for webinars, download post-session materials or whitepapers, express interest at a tradeshow, or watch videos or demos. Who clicked through on a call-to-action or viewed pricing? These behaviors might weigh differently from each other, but each tells a story of the potential prospect and suggests when to “approach.”
4. Determine where the prospects are in the marketing funnel by using scoring to evaluate the stages.
A scoring system can set the lead status in the funnel. For example, a low scoring lead might be an Inquiry, while a higher scoring counterpart would be a Marketing Qualified Lead and is ready for sales.
5. Take necessary steps to move qualified leads to opportunities.
Depending on where leads fall in the marketing funnel, scoring can help in the lead flow as ownership, activities, and role are defined by business rules, assessed through scoring, and moved around depending on their activity.
6. Prove or disprove the success of your lead scoring model.
Lead scoring is successful when leads with higher scores convert into closed/won business more often than low scoring leads. Analyzing velocity and conversion-to-revenue rates is also critical to measuring successful scoring. Lead scoring is generally proven not successful if metrics related to lead scoring are trending negatively. In that case, you would need to identify points of failure and make the necessary changes.
7. Optimize your lead scoring for continued improvement.
Even the most successful lead scoring models receive ongoing auditing and fine-tuning. Changes and adjustments will only help to create more reliable and sales-ready results.
It’s important for organizations to remember that lead scoring won’t predict if a deal will close, but it will help prioritize who sales should engage with first. Lead scoring is often implemented, yet rarely fully leveraged. If your competitors are using lead scoring models as well, make sure yours is fine-tuned, fully-utilized, and ever-dynamic.