What is Lead Scoring?
Lead scoring is the process of assigning scores, often in the form of numerical "points," to each lead you generate for the business. This methodology is used to rank prospects against a scale that represents the perceived value of each lead to the organization. Lead scoring is an effective model that helps sales and marketing departments identify which prospects are potentially most valuable to the company and its current sales funnel. A lead scoring system only works when it is properly set up and used on a regular basis.
Knowing when to reach out to a lead can help salespeople stay on track, focus their attention on the right group of potential customers, and be more productive. Sales and marketing teams can better judge how close a prospect or customer is to making a purchase with lead scoring. By looking at where the lead is in the sales funnel, employees can prioritize their time and resources. This allows sales to focus on customers who are about to finalize a sale, which may lead to higher conversion or close rate.
How to implement a lead scoring system?
Create buyer personas: Before you can score your leads, you must have a clear understanding of the characteristics that make a prospect an ideal fit for your products and services.
The more buyer personas you have, the more holistic your understanding of your customers will be and, as a result, the more precise your lead scoring efforts will be.
Develop your lead scoring model: Now that you know what your ideal buyers look like, it’s time to decide which attributes you will assign a point value to. Lead scoring models ensure the values you assign to each lead reflect the actual compatibility they have with your product. Every lead scoring model you create will support a particular attribute of your core customer.
Lead scoring criteria can be broken up into two main categories - demographic information and behavioral information. Demographic information refers to the characteristics that a lead possesses.
Some examples: Location, Age, Company Size, Department, Industry, Job Title / Seniority. One thing you can do with this information is remove outliers from your sales team's queue by subtracting points for people who fall into a category you don't sell to. For example, if you only sell to a certain geographic location, you might give a negative score to any lead who falls outside the proper city, state, zip code, country, and so on.
The term behavioral criteria refers to the actions that a lead takes, or how they interact with your company. How a lead interacts with your website can tell you a lot about how interested they are in buying from you. Take a look at your leads who eventually become customers: Which offers did they download? How many offers did they download? Which pages - and how many pages - did they visit on your site before becoming a customer? Some Examples: Email opens, Email subscription, Web page visits, Free trial requests, Form submissions, Content download, Social media engagement, Webinar registration.
Assign point values: Not all scoring criteria are created equal. Remember: your goal is to define which traits and actions eventually lead to a closed deal. So, you need to assign numerical values to each data point accordingly.
For example, leads who subscribe to receive blog updates don’t often convert to paying customers. Conversely, leads who download a whitepaper tend to have a very high conversion rate. So, blog subscribers get scored two points while those who download white papers get 25 points.
Here are some ways to gather the data you need to develop an effective lead scoring system:
- Talk to your sales team
- Talk to customers
- Examine marketing analytics
Determine threshold score of qualifying leads: Once you assign each data point a score, determine what range of scores represent “sales-readiness.” This will likely require some testing and analysis when you first implement lead scoring.
Request that sales follow up with leads equally, no matter their score for a predetermined test period. Then, once that test period is complete, analyze sales follow up and lead score. See if you can identify a clear cut-off point where leads stop turning into customers. Once this number is determined, sales and marketing must work together to develop the appropriate outreach processes for leads of certain scores.