How To Solve The Biggest Lead Management Problems With Lead Scoring

“70% of sales leads are not properly leveraged or are completely ignored, thus wasting marketing program dollars”.

                                                                                                                                                                                       -Gartner Research

How do you identify good quality leads from bad or even junks leads? Does your Marketing pass all leads received to Sales or qualify them based on visual inspection? Does Sales always seem to complain about lead quality? Wouldn’t it be great if there was a magic wand to identify good leads from the average ones? Wouldn’t it be great if Sales could close more deals with lesser leads?

Inbound B2B marketers are sometimes inundated with leads, most of them are people just looking around. That’s where lead management, and specifically, lead scoring comes in. With lead scoring you can assign values to each lead based on their behaviour, professional information and interaction they have with your brand – on your website and online.

It takes time to figure out which customers are most likely to buy your product/service. Once you know your target customer profile, you can then decide on the criteria to qualify leads. You can start scoring your leads based on their actions and behaviour on your website.

Here’s what you should consider, as well as any other criteria that may be important to your business:

Demographic Lead Scoring Factors:

Lead capture form details: You may want to give more weightage to a lead which takes a trial of your product than a lead which downloads an eBook. You can also qualify leads based on the role/job title, company size/employees, company type/industry, buying time frame etc. Most of these details can be requested on the lead capture form.

Title/Role: If you are selling enterprise software, you will want to give more weightage to a VP than an analyst evaluating your software.

Email Addresses: I always give more weightage to leads with company email address than generic email addresses. You can choose to overlook this factor if this isn’t important for you.

Country: You may want to give more weightage to leads from countries from where you get more deals.

No of employees/revenue: As a B2B marketer, you would know the sweet spot for your company. For example, prospects with 10-20 employees and under $100 million revenue are a perfect fit and should get a higher score than a prospect with >50 employees and over $1000 million revenue.

Behavioural Lead Scoring factors:

Number of page visits: When a prospect visits specific webpages ‘x’ number of times in let’s say 10 days; you know it’s a hot prospect.

Specific Page Visits: You can give more weightage to prospects who visit the pricing page, testimonials page or view case studies. All these behavioural patterns point to a highly interested prospect.

Number of emails clicked: If you have set up a lead nurturing workflow, you should give more weightage to prospects who are clicking on specific emails. Sometimes email opens may not give you the right picture; hence it’s safer to use the clicks data.

Number of forms completed: I give more weightage to leads who have filled out multiple web forms on our website. An online trial lead may also subscribe to the blog using a web form and also download multiple content pieces like eBooks and white papers through multiple web forms. They deserve a higher lead score.

Original Source: You may want to give more weightage to a particular lead source. In case, the original and the recent conversion sources are different, it makes sense to give weightage to one or both the sources depending on how important the source is for you. This may also depend on the type of lead. For example, I give more weightage to paid leads for indirect leads, whereas the organic leads get more weightage in case of direct leads.

Social behaviour: Prospects sharing your content or interacting with your brand in the social space should get brownie points. You may also want to limit this to specific social channels. For example, you may want to give weightage to a prospect which interacts with your brand on LinkedIn and you may choose to ignore the social signals from his twitter activity. The choice is a hard one but one you should make.

Negative Lead Scoring factors:

Negative actions on the website demand negative lead scoring. For example, a prospect visiting the careers section of your website should be negatively scored. I also assign negative scores to leads with unfavourable job titles, generic email address and if there is no website revisit in 30 days. Prospects who unsubscribe to our emails are given very high negative scores.

You may want to add other factors based on your business needs. No model is however perfect and needs to be constantly updated based on feedback from Sales. The best way forward may be to start simple and then grow. The lead score can be of any scale but a scale between 0-100 works best for most companies.

Lead scoring is very dynamic and scores may change based on the lead’s activity. Lead scoring should factor in a buyer’s journey from awareness stage to being a delighted customer. When implemented successfully, lead scoring helps Marketing pass on the right leads to Sales at the right time. For Sales, they know which leads to prioritize in the most scientific way. To successfully implement lead scoring, you may want to use marketing automation software. Hubspot, Marketo, Act-On, Eloqua provide lead scoring modules in their marketing automation suites.

If you have experience implementing a lead scoring program, I will be happy to know what factors you use to score a lead. If you are planning to implement lead scoring, I will be happy to answer any questions you may have. Happy scoring!!

This article originally appeared on the LinkedIn blog.

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