What Is Lead Scoring?
Why Use Lead Scoring?
When to Set Up Lead Scoring?
Lead Scoring vs. Lead Qualification
Behind The Hood: How Does Lead Scoring Work?
3. Company Information (B2B Specific)
- Company Size: Targeting businesses of a certain size.
- Revenue: Aligning with companies within certain revenue brackets.
- Industry Type: Targeting specific business sectors or niches.
4. Lead Source
- Referral Source: Where the lead came from (e.g., social media, organic search, referral).
- Campaign Source: Specific marketing campaigns that attracted the lead.
5. Engagement Level
- Product Interaction: Trials, demos, or product inquiries.
- Sales Interaction: Responses to sales outreach or inquiries.
- Customer Support Interaction: Engagements with customer support or help resources.
6. Purchase Intent
- Buying Stage: Where the lead is in the buying cycle (e.g., awareness, consideration, decision).
- Budget: Whether the lead has the budget for the product or service.
7. Negative Scoring Criteria
- Unsubscribing from Emails: A sign of disinterest that leads to eliminating points from this certain lead.
- Lack of Engagement: No interaction over a specified period should also mean subtracting points from the lead’s overall score.
Remember, despite all the mentioned attributes, you are the one who knows your business the best. That’s why, you must tailor your lead-scoring attributes and their assigned weights accordingly.
Assign Weights and Score Values
Now that we have determined the most valuable attributes of the business, we need to assign weights to the chosen attributes. How do we do that?
You need to ensure that you and your sales team are on the same page. They are the ones who interact daily with customers. Take advantage of that. Ask for their opinions on the weights assigned per attribute and the score values for each action. You can use a color-coded system to indicate weights.
Set A Threshold
You need to determine a threshold point for your SQLs. Say your lead scoring system ranges from 0 to 100. Setting a threshold of 80 means that any lead that reaches this point is ready to move down the sales funnel to the sales-qualified lead stage, making them ready to speak to your sales team.
Rinse and Repeat
You have to remember that lead scoring is a continuous process. You need to continuously monitor the scores and weights based on the changing variables. Go back from time to time and make sure that your lead scoring system still represents your customer’s journey in the best way possible.
Examples for Setting Up Lead Scoring
Remember how we established that the most important thing when it comes to lead scoring implementation is determining attributes? How do you do so? Well, you have many options. Here are some ways to select the most valuable attributes of your lead scoring system:
- Buyer Persona: The first and foremost thing to look into is the attributes of your target audience. Which segment do they belong to? What age are they? What gender? Which country do they come from?
- Historical Data: You can figure out favorable attributes by looking at your historical data. Which attributes drove more customers towards conversion in the past?
- Sales Team: You can also talk to your sales department since they are the ones closing the deals and talking to customers daily.
- Customer Interviews: You can gain more insights into the attributes driving customers toward conversion by directly speaking to your customers.
Here’s an example that brings to life the concept of lead scoring as explained above, using a fictional tech company that sells software solutions.
Example #1: TechSoft Solutions
Objective: TechSoft Solutions wants to implement a lead scoring system to prioritize leads for its new project management software.
- Buyer Persona Creation:
- Segment: Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs).
- Age: Decision-makers aged 30-50.
- Country: Primarily targeting the United States and Canada.
- Analyzing Historical Data:
- Success Factors: Past conversions were driven by leads who showed interest through multiple website visits, downloaded white papers, or attended webinars.
- Failing Factors: Leads that only signed up for newsletters but didn’t engage further had a low conversion rate.
- Consulting the Sales Team:
- The sales team identified that leads who asked for a product demo were more likely to convert.
- They also found that engaging with leads on LinkedIn increased the likelihood of conversion.
- Conducting Customer Interviews:
- Feedback from existing customers revealed that case studies and testimonials greatly influenced their buying decisions.
Based on these insights, TechSoft Solutions crafted the following attributes for their lead-scoring model:
- Lead Source: 10 points for leads from LinkedIn, 5 points for leads from other social media.
- Engagement Level: 15 points for requesting a demo, and 10 points for attending a webinar.
- Content Interaction: 5 points for downloading white papers, 3 points for reading a case study, and 1 point for every webpage he visits.
- Company Size: 10 points if the lead is from an SME, 5 points if from a large enterprise.
- Geography: 5 points for leads from targeted countries (U.S., Canada).
Based on the previous example involving TechSoft Solutions, we can consider two scenarios. In one, the lead scores low, and in the other, the lead scores high.
Scenario 1: Low Lead Scoring
Let’s assume we have a lead from a large enterprise, not falling within the SME target segment, and only engages minimally:
- Lead Source: Lead comes from other social media (not LinkedIn): 5 points
- Engagement Level: No demo requested, nor attended any webinar: 0 points
- Content Interaction: Only read a case study: 3 points
- Company Size: From a large enterprise: 5 points
- Geography: From a non-targeted country: 0 points
Total Lead Scoring: 5 + 0 + 3 + 5 + 0 = 13 points
With a score of 12, this lead would be considered low priority. The sales team might put this lead in a nurture campaign but would likely not pursue it aggressively.
Scenario 2: High Lead Scoring
Now, let’s consider a lead that perfectly aligns with the target segment and is actively engaged:
- Lead Source: Lead comes from LinkedIn, indicating higher interest: 10 points
- Engagement Level: Requested a product demo, showing strong engagement: 15 points
- Content Interaction: Downloaded white papers, visited 9 pages on your website, and read a case study: 5 + 9 + 3 points
- Company Size: From an SME, fitting the target audience: 10 points
- Geography: From the United States, a targeted country: 5 points
Total Lead Scoring: 10 + 15 + 5 + 9 + 3 + 10 + 5 = 57 points
With a score of 56, this lead would be considered a high priority. The alignment with the target audience and engagement level indicate a strong likelihood of conversion. The sales team would likely reach out to this lead promptly, offering personalized attention and resources to move them further down the sales funnel.
By meticulously crafting these attributes based on buyer personas, historical data, sales team inputs, and customer interviews, TechSoft Solutions was able to build a lead-scoring model that allowed them to prioritize leads effectively. The targeted and flexible nature of this model made it highly adaptable to their specific business needs.
Example #2: Educational Institution
- Inquiry about a Specific Course: 5 points (captured through inquiry forms).
- Attendance at Open House Event: 15 points (registered at event sign-in).
- Interacting with different links on Social Media: 2 points for each link interaction (tracked through Shorten URL & UTMs).
- Completing Application Form: 25 points (tracked via the online application system).
Example #3: B2B Tech Company
- Downloading a Whitepaper: 10 points (collected through gated content forms).
- Attending a Webinar: 15 points (registered via webinar platforms).
- Engagement on LinkedIn Post: 5 points (racked through Shorten URL & specific UTMs).
- Requesting a Product Demo: 20 points (captured via a specific demo request form).
To wrap up, the adoption of a lead scoring system into your marketing strategy can greatly impact your sales and boost your ROI. It saves time for your sales team and provides a smooth handover from marketing to sales. However, you want to pay attention to the process of implementation. You also need to think carefully about what suits your business needs to guarantee the best results.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What Is Lead Scoring?
Lead scoring is a method used in sales and marketing to prioritize and evaluate potential customers or “leads” based on their likelihood of becoming actual customers. It involves assigning numerical values to leads based on various criteria and behaviors, such as demographics, engagement with marketing materials, website interactions, and more. The higher the score a lead receives, the more likely they are considered to be ready for sales outreach or further nurturing.
Why is lead scoring important?
Lead scoring enhances efficiency, boosts conversion rates, aligns sales and marketing efforts, and optimizes resource allocation. Lead scoring is also crucial for data-driven decision-making, better customer relationships, and measuring ROI. It shortens sales cycles and focuses on leads most likely to convert, making sales and marketing efforts more effective overall.
What is predictive lead scoring?
Predictive lead scoring is an advanced technique that uses machine learning and data analysis to forecast the likelihood of a lead becoming a customer. It goes beyond traditional lead scoring by analyzing historical data and identifying patterns to predict which leads are most likely to convert. In predictive lead scoring, you don’t have to handcraft the attributes and extract the features on your own, you can automate the process of feature extraction and pattern recognition using machine learning models.