By Neil Smith
As the name suggests lead scoring is simply ranking the leads or prospects against a preset-valued scale, which quantifies the priority of each and every lead being scored up. Here priority refers to the parameters set by an organization and generally include factors like demography, authority, budget, behavioral dependencies, time-line and adequacy of data profile. The same is done using rankings like A B C D and divisions like HOT COLD WARM and NURTURING.
Lead Scoring and Lead Management
Lead scoring is inevitably a part of the lead management process specifically to rate and rank the sales readiness of leads and asses the interest levels of those leads in a one glance numbered rank list. The scoring process in a part of both sales and marketing where it requires both the teams to work together and rank the leads in order to determine the position of the leads on your sales cycle and also to determine whether the leads are a fit to make a sale or not.
Experts say scoring your lead is the most effective way of separating cherries from the chunk and accelerating the closure pace resulting in higher B2B marketing & sales productivity along with higher ROI rapidly. In a recent survey by Demand Gen only 32% of marketers said they were “effectively using” the lead scoring functionality in their marketing automation systems. About 3 in 10 respondents said they were using a lead scoring “somewhat” and 39% weren’t using such a process at all!
How to Score Leads
Do I Really Need a Lead Scoring System?
The first and foremost task is to determine whether you actually need a lead scoring system or not. Be prepared to acknowledge the fact that all business models do not require a lead scoring system. On the contrary it might just prove to be a waste of efforts. In order to know if this process is a befitting choice for you, there are a couple of questions you can look to answer.
- Question 1: Present volume of leads
If the quantity of leads presently in your kitty is already just barely handful or less, then lead scoring as a process is not a good fit for your sales cycle to begin with
- Question 2: Are the all the present leads utilized
Make sure all the present leads are fully used and contacted; the marketing and sales teams have to work hand in hand before a demand for more leads comes in. Cutting down ambiguity is more important than creating a lead score board at the moment
- Question 3: Is my data sufficient
To implement a lead scoring system two types of data is required: demographic information filled by conversion forms and lead intelligence, behavioral data based on how a lead interacts. If there is any deviation in the data accuracy then at the present you cannot go ahead for a lead scoring system
Identify your Scoring Criterion
Every organization has different criteria for rating a lead and calling it a Grade A lead or a warm lead to follow up on. You have to be very specific in defining what attributes in a lead will define its degree of conversion for your organization. After identifying these attributes and making them the criterion you can assign them values for the purpose of making them the base.
As an example consider the following segregation categories:
The above lead scoring table depicts ratings given to visitors on the basis of their visits to the website and the action taken there on. The lead with the highest score is given the rating 1 and the lead scoring lower is given lower ranking
Determine Qualifying Score
Once you have segregated the categories and assigned them values for each segments, deciding the qualifying figure comes into picture. After a whole algorithm of combinations is played upon, a qualifying number is decided which dictates if a particular lead is eligible to be sent to the sales team for calling and further follow ups. For example in the above table 12 can be taken as the qualifying score in which case both the leads can be passed on for calling, then you can go ahead and rank them into rank 1 and rank 2 rank 3 rank 4 so on. Hence the qualifying score not only helps you figure a pin point yard stick for the passing of leads but also helps you rank these leads as per their readiness for a sale. Now to go a step ahead you could also synchronize your CRM with these rankings to set up calls based on the scores of each lead
Benefits of Lead Scoring
Boosts up Effectiveness of Marketing Efforts
Mostly marketing is tagged to be a non quantifiable act which cannot be measured for its efforts apart from the end result, lead scoring gives a opening for marketing to be a quantifiable effort and churn out more high quality leads and now the marketing team can have a number to compare their inbound leads with and rate them accordingly
Synergy between Sales and Marketing
Lead scoring provides a common platform for both the teams to work towards rapid lead prospecting. The performance of the sales team through this model will totally depend upon the quality and scoring of the leads that the marketing team sends out for them, on the other hand the sales team has to justify their contribution in the process by making the best conversions of those leads which are churned out after so much of filtering and processing
Accuracy in Forecasting Productivity
Receiving an accurate forecast has always been a great challenge for planners and decision makers. Lead scoring gives a clear visibility of the future, the reason being it segregates the good leads and the bad leads right in the brink of start of the sales process. Here the good leads can have a 90% conversion rate and the bad leads might turn out be prospects if lead nurturing is done well
Changes in ROI
- Check Conversion rates – the success rate can be measured by comparing number of conversions with the number of rating passed leads to the sales team. If 10 leads are passed and out of them 6 got through to the next level in the sales cycle and out of them 4 got converted as final closures then here 40% is the success rate of closure and then the resultant ROI
- Sales Cycle Time Reduction – using lead scoring 80% of the top performing companies have increased their revenue per annum, specific reason being scoring reduces the sales cycle time taken for reaching the final closure level, as the chunk of the leads are filtered into the ones that are productive and have a high conversion chances and efforts are focused on them. The same leads nurtured well lead to fast closures and result in reduction in sales cycle, which proves to be a major accelerator
Secondary Aspects to Lead Scoring
In a B2B scoring procedure some other important aspects to consider:
- White Papers – who downloaded the white papers and eBooks from the website and made further inquiries
- Webinars – who registered and out of them who attended the webinars, and post that who all opted in for further proceedings
- Free trails & Demos – who all requested for free demos and trail version of the products. Out of them who all installed and logged in
- Behaviors – based on the form filled by the visitor on the site assess what were they look at, ROI? Solution? Pricing? Are they the authority?
How do I Improve my Current Lead Scoring System?
- Testing and refining your scoring system
- Measure and keep pace with the sales team and work on loopholes (if any)
- Enhancing your marketing-sales automation system
- Creating superior and effective CRM based visual presentation for scored leads and its improvement
- Define ideal prospect profile with a 360 degree evaluation and then designing a demand generation score chart
Feel free to leave your thoughts with us via comments below.