Generating leads is critical to sustain your business. However, the more leads you have, the more discerning you have to be. While your company’s marketing group focuses on generating more sales leads, it’s up to the sales team to close the deal. It sounds like a simple process with each department playing to its strengths, but it’s not that easy.
The sales team can become frustrated with the marketing group for providing irrelevant leads, and marketing can blame sales for its lack of progress – leading to conflict between marketing and sales. With two departments that significantly benefit from working together, it’s vital to give each group the tools they need for success.
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Lead scoring is a process that ranks potential customers using criteria to determine which leads are ready to make a purchase and which leads are unqualified.
Sales and marketing teams use lead scoring the most, but it can be helpful to all departments within your organization. Lead scoring prioritizes leads, improves company communication and productivity, decreases customer acquisition costs and increases overall revenue.
Lead scoring can offer solutions for generating traffic, researching high-quality leads and accurately measuring ROI.
Lead scoring requires creating specific criteria for your business’s industry or customer base, and assigning a number value (usually 1-100) for those data points. If you’re new to lead scoring and are unsure of what criteria to include, start with BANT (budget, authority, need and timeline). Using these data points is a great starting point for prioritizing leads.
Take note of key factors from both conversion sources and critical areas that keep leads from completing a purchase. The total a lead receives will help you determine a conversion point threshold across all leads. The higher a lead’s points, the more likely they will buy.
Also, take into consideration lead-scoring patterns. For example, if a customer converts 100% of the time after watching a webinar, that lead should be given priority even if it doesn’t meet the conversion point threshold.
Once you set thresholds, use this data to connect to your preferred customer relationship management (CRM) software. The CRM system can send you a real-time notification when a lead meets the point threshold, allowing you to follow up with them before a competitor does.
Contemplate creating visual charts for your lead-scoring system to improve lead-scoring accuracy across multiple departments.
Implementing lead scoring within your business allows you to rely on data instead of your thoughts about each lead’s potential success.
The time you invest in creating lead-scoring models can save you high costs in general work hours, lead generation and advertising avenues. These are the top benefits of lead scoring:
You will have a unique lead-scoring system based on your company’s goals. However, the basic principles of lead scoring are similar. Here are some factors to consider when building a lead-scoring model.
Before you can understand lead quality, you must first understand your customer. Create segments within your leads by separating buyers into buyer personas. Make these segments using existing customer data and overall observations of your sales.
Separate your leads into two groups: converted leads and dead leads. Use your lead-scoring criteria to rank all your converted leads. If you already have data on leads, it will be easier to compile lead scoring and determine the leads with the highest conversion rate.
The main categories of lead scoring are demographic and firmographic, behavioral, email engagement data and social engagement.
For example, if a lead stops opening or clicking on links from your marketing emails, their lead score can be adjusted by issuing negative points. Lowering their lead score can help accurately measure their current conversion probability. Other actions worthy of negative points include personal email addresses – if you are mainly B2B – and leads that provide a lack of information or look like spam.
However, if a lead increases their opens and clicks, it might indicate they are ready to buy. This would cause their score to rise. A sharp rise in lead scoring should trigger a sales follow up.
Keep in mind that these examples are merely starting points. Have your team brainstorm ways to collect data that fits your specific business.
After you decide on your lead criteria, you’ll need to do some testing to see which criteria will most likely lead to a successful sale. Use any marketing data you have, and strive to create more detailed marketing attribution and contacts reports so you can narrow down lead-scoring opportunities.
You might find that leads who sign up for your webinar have a high conversion rate, but those who join your email list are slow to convert. You might also find that company size or a specific job title has a higher conversion rate.
It’s essential to gather insight from your sales team and interact with your customers as much as possible. The more in-depth your relationships, the easier it will be to sell products and services.
Once you’ve given a score to every lead, each lead will need to be ranked to determine if that lead is worthwhile to pursue – considering staffing and marketing dollars. However, ranking leads on a spreadsheet shouldn’t be your endpoint. Take all leads and allow your sales team time to follow up with each one, regardless of their value on paper.
After a few weeks, re-examine the same leads and see which ones became customers and which ones didn’t convert. You’ll learn about your customers, and the strengths of your sales and marketing teams.
Using the leads that became customers, take note of the lowest score. This total point value is your lead score threshold: It determines leads that are most likely to convert with the least amount of effort. Focus your marketing efforts on this segmentation and improve processes to convert leads that fall below the threshold.
It’s vital for sales and marketing to determine the lead-scoring threshold as a team. They should communicate any changes to each other to prevent any sales funnel leaks. Sales and marketing can also note any red flags to stop leads from receiving a deceptive high score.
If you think lead scoring sounds ideal but aren’t sure how to find the time to accomplish it, you’re not alone. Fortunately, automated features within CRMs can do the work for you. To learn more about CRM systems with lead-scoring automation features, check out our reviews of Salesforce (Pardot) and FreshWorks.
After entering lead-scoring criteria into the CRM software, the tool will score leads automatically and keep track of scores as they change. Predictive scoring utilizes an algorithm with thousands of criteria to identify the best leads automatically.
This way, you can quickly prioritize leads based on your qualified leads and what your dead leads have in common. Plus, the longer you use predictive scoring, the smarter it gets – optimizing your lead scoring along the way.
When implementing lead scoring, here are a few things to keep in mind: