If you’re like most companies, you’re constantly on the hunt for ways to create better alignment between sales and marketing. When sales are disappointing, marketing blames sales for poor execution on the valuable leads they sourced. Sales, in turn, argues that marketing is spending too much of the budget on activities that generate weak leads. Sales needs more, better qualified leads and it’s marketing’s job to deliver the goods. How can the two functions not only co-exist, but also work together to meet and exceed company growth and revenue objectives?
In the olden days (4-5 years ago) a marketer may have manually scoured their database, looking for common characteristics (e.g. common job title, industry, etc.) of leads most likely to close. From there, they’d build point-based scoring models based on these basic patterns and behavioral signals—like visiting a pricing page or downloading an eBook—to determine when a lead was ready to be contacted by sales. A great start, but activity alone proved to be inadequate in predicting whether a prospect was likely to buy.
What Predictive Lead Scoring Can Do
Today, predictive lead scoring is helping marketers understand which prospects are most likely to become customers. By looking at a combination of a company’s native data (close and won opportunities from a CRM) and thousands of data signals across the public web, predictive solutions can identify the digital fingerprint of your ideal customer. With these insights, marketers can improve demand gen with better targeting, and expedite the qualification process by automatically grading leads based on how closely they match the target profile. Using this grade, sales can prioritize follow-up with a more complete customer profile for each lead, and an understanding of which leads show the highest propensity to buy.
But how can you know when you’re ready for predictive lead scoring? To help guide you, we’ve compiled a list of 5 signals that indicate your company’s ready for predictive lead scoring:
- You want a more accurate sales pipeline
With predictive pipeline forecasting, sales can get a scientific reality check on the pipeline instead of the old “we’ve got 4x, so we’re good” method.
- You have upwards of 300 inbound leads a month and need help prioritizing
Predictive lead scoring will show your reps which leads to call on first, and which can be nurtured.
- You have hundreds, if not thousands of leads in your database
Predictive lead scoring can show you which leads should be passed to sales for qualification and which can stay in a nurture stream.
- You have large sales goals to meet
Rather than trying to stuff the funnel with more leads or adding additional headcount to meet the goals, give your sales reps better prioritization of existing leads. They will close more deals faster.
- Marketing wants to know where to invest their budget
With predictive lead scoring marketing will see which campaigns are bringing in the highest quality leads in real time.
If any (or all) of the above are true for your organization, it’s time to consider integrating predictive lead scoring technology. Sales benefits from higher quality leads and improved efficiency, marketing sees better ROI from their investments, and—aligned around what constitutes a quality prospect—the two functions can finally exist in harmony. It’s a win-win-win.