Reliably Identify Your Best Leads With Global Scoring in Marketo

This blog is part 7 of 11 on setting your marketing up for scale using the Gold Standard – our signature framework consisting of a series of foundational processes and corresponding deliverables focusing on strategic marketing as well as technical and campaign operational services. Need to catch up? Our series starts here. 

Welcome to the next leg of our review of the Digital Pi Gold Standard! In our last blog, we laid out the importance and configuration of best practice for Lead Source data, including Source and Source Detail. We discussed how implementing the proper protocols for Source and Source Detail fields leads to a complete and accurate set of data in these fields, ultimately helping us to make better decisions. This blog will focus on how we can accurately track and understand lead quality through global scoring.

As we shared in our last blog, knowing where your leads are coming is critical. But consider a scenario where many leads are entering your funnel from a certain source, but not converting. Does that mean you should continue to dump resources into that lead source? Of course not. The fact is, it’s not enough to know where your leads are entering from; we also need to understand if the leads are of quality.If we can use a standard scoring system to constantly evaluate and score our leads, we gain the ability to: know where our best leads are coming from and identify the appropriate time to engage Sales with a particular lead

Gold Standard Global Scoring sets a standardized system for a quick glance evaluation at lead quality that can be used to determine lead movement in the first half of the lead lifecycle.

In Marketo, the Lead Score is the field used to measure buying intent.  It is the sum of the Behavior Score (what someone has done) and the Demographic Score (who someone is). In this way, a higher Lead Score indicates that a lead may be moving closer to purchase. Different Lead Score thresholds can be established to trigger critical actions by Marketing and Sales through the buyer’s journey. By stepping back and reviewing reports or dashboards that look at Lead Score and Lead Source, we can learn which Lead Sources are producing leads with the best Lead Scores.

Setting up Gold Standard Lead Scoring relies heavily on standardization. Elements that must be standardized include:

  • Scoring values – The scoring values should be set to a fixed 0 to 100 scale. This gives values a consistent meaning and allows them to be compared using the same benchmark. 
  • Token values used to apply points – All values that contribute to the Lead Score should be token values. First, this provides an easy place to view exactly what the values are and where they are coming from. Second, this allows us to quickly and easily update the values for any given program applying points.
  • Scoring factors – Ensure each lead is scored using the same variables to ensure more objective evaluation. Factors should include Demographic/Firmographic Score, Web Behavior, Channel Behavior, and points for Decay and Reduction.
  • MQL Threshold – Finally, the score that qualified an MQL must also be standardized. Gold Standard Lead Scoring defines an MQL as a lead with a Lead Score that breaches 80 points.

Implementing Gold Standard Lead Scoring begins with a discussion on score schema – what factors should contribute to the lead’s score, and how should they be weighted? After the schema is finalized, the values are added to Digital Pi’s customized lead scoring template, and any existing lead scoring system in Marketo is removed. The lead scoring template is then used to set up token values in the system. Next, the Digital Pi team creates or edits triggered smart campaigns for demographic scoring and behavior scoring.

An additional set of Smart Campaigns runs nightly to lower scores based on surpassing a Lead Score of 100 (making them eligible to breach 80 to become an MQL again) or based on a lapse in time since favorable engagement. Finally, a last set of Smart Campaigns is created to send out Scoring Reports to alert key parties of leads that require action or attention based on Lead Score.

When in place, best practice lead scoring provides a scalable and consistent means of evaluation that is reliable for both Marketing and Sales. A standardized scoring method means there is no guessing or time wasted researching to uncover a Lead Score was obtained. Additionally, it allows for quicker and better decisions for Marketing’s resource allocation. Finally, because Lead Score is based upon factors that indicate buying intention, Sales can use the benchmark value to determine when and with whom they should engage to best utilize their time. 

With a scoring method standardized, we can set certain Lead Score values as milestones to trigger other key events. As we now know, one of the factors that cause Lead Score to increase is Behavior Score. In our next blog, we will take a look at one of the ways Marketo can help to prompt and track positive engagement with our brand: Nurture and Engagement programs.

Anxious to learn more about the Gold Standard? Check out this info, or contact us at

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At Digital Pi, we use technology to connect revenue to marketing efforts. We fuse marketing strategies, processes, data and applications to make marketing technology solutions work for clients' businesses.

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