Welcome to lead scoring week. Today, we are going to discuss the basic concepts of how lead scoring can streamline your marketing and sales funnel. Later this week, we’ll introduce some advanced strategies around predictive scoring with guest poster Jessica Cross.
Imagine you are at a baseball game, but all of the players have no stats. How are you ever going to know who is really good besides just seeing them perform well or not so well for that game? You won’t. The players need the stats in order to show you how good they are, even if they have a bad game.
Lead scoring is very similar–the process helps businesses prioritize their highest quality leads to build efficiency and optimize ROI.
Pan for the Golden Leads
What is lead scoring? According to Marketo,
Lead scoring is an integral part of modern lead management. By tracking your prospect’s behaviors and web activity, you can determine their level of interest in your solution (engagement) in addition to your interest in them (demographics targeting). Only by combining both factors can you send truly qualified leads to sales. Marketo
Think of lead scoring as one big filter that catches the golden leads. The gold goes to Sales and everything else goes to Marketing. This process helps businesses move valuable leads forward in the funnel and towards revenue while keeping lesser quality leads with Marketing for nurturing.
Best practice organizations leverage proper marketing automation software to score leads and send the best ones seamlessly from Marketing to Sales. This process helps align Sales with Marketing by giving Sales the juicy leads while filtering out the rest for further nurturing.
On another note, lead scoring is not perfect–it provides great vision but doesn’t catch every positive and negative behavior. Sales and Marketing need to both understand these limitations upfront to strengthen the alignment when the occasional bad lead sneaks through.
Don’t Call the Screwdriver Kit Leads
Let’s say your business goes to a trade show and acquires 750 scanned names. Does it makes sense to call all 750 only to find out that the majority wanted the free screwdriver kit? Of course not. Requiring Sales to call all of those names leads to inefficiency and lost credibility with the Sales team. In reality, the marketing team has no idea who is actually interested and who just scanned their card to get the free stuff.
Let’s look at an alternative approach. A best practice is to warm up those 750 leads with a lead nurturing program and let the best bubble to the top. So instead of inefficiently calling the 750 names, Sales will call the top 10% who click or show other interest, thus raising their lead score.
In this example, focusing on the highest quality leads helps cut Sales’ efforts in half. Which do you think optimizes Sales efforts?
- No scoring approach: 750 calls to 750 different names (1 call)
- Scoring approach. 350 calls to the top 75 names (4+ calls to the most qualified)
A Lead Scoring Model: Demographic + Behavior = A Lead Ready for Sales
A best practice scoring methodology utilizes both the behavioral activity of the lead (clicks, visits, etc) and the available demographic data (title, role, etc). The higher the activity and fit, the higher the score.
We are going to use a lead score threshold of 50 for this example. Based on the following criteria, we will see if the lead qualifies. The lead is entered into the system from a trade show and we have now sent them an email. It is up to them to show us whether or not they are interested.
- Did lead fill out information form on website to receive emails, etc.? (10 points)
- Does lead open emails we send? (5 points)
- Does lead attend/watch online webinars, etc.? (20 points)
- Does the lead have a VP level title? (15 points)
The lead has successfully passed the threshold and now qualifies to move out of the hands of Marketing on to further attention from Sales. The Sales team will now go to work reviewing these leads and calling them to gauge interest. The ideal lead is someone who is willing and able to purchase the product or service from the seller. If the lead is still very interested, the Sales rep will move the lead further down the funnel to the next stage of the revenue funnel.
As we’ve discussed, lead scoring helps you aim your sights on leads who are willing and able to purchase your product or service. Lead scoring builds efficiencies in the Sales and Marketing process. The end result: Time savings and a much better relationship between Sales and Marketing.
Thank goodness for scoring, because without it, no one would know the stats of athletes.