Lead generation is a vital business process. No business can thrive without earning a good number of leads constantly. However, the more leads you have, the more selective you have to be in order to chase the right leads. Salespeople should not chase dead-end leads. Their time should be spent nurturing only promising leads. But how do you separate the wheat from the chaff?
Well!! You need a successful lead scoring model for that.
What is a Lead Scoring Model and Why is it Important?
It is a B2B marketing strategy to assign points to leads based on various important actions or attributes. It helps to check the interest level of a lead and assists salespeople to invest their time, energy, and resources focusing on high-value and stronger leads that are highly likely to convert. Also, effective lead scoring helps sales teams to stay more focussed, informed, and productive.
Proven Tips for Effective Lead Scoring
1. Demographic Scoring Criteria
Analyze and create Ideal Customer Profiling (ICP) details so that you can target the right leads. Based on your ideal buyer persona, develop a lead scoring model and award points to leads based on several explicit criteria like
- Job Title
- Seniority Level
- Total Experience
- Company Size
- Company Revenue
- Personal Interests
Creating a lead scoring strategy using these demographic details can help you invest your resources in the right place. It benefits B2B marketers in passing a good amount of high-quality leads to sales teams in a very time-efficient and cost-effective way.
2. Behavioral Scoring Criteria
Lead scoring best practices always involve one important element in its working ecosystem i.e. analyzing and awarding points based on a user’s behavior. This gives a glimpse into the way a prospect interacts and engages with a brand. It also helps B2B marketers to gauge the effectiveness of their marketing campaigns and helps in faster lead conversion.
Any good lead scoring model must award points on these following important behavioral aspects:
- Website Visits
- Social Media Interactions (Like, Share, Comment, etc.)
- Email Open/Click
- Newsletter Subscriptions
- E-book/Case Study/ Whitepaper Download
- Contact Requests
- Webinar Registration
- Event Attendance
- Free Trial / Product Demo Requested
- Form Submission
- Interacted on Chat
- Viewed Landing Page
- Filled Survey or Feedback Form
- Visited Service/ Pricing Page
- Asked Questions During Online Events
- Clicked on Paid Ads
- Blog View
- CTA Clicks
3. Negative Scoring
Not every action of a prospect can be considered as a progressive step towards becoming a customer. Your lead scoring model thus must recognize such steps and award negative lead scoring so that you can pragmatically track the interest of prospects towards your brand.
A few points that reflect a waning or complete lack of interest include:
- Unsubscribing from the email list
- Not opening emails anymore
- Not following social media accounts
- Visited the career’s page. This implies that they are interested in becoming your employees, not customers.
- People with job titles ‘student’ or ‘retired’ downloading your marketing collateral
- Reporting company post as spam
- Negative comments or complaints on online forums
- Searching for a rival company
Negative behaviors are important to track as they avoid deceptively high lead scoring and help sales representatives to recognize weak leads and focus better on nurturing stronger leads.
4. Determine Lead Threshold Values
When a lead should be qualified as Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL), or when it can be termed as a Sales Qualified Lead (SQL). To answer this important question, your lead scoring model must contain certain threshold values to enable people to work on high-value leads. Your threshold value can be any arbitrary number but it will be best if you start with an MQL score of 100. Define each activity that is important in the buyer’s journey and assign points in the right appropriation to make them qualify efficiently.
Here is an example of lead scoring points distribution for various important activities:
- 15 Points: Landing page form fill-up
- 5 Points: Clicks on the last three emails
- 30 Points: Perfectly fits as per buyer’s persona (ICP)
Now the lead has gained 50 points, to make it pass the threshold value of 100, award points as per nurturing activities, for example
- 15 Points: Registers for the webinar
- 5 Points: Attends that webinar
- 5 Points: Visited homepage
- 5 Points: Clicks on the blog post
Now if the lead requests for a Demo, award 20 more points and it touches the score of 100. And your team can immediately start working on this marketing qualified lead.
5. Align Sales and Marketing Teams
In any organization, sales and marketing teams work with one core common agenda in mind i.e. to boost the company’s sales. Their close alignment and hassle-free collaboration is a prerequisite to make an effective lead scoring model. Both these teams should sit together and analyze
- Ideal Customer Profiling
- Common Challenges
- Business Targets
- Key Decision Makers
- Lead Scoring Stages
In lead scoring for B2B business, if marketing and sales teams work in silos then many great leads may fall through the cracks. Clear communication, united brainstorming, and shared ideas can help you make the best out of the lead scoring model. A study reveals that when both these teams work in tandem, leads are qualified rightly as Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs) and Sales Qualified Leads (SQLs) when they are really ready for it. It saves time and encourages sales representatives to focus on stronger leads.
6. Integrate Marketing Automation & CRM Tools
In a lead generation process, a marketing automation tool is used to track and score the behavior of each lead. However, the sales team closely works with the CRM tool. It is thus imperative to integrate the power of both of these tools so that a sales representative can get a better unified picture of the behavior of prospects in an efficient manner. It helps in analyzing which leads are ready to work for the next stage i.e. MQL.
When a lead becomes MQL, this integrated effort enables administrators to create automation rules to pass MQL leads to concerned salespeople for further nurturing. It helps in automating the sales pipeline with good leads and assists in boosting lead generation outcomes.
7. Revamp Lead Scoring Model Periodically
In marketing, no single trend or technique stays relevant for a longer time. You need to constantly brainstorm, read, research, and implement new ideas and techniques to make the best of your campaigns. If your qualified leads are not converting then it is a sign to have a relook at the existing lead scoring model. This is the time to again sit with marketing and sales teams and do a thorough analysis of what is working and what is not. Hold a meeting at least once in a quarter and check the places where there is a chance for improvement. Analyze current lead scoring trends and changing user behavior as well to introduce a new lead scoring strategy.
Top Lead Scoring Tools
Although there are plenty of lead scoring tools available in the market, these listed ones are considered the best. If you have too many leads and not a way to prioritize them then these lead scoring software can help you achieve this business objective.
- HubSpot Marketing Hub
- Pipeliner CRM
These tools are widely popular and used heavily to execute lead generation processes. They help you identify easily which leads you need to focus on first.
Lead Scoring enables marketers to work smarter and get results faster. Focusing on the right leads saves time and eliminates the frustration that comes along the way while dealing with prospects that are not yet ready to buy your services. Therefore, embracing an effective lead scoring model is a necessity. Now, as you learned about the best practices related to the lead scoring model, it is now time to build a customized model to suit your business needs.
Not sure where to start? Contact us. Our team will help you understand this better.