Your marketing team has been doing a great job in generating leads and you have leads coming in from various sources for your product – web forms, phone, outbound, purchased lists, just to name a few. But how do you know which leads to work on first? Not all leads are equal and effectiveness of your sales team depends on working on quality leads which have the most impact for your business.
Not all leads are equal and effectiveness of your sales team depends on working on quality leads which have the most impact for your business.Every incoming lead has a different level of importance based on the information present and the activity happening on these leads.
A lead which comes in from an important account and from a direct decision maker is several times more important than a lead which comes from an unknown source. Or a lead which has more activity on your website in terms of opening a resource, watching a video or downloading a white paper shows more interest than someone who is just passively visiting your website.
You need a way to understand theses data points for your product and be able to provide a score to a lead so that your sales team knows which leads are more important and urgent. That is where lead scoring comes in.
According to Wikipedia,
Lead scoring is a methodology used to rank prospects against a scale that represents the perceived value each lead represents to the organization. The resulting score is used to determine which leads a receiving function (e.g. sales, partners, teleprospecting) will engage, in order of priority.
The key phrase here is – “perceived value to the organization”. Every organization may have a different set of metrics they would use to rank their leads.
Examples of scoring attributes for a prospect could be – company size, industry segment, job title, location etc. Other important attributes to score leads and gauge their interest in a product would be – website visits, white paper downloads, video views, email opens and clicks, etc. All these metrics add an importance level to your leads.
Why is this important for your sales team?
Lead scoring is beneficial for any sales team because it gives you a framework to understand your leads and rank them in order of importance and relevancy. Your sales team efficiency and effectiveness would increase because they would know the exact leads they need to pay attention to right now.
Marketing and Sales alignment
Scoring leads provide a common framework for qualification of a lead. With lead scoring your marketing team and sales team would have an agreement on the kind of leads to pursue on for greater effectiveness.
A sales team productivity increases when they know the hottest leads in the pipeline based on the scores. Instead of wasting time on cold leads, they work on actively engaged leads which give them better chance to close the deal.
If you are targeting the hottest leads on a regular basis, the chances of increasing your revenue working on those leads become greater every day.
How to implement lead scoring?
The idea behind lead scoring is to assign importance or priority to all your incoming leads so that as an organization you know what leads need your utmost attention in the present time.
Identify your best customer attributes
To implement a good lead scoring strategy, you would need to sit down with your marketing and sales team and understand what is your ideal customer profile. What really makes the perfect customer. Some attributes you may consider –
- job title – who is your user and who is the decision maker
- location – where are they located and if it is important for your business
- industry – whether a particular industry benefits more from your product
Identify the importance level
This is a little different in terms of your best customer attributes. You want to understand the importance level of this lead for closing the deal and for the impact to your business. For eg, a lead from a high profile business could be important to you in terms of branding but not so much in terms of the revenue they bring in. Some attributes to consider –
- company size – a larger company size may be a direct indicator of the importance of a lead for some solutions. The importance could be in terms of the revenue potential or in terms of brand value for your company.
- job title: The decision maker for your product. It could be the number
Behavioral data on the lead
The activity happening on a lead is usually a key indicator of where a prospect is in their buying journey. A prospect downloading a white paper or joining a webinar could indicate an intent to buy.
Another aspect to consider while looking at behavioral data is to differentiate between different behavioral actions – For eg. ‘requesting a product demo’ or ‘visiting the pricing page’ gets a higher score in terms of the level of interest. However, just visiting some sections of your website may not have the same effect on the score.
Negative scoring is just as important in scoring leads. You need to have a way to degrade the score based on activity on a lead. For eg., if a user downloaded a white-paper 6 months ago and there has been no activity ever since, the score of the lead needs to reduce and other active leads which meet your criteria should get a higher score. This ensures that your scoring is relevant and also takes care of the fact that the scores do not get inflated over time.
How has implementing scoring strategies worked for your company? Let us know in the comments!