Lead scoring should be collaborative effort between marketing and sales teams
A hardworking sales team plus the right lead generation tools can result in thousands of leads for a company. But do a thousand new leads automatically result in a thousand new sales? Of course not. In fact, a study by Gleanster Research showed that only 25 percent of leads are legitimate and should be directed to a company’s sales team. It is crucial for sales and marketing teams to determine which leads are qualified leads (leads that are likely to become customers) in order to know where to focus their energy and resources.
This is where lead scoring comes in. Lead scoring places an individual score on each lead based on the lead’s demographics and behavioral patterns. So how exactly does one apply lead scoring to their marketing and sales efforts?
1. Determine If Lead Scoring Is Right for Your Company
As valuable as lead scoring can be for a company, it is not necessarily appropriate for every company. It may not be a good idea to incorporate lead scoring if your team does not have a substantial number of leads flowing in. Instead, it may be beneficial to direct your team’s efforts toward generating more leads before executing lead scoring techniques.
You may also want to hold off on lead scoring if your company does not have enough data to apply the scoring process. This data can be categorized as explicit data (names, email addresses, phone numbers, job titles, industries) and implicit data (number of opened emails, frequency of website interaction, number of landing page visits).
Also, remember that even if lead scoring is not right for your company at the current time, it may very well be an advantageous tool at a later date.
2. Create A Scoring Scale: The Simpler The Better
There are a variety of different ways to score your leads. Lead scoring should be a collaborative effort by both your marketing and sales teams, with both teams deciding on what constitutes a qualified lead.
When it comes to lead scoring, a company may use a number scale (1-100), letter scale (A,B,C), or a readiness scale (hot, warm, cold), among many others scoring options. These scales are also effective when used together and are easier to calculate if your company also implements advanced marketing automation software. Be willing to bring in professional coaching, data analysis, and lead management services if your company does not have internal scoring experience.
3. Calculate Scores Gradually
Lead scoring is much more useful and accurate when it is calculated over a period of time. It should be a continuous process that is measured using data captured from multiple lead visits and interactions. It also is common for leads to change from having lower scores to higher scores and vice versa. Over time, cold leads can turn into warm (or even hot) leads.
4. Develop Follow-up Actions Based On Scores
Determine which follow-up actions should coincide with your specific lead scores and make sure that these actions are executed in a timely and efficient manner. Your company should use these scores to decide which leads should be directed to sales for immediate contact and which leads should be left in the hands of marketing for further nurturing. It is important to act quickly, because a lead that is hot can quickly become cold after receiving no follow-up response from your company.
5. Review and Modify Scoring Techniques As Necessary
Once leads have been scored and follow-up actions have been implemented, the lead scoring process is still far from finished. One of the most important steps in scoring leads is to continuously review and evaluate scoring techniques. Continue to test and modify the scoring system and see how accurate it is based on sales results and customer feedback. Just as lead scores can change at the drop of a hat, so can the efficiency of a scoring technique. Do not be afraid to make changes in en effort to get more accurate lead scores that will make the sales processes both easier and more productive.