What it is Lead Scoring
Lead scoring is a critical element of marketing and sales related activities, and as marketing automation has developed so has the importance of lead scoring. By assigning values to specific lead qualities you can score them so that they progress from an entry touchpoint, to lead, to a marketing (sales) qualified lead that is ready for a sales push.
Why is it important?
Lead scoring enables your marketing and sales team by letting them concentrate on their respective duties. Marketing can be confident in the quality of the leads they develop and pass along, and sales can be excited by working the leads knowing that they have been pre-screened. Jointly, this process should maximize each team’s effectiveness in a synergetic manner that creates more and better nurtured leads that convert to sales and revenue.
What does lead scoring look like in real life? Lets pretend James has the the ideal demographic attributes of a high quality lead for your organization. He is located in North America, in a VP or Director level marketing role and in the healthcare industry.
James provides his information to download a white paper from your website and becomes a lead in your system. James then comes back and visits 3 key pages on your website in one visit. A lead scoring system will assign points based on the demographic information provided in the form and his behavioral actions. When James reaches a certain point threshold, let’s say “100”, he is automatically moved down the lead funnel toward the sales team. This is extremely valuable when you have a high volume of leads and need to pre-qualify them for the sales team.
Bringing Sales and Marketing Together
One of the first steps in developing a successful lead scoring program is ensuring alignment between sales and marketing. The key thing to remember through the process is that sales and marketing must share the lead scoring methodology equally. At the end of the day, the sales team must buy into the scoring system, use it, and provide feedback along the way. It is important to schedule a series of meetings with your sales team and work through the following steps:
- Create or review your target personas and ensure they are correct
- Agree upon the definition of an ideal customer and detail out their attributes, including both demographic and behavioral
- Create categories for these attributes such as job title, industry, region, company size, planned start date, what content are they interested in, did they visit the website did they fill out a particular form
- Assign points to the different levels of each category. For example, 1 point if their company size is 0-15 employees and 3 points for 50 plus employees (Closer to ideal demographic = more points)
- Determine the point level that moves a lead from an engaged phase to a auto-qualified stage where the sales team starts looking at them, 100 is a nice round number
Only after you have these meetings and come to agreements should you implement a scoring system and start getting feedback. Once the system is in place and optimized, Marketing can focus on building lead volume and sales can feel confident about the leads they receive.
Accelerating Lead Scoring (Topic)
Along with aligning your sales and marketing team, there is huge value in accelerating your lead scoring process. In doing so, you make the most of every potential lead by not waiting on them to complete their information – all while their current need may be going unaddressed, or even worse, solved by another company! In the following paragraphs we outline methods for accelerating your lead scoring and look to further address its value.
Services like Data.com and DemandBase are of incredible use as they can enable you to match collected data, like name, email and company, with a wealth of additional information from their platform. This in turn enables you to present shorter forms while confidently gaining deep insights into your lead’s company revenues, focus, experience, hierarchy, etc.
In addition, with these services you can quickly scale your lead database by expanding upon partial information. Accelerating your lead collection and nurturing is critical as it enables your team to react to leads in a real time manner. With lead scoring your sales team can be working current, well suited leads that your marketing team sourced quickly.
In outlining key aspects of lead scoring we aim to highlight its value to marketing and sales teams. Regardless of your business’ size – we urge you to implement a form of lead scoring. It doesn’t have to align with a marketing automation system, which are often only required by large and enterprise companies, but lead scoring should be tracked in a quantitative, iterative manner that works towards your sales goals.
This article is part of the Kick SaaS Marketing Series by Room 214. The Kick SaaS Marketing Series looks at what strategic marketing means for Software as a Service companies. Signup to receive exclusive content including tips that will allow your company to increase customer CLV, reduce CAC, promote brand awareness, and maximize marketing ROI.