What is Lead Scoring and how to Implement it
Why use lead scoring?
As your business grows, so too will your requirement to manage sales leads. During the early days a spreadsheet and email inbox probably sufficed. Then, as you grew you may have introduced a low level CRM or contact management system of some description. However, as you expand to become a full-blown marketing engine managing complex, multi-channel strategies can make it difficult to assess the quality of leads.
Lead scoring was a system developed for this very reason. Essentially, the higher the score: the hotter the lead. Marketo’s studies have shown that for a 10% increase in lead quality, there is a corresponding 40% increase in sales efficiency.
By assigning scores to your leads you can be confident that the sales teams are getting the right leads at the right time. This gives them the best opportunity to convert leads into business and avoids salespeople getting caught up chasing low-quality leads.
What is lead scoring?
In essence, lead scoring is a way of defining when a prospect is ready to be approached by your sales team. Imagine you are buying a car. Before you even head out to the show rooms you will have a list of what you are after in mind. For example: you live in a rural area, you need to be able travel in all weather conditions, you often travel long distances and need to be able to carry sample products and exhibition gear. This might lead you to a list of requirements like the following:
- 4-wheel drive
- Front-wheel drive minimum
- Must have plenty of storage
- Economical to run
- Comfortable for long journeys
- Low running costs
You realise early on that the initial criteria leave you with the choice between an estate and 4×4 and it must have a diesel engine. So, based on your research, you might put together a list to allow for comparison, scoring each element between 0 – 3, 3 being highest.
After adding up all the scores you can see that the Audi A4 fits your criteria the best.
Implementing a lead scoring system is essentially the same, in that you award a prospect points for each desirable action they take.
For example, if they download an infographic then you might award 2 points, a White Paper 3 points, views a key web page 1 point and so on.
Then, when they hit a predefined threshold they’re potentially ready to convert.
Integrating with working practices
There are a number of ways to integrate this system into your existing working practice. How you do so depends on the CRM/marketing automation tool you use. It’s worth noting that nearly every major marketing automation player will have a set up and implementation period at the beginning.
Typically you might set up a chain of events to help build that score, so if they download a White Paper a week later you may follow up with a related item or ensure they are aware of new content you published.
If you are running an event then you can use the system to identify prospects who have already engaged with your company but aren’t ready to buy; invite them along. Attendance of this event would add more points to their score.
Then, when ready, you can hand them over to your sales or telemarketing team.