An important stat: 80 percent of top-performing companies use lead scoring technology, according to Aberdeen research.
Lead scoring keeps teams focused on the best opportunities and helps avoid non-responsive leads. A good model prioritizes leads based on their purchasing frequency, size and timeframe.
Lots of CRMs come with lead scoring. All-in-one CRMs, such as Agile CRM, are integrated with marketing automation and sales enablement features, which act as a lead scoring system. They’re useful for identifying and targeting leads that need nurturing, testing assumptions about sales processes, identifying your fans and campaigners, standardizing a process to evaluate leads and further refining the marketing messages.
We like a lead scoring system that’s simple, but effective. You should be able to cherry pick the best while ignoring the worst.
Follow this five-step plan for more accurate lead scoring.
Step 1: Define Your Requirements
Maintain a set of attributes for prospective leads who can become customers. Irrelevant criteria will eat into your sales reps’ time. Next, identify your target market. Zero in on prospects who are similar to your existing customers. They should be easily identifiable as well as active.
Step 2: Track Customer Behavior
After determining the qualities and characteristics of the lead, shift focus to their behavioral patterns. You can assign them a score and pass it on to the next stage in the sales funnel. This helps you stick to interested and engaged leads while skipping ones that will go nowhere.
Pay attention to these behaviors: email opens, click-throughs, email replies, social media likes and shares, web visits, webinar sessions, downloads, videos, product demos, free trials. In case of a follow-up campaign, break it down into individual behaviors. Lead engagement helps create critical conversions such as asking for a product demo or signing up for a free demo.
Step 3: Standardize Your Scoring System
The numbers you assign for your leads have to follow a certain methodology. There can be a straightforward scale of 1-10 on which you score leads, but keep the doors open for additional points based on the fringes.
If you are into B2B sales, categorize your leads as small, medium and large businesses with 1, 2 and 3 respectively. If the lead score is 09 and if it’s a medium business, the overall score will be 209. For a large business with a score of 10, the overall score will be 310.
Another organizational option could be by region, a departmental contact and industry. By giving out 100 points for each of these criterion, a lead only becomes sales-ready when it reaches 300 points. The tens and single digits further refine the score on the basis of more malleable lead characteristics and engagement. So a lead with a score of 389 would be passed to the sales team but one with a score of 289 would not.
Step 4: Points, Points and More Points
Now that you have a system and a set of rules, it’s a matter of distributing your points.
Begin by assigning a maximum value to categories of rules. From there, you can distribute points to individual rules in each category. This way, you’ll end up with a balanced system that gives proper weight to different factors. This approach will prevent a lead scoring system that scores leads too high because they match your target market or display highly engaged behavior—it will take a bit of both to achieve a high score.
You may also want to give equal weight to “critical conversion behaviors” and “interest indicating” behaviors. This way, a lead can receive a high rating for interest, but they won’t rank as high as someone who has also engaged in critical behaviors. By divvying up points in logical ways before assigning those points to individual rules, you ensure that the distribution of points leads to meaningful, well-balanced scores.
Step 5: Review Scores
Your lead scoring system will improve over time as long as you keep making adjustments. Create a schedule for reviewing its performance. Every 30 days is a good early time frame. When there are mistakes, identify new lead scoring rules or adjustments in point distribution. Focus on the low scoring leads that ended up being converted anyway and figure out why.
A high number of low-scoring leads that end up converting indicate that your current scoring system doesn’t work. If you examine those leads closely, you may find additional rules that would have included them.
It’s unlikely that your lead scoring system will be perfect right off the bat, but as long as your average lead score for “prospects who end up converting” is higher than the average lead score of “those who didn’t convert,” you’re on the right track.