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Smriti Easwaran Author's Perspective
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10 Minutes read

Lead Scoring Best Practices that can Significantly Impact Lead Quality for Your Business

Your Salespersons might not be bringing it up now, but it is gets overwhelming for them to have to deal with a new list of leads at various stages of lifecycle and chase them, only to find that it was not worth all the time invested. While establishing a great Sales team and empowering marketing team to run multichannel campaigns is all good, yet they don’t promise the quality of leads that your business needs. A businesses needs qualified leads from a market full of opportunities that actually convert.

To better align the Sales team and Marketing team for the purpose of lead generation, it is vital to follow lead scoring best practices, so that they work cohesively.

How Can Lead Scoring Impact Your Business Performance?

A Lead Scoring ensures that a business makes the best use of each lead in the pipeline. It uses the information shared by prospect, related to their demographic background, industry, business size, profile title, -- to determine its potential for your business. It quickly establishes the level of interest a prospect will have in your business, based on these specifics, which helps you with your next steps of its engagement with your business. End result-- the sales team is able to prioritize their outreach to the most sales-ready leads, streamline the lead flow, and perform effectively with the Marketing team.

According to a lead scoring survey conducted by DemandGen Report, 41% of respondents saw improved conversion rates among leads using lead scoring. Here are some more statistics from the same report:

  • 53% of respondents experienced improved marketing and sales alignment
  • 43% discovered qualified leads that were otherwise overlooked
  • 43% witnessed a rise in marketing qualified leads
  • 32% witnessed a rise in sales-ready leads

Here are some best practices of lead scoring that can help a business master the maneuver:

  1. Integration of Marketing Automation and CRM Systems:
  2. The complete tracking and scoring of lead behaviors is done by Marketing Automation (MA) System. However, lead scoring is also required to be done based on demographic data. Most of this information is stored in the company’s Customer Relationship Management Solution (CRM). In order to create an efficacious lead scoring mechanism, tight integration of these two systems is very important so that they can share data in real-time. To use two different systems, seamless back and forth flow of data and integration of both the systems is a must. While using an all-in-one solution that provides CRM and MA capabilities on the same platform, you get built-in integration.

  3. Demographic Data for Score Leads:
  4. Scoring based on demographic data helps in concentrating on the leads that are a good fit for the product or service. Some common demographic attributes that marketers provide scores for include:

    • Seniority Level
    • Department
    • Number of employees per company
    • Annual revenue
    • Industry segments
    • Geographical location

    To automatically award points to leads, when fields are populated in the CRM, you can set up the Scoring Model. This information automatically gets synced over with MA Solution to lead the score accordingly.

  5. Define Your lead scoring model by Working with Sales Team on it
  6. While it is the marketing team that is getting these leads, it is the Sales team who holds a stronger kinship with these leads. They understand the pulse of these leads better, since they are the ones who are trying really hard to convert them. This makes it important that you define the lead scoring model with them, by taking their inputs on what demography works what does not, which industry can have bigger potential for the business, and so on. This needs to be worked upon collectively.

  7. Behavioral Scoring:
  8. This involves awarding scores to leads to taking actions that indicate their interest in the products or services. Like, a score should be awarded if someone visits a product page because that indicates that in some way or the other the person is interested in your product. The score awarded for this particular action depends on the scoring model of the company.

    Some Common behavioral actions for which scores are awarded include:

    • Opening Emails, forwards and clicks
    • Visits on Website
    • Social media behavior
    • Contact requests
    • Content downloads
    • Contact form submissions
    • Free trials

    This makes up the maximum of a lead’s score because a lead is scored each time they download content. This means more points are awarded for behavior than for demographics.

  9. Using Negative Scoring:
  10. One of the drawbacks to a model relying solely on scoring is that scores tend to inflate over time. In order to offset score inflation, apply the necessary negative attributes to any given lead to help decrease scores based on inactivity. Actions that may receive negative scoring can be as follows:

    • Unsubscribing from the email list
    • Criticizing the brand on social media
    • Visiting your vacancy page
  11. Integration of Automatic Qualification:
  12. Sometimes it so happens that leads take certain actions that strongly indicate their propensity to buy. In such cases, they are awarded the number of points it takes to reach the MQL Threshold. Some examples of actions that come under this category are requesting a demo, a free trial or a request for a price quote.

  13. Automated New- MQL Alerts to Sales
  14. This step in the process needs to be completely immediately and works best when automated. More time it takes to communicate about an MQL to a salesperson, lesser chance it has of converting. It is easy to apply a alert in your CRM that send out notification immediately, enabling them to get into action.

  15. Clean Up The Dead-End Leads
  16. A lot of data getting collected into your database will be of leads that are never going to convert. These are just knowledge hungry people, gathering information to stay updated. It is important to clean up your database of such data. You can automate it through marketing automation, which will help you get rid of it consistently. This will keep you database clean, strong, and promising.

  17. Keep Revisiting the Process to Ascertain Scope for Improvement
  18. This will help you do an intensive gap analysis at the end of every quarter, as you can bring the Sales and marketing teams together, ask them for their feedback, and together put a finger on the pain point. This will lead to consistent improvement of the process and performance.

  19. DON’T ASSIGN POINTS FOR EVERY EMAIL OPEN
  20. While an email open does indicate some measure of engagement with your brand, it’s not the most reliable measure, and can often cause inflated lead scores. A more telling metric would be submissions or pageviews generated from the email. With a marketing automation tool like Pardot, you can choose to only assign points for the first instance of an email open. Cumulative scoring on email opens is automatically disabled to prevent inflated lead scores. Currently, only 11.5% of marketers are only scoring based on conversions from emails — the rest are scoring based on a combination of opens, clicks, and conversions.

While these stats and best practices look encouraging, there are challenges attached to the whole idea of lead scoring, as you might encounter some scoring and grading scenarios which might be difficult to handle. Setting up a model for lead qualification and handling of the different combinations of lead scores and grades vary for different businesses.

A study conducted by Spear Marketing reports that both behavioral and demographic scoring was employed by 68% of B2B marketers, but not all the marketers were getting the most out of their present lead scoring systems.

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Customer Journey Mapping - Blueprint for Modern Marketers

Conclusion:

I hope the above article helps you in getting an insight into lead scoring and the best practices in setting up a successful Lead Score Model. By undertaking proper steps, following the best practices, you can empower the scoring machine and achieve: faster conversion time, better conversion rate, higher revenue generation and better growth of the business.

Reach us out if you would like to speak to our experts and know about marketing automation or how to implement the lead scoring program successfully in your business.

Smriti Easwaran Marketing Automation Specialist


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