Lead Scoring: What It Is & How It’s Done

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Lead Scoring: What It Is & How It’s Done

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As a marketer who is supporting a sales network, the main focus is on one primary goal – and that’s to generate qualified leads and lots of them. A qualified (or sales-ready) lead refers to a potential customer or prospect in the consideration stage of making a purchase. While not every prospect is made equal, some prospects are more willing and able than others, the opportunity to nurture and develop the lead exists in any situation.

To assist, the concept of lead scoring, or determining the readiness of a lead to buy, helps sales teams prioritize their contact management tasks. At the same time, marketing campaigns can be optimized based on the lead scoring data that’s collected and analyzed.  Type of product or service sold segmented by lead source, industry, buyer persona can all be helpful indicators for expansion opportunities.

It is an advantageous strategy that’s essential to bringing effectiveness to top of funnel marketing. Also, bringing efficiency to the average sales cycle can result in increased conversion rates. Unfortunately, due in part to the abundance of organizations that do not use lead scoring79% of marketing leads never convert into sales.

What is Lead Scoring?

Lead scoring is the process of assigning a value (or score) to a lead (or sales opportunity) to determine the likelihood of a successful conversion and the estimated value associated with the expected transaction.  The concept incorporates behaviours of the lead prior to directly contacting the selling company, including brand engagement and website views.

Estimated transaction value and lead characteristics, such as geography, budget, timeline, and overall need are also considered. The higher the lead score, the higher chance the lead will make a significant purchase in the short term, the higher the priority of the contact management tasks associated with the lead. 

What Are the Benefits of Lead Scoring?

Lead scoring enhances an already-existing marketing automation strategy. Integrated appropriately, it can have positive impacts on your company.

Increased Sales Operations Efficiency

The main driver behind implementing a lead scoring strategy is to increase business operations efficiency. This is achieved by automating the process of prioritizing contact management tasks.

Lead scoring can help sales agents gain a better understanding of which leads should be followed up immediately, and which leads can be acted on at a slower pace. A lead response study of 2,241 US companies found that the average amount of time that it took B2B companies to reach out to their leads was 42 hours. Interestingly, the same study found that up to 50% of sales go to the vendor that replied first.

With insights such as these, your salesforce can spend less time deciding what to do next, and more time actually doing. For example, if an average sale cycle of four days cuts down by 25% to 3 days, a sales rep’ capabilities to complete sales increases by a third. That is where the money is left on the table.  

Increased Marketing Campaign ROI

Most companies are not using a lead scoring system effectively. In fact 61% of B2B marketers send all leads directly to sales, but only 27% are actually considered as qualified. This means that most sales teams are wasting their time on unqualified leads that are unlikely to make a sale, and not focusing enough efforts on the qualified leads that are ready. 

If marketing gains an understanding of the type of leads that salespeople want to speak to, then lead generation campaigns can be optimized to target those exact ideal customer profiles in very specific channels. This will result in more qualified leads and less wasted efforts on both sales and marketing fronts. 

Through analyzing lead scoring data, marketers can tailor current marketing strategies to generate more high-quality leads. Firstly, the type of digital channels and offerings that are most likely going to result in attracting the ideal customer profile can be identified and optimized. Some examples include type of social media platform, website structure, and webinars.

Secondly, the content provided for these means can be developed to communicate properly to the target market. Some examples include specific Google search trends and keywords, video and image media, and downloadable whitepapers. 

Increased Company Revenue

It is a factt hat your organization will not only become more productive and effective by implementing a lead scoring system, but they will also experience an increase in lead generation. Our case studies present how LeadAssign customers use effective marketing and sales strategies to achieve big results.

How to Create a Lead Scoring System

While only 44% of companies are using any kind of lead scoring system, deciding to implement a lead scoring system as part of your marketing and sales strategy can make your entire business more effective and overall more profitable. 

1. Create Ideal Buyer Personas

First step is to define your target market through the development of ideal buyer personas. A buyer persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer that is based on external industry research, internal sales observations, and existing customer data. 

There can be multiple variations of buyer personas, all of which bring different perspectives to consider when developing a lead scoring system. For example, if a manufacturing company is considering who they are selling to, they may focus more of their efforts on the target market that has more capability to make a purchase, even if there are other potential buyers that may not all fit into that defined persona. The likelihood of conversion outside of the ideal buyer persona is lower, so efforts should not be focused as much here.

2. Determine Significant Data Points 

Determining which attributes are vital enough to assign point values will eliminate the vagueness and will provide the foundation of the lead scoring system.

Lead scoring criteria will generally boil down to two main categories:

  1. Demographic information, which are the characteristics that a lead possesses.
  2. Behavioural information, which are the actions that a lead takes or how they interact with your company.

The following are some examples a company may deem significant enough to contribute to a lead score.

Demographic Information

  • Location
  • Job title
  • Seniority
  • Department
  • Industry
  • Company size and revenue
  • Salesforce network

Behavioral Information

  • Whether the customer has subscribed to a newsletter and/or viewed it
  • How many times they’ve visited your company’s website, specifically its pricing page
  • Whether they’ve requested free trials or attended webinars
  • How many times they’ve viewed a web page or filled in form submissions
  • Whether they’ve downloaded content, such as whitepapers
  • If they’ve engaged with your company’s social media and content marketing

3. Assign Appropriate Values

Not all lead scoring criteria are created equal. The criteria will be given a weight of a scale. For example, a customer who downloads a whitepaper may be considered a higher value lead than if they subscribe to receive a newsletter. Values will depend on the type of leads desired in the particular space a company operates in. 

Historical customer analysis will provide clear insights as to what actions and behaviours help to support (or not support) successful conversions. Receiving authentic feedback from the existing customer base and sales network will help here.

If customer data is unclear or unavailable, conducting industry research is strong exercise to ensure that you’re placing the correct weight on both demographic and behavioural information.

The assignment of values to lead attributes is an iterative process.  Given shifting industry trends and purchasing behaviours, these assumptions must continually be challenged to optimize the sales funnel.

4. Create Lead Management Infrastructure 

Spreadsheets and CRM software are two common tools to bring a lead funnel infrastructure to life. However, the act of reviewing each potential lead generated by a seemingly minor interaction with your offering seems overwhelming. Click here for more information on the Lead Management.

An Automated Lead Scoring System

Effective lead distribution and analytics tools like Lead Assign use an Artificial Intelligence (AI) engine to route leads based on existing business-specific rules. Managing marketers and sales team directors will also have access to view the detailed or high-level lead data overall. For example, lead source, lead details, lead pursuit and lead feedback are all KPIs that impact business strategy. 

Once the platform recognizes a qualified lead, it will route the lead information to a sales agent through text message or email. If the lead is not accepted by the first-offered sales agent within a pre-determined period of time, the next applicable sales agent will be offered the lead and so on. With Lead Assign, all of the hard work is taken out of assigning and initiating valuable lead pursuit.  To experience this firsthand, check out our Getting Started Page

Performance-based Lead Routing by LeadAssign

All sales team managers are aware of the differing capabilities and effectiveness of their agents. In response, LeadAssign takes lead routing a step further by taking into account the historical lead acceptance and lead pursuit performance of each sales agent.  

To get the most out of your lead scoring and routing system, taking your salespeople skillset and performance into consideration will have a significant impact on overall goals. You want the best working with the best, so that no good leads are lost. Not only considering the availability and geographical location of your sales agents, but also

This means that we follow your existing criteria, as well as take the skills and performance of your salespeople into account and then assign the most promising leads to those who are best suited to your business. The best part? This automatically springs into action as soon as a potential customer fills out a form, calls your business, or simply shows interest in your product. 

You no longer need to worry about who is the most qualified to take on which leads, spending valuable time and energy on doing so. By implementing an AI system such as LeadAssign, your business will never leave money on the table. 

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