Score More Leads with Lead Scoring

August 25, 2016   /   by  Diane Callihan

How to Create an Effective Lead Scoring Strategy

If your sales team is struggling to convert leads, you are not alone. Sixty-one percent of B2B marketers send leads directly to sales. However, out of those leads, only 27% end up being qualified. To bridge the gap between the leads that are sales-ready and those that aren’t, you need an effective lead scoring strategy.

Proper lead scoring helps you prioritize and qualify the best leads for sales. The strategy also increases the effectiveness of marketing and sales efforts by ensuring the two departments are in sync.

One of the key benefits to using a marketing automation system is that you can enter your scoring criteria into the system, and it will automatically score your leads for you based on their behavior.

However you choose to implement lead scoring, you can develop an effective model by following the five tips below.

1. Distinguish Between Explicit and Implicit Leads

First, you need to be familiar with the two elements that comprise of a lead scoring program. These are explicit and implicit scoring.

Explicit Scoring. This refers to creating values based on the data you gather from the leads. This data is usually given voluntarily, such as through a form. Obviously, if someone voluntarily gives your company their information, then that shows a higher level of interest in your products or services than someone who just visits your homepage.

Implicit Scoring. These are values you gather based on tracking the digital behavior of your audience that leads to a sale. Examples of behaviors you can track include content downloads, email opens, web page visits, etc. Note when doing implicit scoring that not all similar behaviors are equal. For example, people visiting your careers web page are less likely to be potential leads than people visiting a specific product page.

2. Determine Your Criteria

Next, determine how you will gather the information you want to score. Explicit lead scoring is easier since prospects provide their own information. However, for implicit scoring, you need to do some digging. You will have to check data gathered through various ways such as:

  • Webinars watched
  • Product demos viewed
  • Event attendance
  • Email engagement, etc.

Make a list of the marketing activities that leads tend to perform prior to becoming customers.

3. Rank the Criteria Accordingly

When you have all the information you need, define and rank points according to how important they are. For instance, if you find out that qualified leads often download a white paper before they become a customer, white papers should be ranked higher on the point scale than other content.

Again if you have a marketing automation system, you can easily set a point value to each web page or piece of content.

4. Select Simple Scoring Levels

After identifying and ranking the most valuable content, conversion points and behaviors, tailor your point system to mirror the rankings. To make things easier, use a point system that goes from 0 to 100. Avoid having thousands of point values in you system; it can be too cumbersome to score the leads.

Tip: Just because you can score nearly everything does not mean you should. Look for metrics that are helpful in lead qualification. Start small and work your way up.

5. Score Based on Facts and Data

Finally, score the leads according to your findings, or let your marketing automation system do the work. Once you’ve done this, if your high-scoring leads don’t convert into sales, your lead scoring model may need to be adjusted. Review your reports regularly and analyze them to make sure the lead scoring process is actually improving your rate of qualified leads and conversions.

Lead scoring is a great way to gain insights about your site visitors and to help you predict who is most likely to become a customer. These insights can help the marketing team determine the types of content or topics that work best, and can save the sales team time and effort by letting them connect with leads who are more likely to buy.

If you need help setting up your lead scoring model, or would like to see how marketing automation can help you better generate and nurture leads, we’d be happy to help. Let’s talk.

Diane Callihan

Diane Callihan

With more than 20 years of experience writing for some of the country’s top brands, Diane helped to shape Roger West’s content strategy, lead generation, and PR efforts as Director of Marketing. She currently serves as President of Callihan Content Creation.