It’s no secret that marketing and sales teams can benefit from enhancing their lead-scoring models. And these benefits go far beyond RevOps, right into direct company revenue when done right.
Change the way you operate, get deeper insights and more qualified leads, and subsequently, stand to boost your ROI.
What is lead scoring and why does it matter?
How do you tap into the potential of business leads? Do you send them to sales and marketing teams and let them take it from there? How do they determine which leads are high priority?
This is especially true for businesses with significant digital marketing efforts that want to determine the value of these leads and how best to turn potential customers into long-term business.
The simple answer is lead scoring – attributing value (usually points between 1 and 100) and attributes to the leads you’ve generated so you know how to manage them and move forward.
In some cases, sales and marketing teams use manual lead scoring to essentially waste hundreds of hours assigning value and determining the next steps.
If this is you, we get it – many successful businesses have been doing it this way for a long time but there are more efficient answers.
Why does it matter? According to a study from Information Technology and Management, effective lead scoring models can lead to a 50% average increase in annual revenue.
Level up your lead scoring, level up your business performance
Beyond the ROI, you can use it to automate processes, save time and mitigate human error in your analysis.
The effort of instilling a new lead scoring model is typically well worth the investment. But if those aren’t enough to sell you, what about considering the following?
Don’t miss out on new business
With an influx of lead scores, it can be difficult for a sales team to determine which of them are most likely to convert.
Often, this can lead to focus on the wrong opportunities and putting resources into nurturing leads that die out.
With the right data points from a mature lead-scoring process, you can determine your scoring criteria and increase the likelihood of landing new business.
Get smarter about how you use team resources
It’s no secret that a sales team is usually working against the clock. Driving new business and generating revenue is hard work and it often involves various subsidiary teams and resources to get it done.
As businesses seek out more promising leads, these teams are required to do as much as possible with the time, budget, and connections they have.
So why squander it on manual tasks that can be handled by a lead-scoring tool?
Quick maths can show us that x(rate) times x hours spent adds up fast, especially when marketing teams and sales reps could be using that time and energy to inform potential customers and build relationships.
Enhance and optimize your ad spend
A lead score can help you track qualified leads which implies they meet the specific criteria you set as important to your business.
Attributes like job position, demographics, and number of interactions with your business are powerful indicators of where it’s best to invest your advertising budget.
Getting started with a lead scoring system
So with all this mind, how do you implement a lead scoring model that works for your business, enhancing the sales process and generating more ROI? Let’s take a look together.
Creating your first lead-scoring model and system
It all starts with the right framework. This means:
Assigning point values
If you’d like to start scoring leads, it’s important to understand valuable behavioural data points. How many touch-points has a user had with your brand?
Have they viewed one of your webinars or downloaded an asset from your site? Behavioural data like this is known as an “implicit attribute” and speaks to engagement. and it’s where your marketing team can lend a hand in reporting.
Predictive lead scoring by age, location, and other demographics
Demographics such as age, race, gender, job title, and location also form an important part of understanding lead quality.
For example, if you operate solely in 4 locations around the globe, it makes sense to prioritize leads in those locations. or to target them via specific geo-channels.
While you might not assign points to each of these attributes, it helps to know contextually where this prospect could be a match.
Demographics don’t just come down to these census-type values, it can also include information your user inserts into a newsletter sign-up or lead generation form.
This can help inform your upcoming marketing campaigns or multi-channel logistics.
(B2B) Company segmentation
Important lead-scoring data can also be found in segmentation, particularly when it comes to the B2B space. This is because it bases lead scoring criteria on company demographics over, or in combination with, individual ones.
When segmenting companies into low, high, or medium value, you can score leads based on the business potential, using the right marketing tools or lead-scoring software.
This can indicate buying power, long-term potential, and logistical preferences – giving your sales team the upper hand.
Negative scoring system
The lead scoring criteria above all add to positive lead scoring but on the other side of the coin, negative scores also play a role. Part of lead scoring maintenance and increasing efficiency means excluding stagnant leads too.
Negative point values can be assigned to leads that have low engagement or who fall off the radar. This doesn’t mean you can’t actively try to reengage these leads when you have the capacity but they are less likely to yield positive results.
You can also attribute negative scores to businesses that don’t meet demographic criteria and may not operate in the regions you do (if their location is a factor). There are plenty of examples, which you can determine with key strategists who deeply understand your audience profiles and the logistics associated with each segment.
Now you’re ready to build your lead-scoring model
Once you’re happy with the fundamentals of lead scoring, you can start to create your own model with the input of your sales and marketing teams.
There are 3 main ways to do this.
Manual lead scoring
Technological advancement means you already have good lead-scoring software at your fingertips but if you’re a smaller business or just starting out, you can also attempt this process manually.
You’ll need to look at your lead attributes, their demographics, and company profile and attribute both positive and negative point value to each lead.
Keep in mind, this process can take hours and while cost may be a factor, it’s also important to consider the cost of resources.
Probability-based lead scoring model
This is the second tier of your manual lead scoring system where you can use spreadsheets and formulas to streamline your lead scoring.
In this case, your sheets can run some of the calculations for you to help determine which prospects bring the most valuable leads. This creates sales and marketing alignment.
Predictive scoring model
Your third option, and likely your most efficient, is to harness the power of machine learning and AI to get the job done and done well.
Predictive scoring with lead scoring tools uses algorithms to identify the best leads and potential customers.
This AI effectively looks at various criteria and applies them automatically to assign point values based on existing and historical data. (Note: Past leads are still valuable if they keep coming back).
While marketing automation tools can seem intimidating at first, they really provide an effective way to analyze lead data and identify the most promising leads in seconds.
This takes the grunt work out of analyzing customer data and assigning points giving your marketing and sales team near-instant and useful data that can help them propel prospects down the sales funnel.
Lead scoring best practices
Lead scoring is a process that takes time to perfect, just like any strategic change. Keep refining your strategy to see what’s working and what isn’t.
Similarly, regular training and assessment with your marketing and sales teams can help yield even better results. If you’re interested in lead scoring best practices, take a look at our post on lead scoring in Search Engine Journal!
Revolutionize how your business generates revenue with lead scoring
All told, lead scoring is an important way to continue building on business success. It can help you support your sales teams in meeting ambitious targets and implement lead scoring in ways that make the most sense for your business.
Reach new business clients, tap into the power of machine learning – there are so many exciting opportunities to explore.
And with the right strategy, you could be saying “goodbye” to wasting valuable (wo)man hours and “hello” to more data-driven insights that drive revenue.
Need help establishing a lead scoring system in your business? Even with the best tools, it helps to have a partner on board to help get it set up and pave the way for your sales team or support them on their journey. At YDA, we understand the science behind qualifying leads and can help you transform the way you generate ROI. Contact us to discuss.