Lead Scoring is Sales and Marketing's New BFF

It's safe to say that at least 75% of marketers have not established an effective lead scoring system. That said, it's a trend that, more often that not, is proven to be a marketer's best pal.

What Exactly is Lead Scoring?

In simple terms, it means to assign a ranking to each sales prospect based on your understanding of their interests and buying intentions.

Getting Started with Lead Scoring

Lead scoring can’t begin until Marketing and Sales agree on the definition of a qualified lead. Once they’ve reached this point, Marketing can work to generate qualified leads and Sales can work to close them.

The definition of a qualified lead must include two dimensions:

  1. Fit – the explicit information we know about a prospect’s role, company, industry, and revenues – helps us determine whether they’re the ideal person to sell to.
  2. Engagement – the implicit information we know about a prospect’s activities, favorite topics, and level of interest – helps us determine whether they’re ready to begin a conversation with Sales. These two dimensions of lead scoring will help Marketing and Sales to create a graph for scoring leads. You might use A, B, C, and D to rate a prospect’s fit along the X axis of your graph, and 1, 2, 3, and 4 to rate their engagement along the Y axis of your graph. You can then define a next action for each square on the graph. A1 leads – those with ideal fit and maximum engagement – can go directly to Sales. A3 and A4 leads, which have the right fit but minimal engagement, should be nurtured over time until you detect signs of engagement. C1 or D1 leads, which have high engagement but low fit, might be worth talking with to see if they’re doing research on behalf of a more senior decision-maker.

Refining Lead Scoring Over Time

With each action a qualified prospect takes, his or her lead score will change. That’s why it’s crucial to ensure that a re-scoring process will be triggered automatically by each action, and with each day that passes. Keep this requirement in mind as you look for marketing automation software. Lead scoring allows Marketing and Sales to agree on not just the definition of a qualified lead, but the appropriate next steps for any qualified lead in the pipeline. It’s fair to say that good lead scoring forms the foundation of any successful B2B lead generation operation.

Why is Lead Scoring Important? Who's Doing It?

It's not just for the "big" players. Small business marketers are now starting to rely on lead scoring to help them qualify and prioritize leads that they ultimately pass on to their sales teams. And--it's the small companies that leverage technology that are embracing lead scoring at a faster pace.Organizations that use lead scoring increase their close rates by 30%, increase their revenues by 18%, and revenue per deal increases by 17%. These marketers are using buyers’ online behavior coupled with demographic data to determine if a lead is a good fit before they pass it to sales. Because sales only receive leads that are most likely to close, marketers are able to not only improve lead quality but also reduce some of the stress and tension between sales and marketing (If you're in marketing, this probably speaks to you loudly).