How to Use Lead Scoring in HubSpot to Streamline Sales

Elizabeth | May 09, 2023 | Digital Marketing

If you're doing it right, you should see leads start to flood in after you invest in inbound marketing. And while your sales team is grateful for all of the leads coming directly to them, it can be pretty overwhelming to look at a huge list of contacts and decide where to start. 


That's where lead scoring comes in. Lead scoring, as we've talked about before, is the process of assigning value to each lead you generate. It's a tool and tactic that sales teams use to separate warm leads from those that aren't quite ready to make a purchasing decision yet. 


If you're new to lead scoring, I'd suggest you check out our intro to lead scoring blog. There, you'll find plenty of info about what lead scoring is, and how you can implement it effectively.

Then, come back to this blog, where I'm going to show you exactly how to use HubSpot's lead scoring tool to segment your list of contacts so it's easy for sales to focus on those high-priority leads who are ready to make a purchasing decision.

Or, if you learn better from listening rather than reading, we've got the perfect podcast episode for you! On this episode of Evenbound's podcast, we sat down with our HubSpot Account Manager, Zach Bischmann, to tell you everything you need to know about lead scoring in HubSpot. Check it out below!

Here's a look at our agenda for this blog. Feel free to jump right to the How-To sections if you're already familiar with HubSpot's lead scoring tools. 

What is a HubSpot Lead Score?


HubSpot lead scores make lead scoring simple through your HubSpot CRM. HubSpot lead scoring is included starting at the Professional tier, and is available in two distinct versions: 


HubSpot Lead Scoring


Available to most HubSpot subscriptions, standard HubSpot Lead Scoring allows you to automatically assign values to a contact based on both negative and positive attributes. I'll get into the "How To" in the next section on Implementing HubSpot Lead scoring, but this tool allows you to take control of your contact list by selecting what attributes are most important to your sales team when it comes to indicating a qualified, motivated prospect. 


HubSpot Predictive Lead Scoring


HubSpot Predictive Lead Scoring is available to those on the Enterprise Tier. It's an automated feature that analyzes all of the data on the contacts in your CRM, and uses that information to automatically score leads. 


The best part of HubSpot Predictive Lead Scoring is that it's constantly learning. 

As you get new contacts and as contacts close in your CRM, HubSpot continues to compile that data and improve its lead scoring capabilities. If you want to learn more about how HubSpot Predictive Lead Scoring works, and how to use it to streamline sales, jump down to this section.

Now that you have a general sense of the lead scoring tools that HubSpot offers, let's take a closer look at how to use both HubSpot's manual lead scoring and predictive lead scoring tools. We'll start with manual lead scoring, offered to all Professional and Enterprise subscriptions.


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How to Set Up Lead Scoring in HubSpot


To implement HubSpot lead scoring, you first have to know what makes a good lead. 


Talk to your sales team, look at the data you've got in your CRM, and consider interviewing a few customers to see what attributes make for a great, motivated lead. I'll give you a few examples as we work through this step by step. 


Once you have an idea of what a good lead looks like, it's time to set up HubSpot lead scoring in your HubSpot portal. 


1. Click the Settings gear in the top-right menu bar of your HubSpot portal.

2. Navigate to the Properties tab on the left side of your screen.


3. Browse or search for the "HubSpot Score" property.


4. Click Edit

At this point, HubSpot will pull up a form that looks like this. 


Now is when we really get down to the lead scoring. 


You'll see you have the option to add either positive or negative attribute sets. Let's look at a couple of examples here: 


Setting Positive Attributes


Let's say your sales team really wants leads from companies who make over a certain annual revenue. Here's how we would set that up: 


  1. Click Add New Set
  2. Click Company Properties


3. Click Annual Revenue

Choose the revenue number that best suits your ideal lead. HubSpot offers a range of options, like "is greater than", "is equal to", or "is less than". 


Once you've chosen your ideal Annual Revenue, assign that attribute value by clicking on the little pencil next to "Score".


The value should make sense for the attribute. For example, if this contact fits your ideal revenue range AND fits your buyer personas, you might give that ad set a higher score, like a 2 or 3 to indicate to your sales team that this lead is a great fit. 


Once you've assigned a score to the attribute, click Apply Filter, and your HubSpot Score will go live. 


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Setting Negative Attributes


The steps to add negative attribute sets are exactly the same as positive attributes. Negative attributes are assigned negative scores, rather than positive scores. 


For example, let's say you don't work in a certain region. You can assign a negative score to any contact that comes in from a region you don't serve. This will bring their score down, so they're not a top lead in your sales contact lists. 


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Understanding HubSpot Lead Scoring "and" & "or" Sets


The last thing I want to touch on in this section is building stacking attribute sets. 


HubSpot offers both "And" and "Or" options that you can apply to your positive and negative lead scoring attributes. 


When you use "And" between two attributes, that means a lead must have both of those attributes to receive the score. 


For example, let's say you have two positive attributes — one on annual revenue, and one on personas. 


If a lead fits into one of your personas and fits into your annual revenue, then they will receive the positive score. But, a lead who only has one of those attributes won't get the additional lead score points. 


If you'd like that lead to get credit for just fitting into your buyer persona, you'd want to use HubSpot's "Or" option instead. 


Your new positive attribute set would read, "Lead has annual revenue greater than $X, Or Persona is persona x". 


By using this feature, your leads only need to fit one of these attributes to get the score. 


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HubSpot lead scoring can sound a little scary, especially if you're new to the platform. I'd encourage you to check out this handy, quick video HubSpot put together on lead scoring. It walks you through exactly how to set up positive and negative attributes. 



Watch through this video a couple of times, and then pull up this guide in a side-by-side window when you go to set up your HubSpot lead scoring. You'll have a better idea of what to look for, and a step-by-step guide walking you through the whole process!


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How to View Contacts With a HubSpot Lead Score


Now that you've set up your HubSpot lead scoring, HubSpot will automatically apply the scores you've set up to any new lead that fits the attributes you've created. You can see each of your contact's scores by following these steps:

1. Navigate to Contacts

2. Click More Filters at the top of the contact list. 

3. HubSpot will populate all of the available filters. 


4. Type into the search bar "HubSpot Score", and click HubSpot Score when it pops up. 

5. Choose your score from the available list. If you're just starting, I recommend choosing "is known".

This will populate all of the contacts that have been assigned a value according to your new lead scoring attributes, which you can then sort by highest to lowest.

6. Click Apply Filter


Now, all of the contacts with a HubSpot score will populate in your contact list. You can organize the list in descending order to see leads with the highest score first. 


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What is HubSpot Predictive Lead Scoring?


Congratulations! You made it through the hard part!


HubSpot's manual lead scoring, which we just walked through, is the hardest part of HubSpot lead scoring. I'm confident that once you use it a few times, you'll feel comfortable adding in positive and negative attributes, but it definitely takes a bit of getting used to. 


Luckily, HubSpot's Predictive Lead Scoring is a tool that is automatically applied, which means there's no step-by-step here at all. I'm just going to walk you through what HubSpot's predictive lead scoring is, and how to access that data in your portal — you don't have to set up a thing. 


The first thing to know about HubSpot Predictive Lead Scoring is that it is available in two properties, "Likelihood to Close" and "Contact Priority". Let's take a quick look at both: 


Likelihood to Close


This is a contact property that HubSpot automatically assigns to your leads based on a number of data points the CRM collects. This property is represented by a percentage. 


So, if your contact has a 20% likelihood to close, that means that based on the data HubSpot has on the contact, their behavior, and compared to similar contacts your sales team has worked with in the past, this contact is only 20% likely to close in the next 90 days. 


A higher percentage is always better for this contact property. 


Contact Priority


This is another predictive contact property from HubSpot. For this property, HubSpot takes all of the contacts in your CRM, and splits them into four tiers: 


  • Very High
  • High
  • Medium
  • Low


Again, HubSpot is pulling from both behavior and data in your CRM to predict which of your leads are the highest priority, and which might not be ready to make a sale yet. This is remarkably useful for your sales team, as they can use it to see exactly which leads they should be prioritizing at a glance. 


For both of these predictive contact properties, it's good to know that HubSpot works to learn common patterns and behaviors and improve how it assigns leads over time. So, the more diligent your sales team is at logging contacts and activity in HubSpot, the more accurate these properties will become. 


If this is the first time you're hearing about predictive lead scoring, check out HubSpot's Predictive Lead Scoring Video from the HubSpot Academy. It's a quick walkthrough of how predictive scoring works, and why it's useful.


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How to See Your HubSpot Predictive Lead Scores


Now that you know what these predictive lead scores are, let's quickly go over how you find them and how you use them. 

1. Navigate to Contacts

2. Click More Filters at the top of the contact list. 

3. HubSpot will populate all of the available filters. 


4. Type into the search bar either contact priority or likelihood to close. 

5. Choose Is Known

6. Click Apply Filter

Now, your contact list will show each contact's predictive lead score. You can add another filter to show both Likelihood to Close and Contact Priority. With your list filtered this way, your sales team can see at a glance which leads are high priority and which are likely to close in 90 days. 


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What's the Point of HubSpot Lead Scoring?


So we went through all the steps. Now you can see each of your contact's lead scores according to your assigned attributes, and according to HubSpot's predictive property. 


So what? Now what do you do with it?


The options are endless, but the answer is simple.


Your sales team has the information they need to go after the highest priority leads at a glance. 


With lead scoring features like these, a sales rep can open up your contact list and see instantly who is a high priority based on your specific lead scoring settings. 


This shaves serious time off your sales rep's process and eliminates a lot of the clutter from their day. Now, instead of wading through a massive list of contacts, they can pull up High Priority contacts only, and organize their day based on the contacts who are most likely to convert. 


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Lead scoring, especially in a system like HubSpot, is an exceptionally useful tool that can contribute to better, faster, and more streamlined sales. Lead scoring eliminates a lot of the busywork of sales, helping your team focus on delivering the right message, to the right, qualified leads, at exactly the right time. And when you're doing that, you're going to see serious growth. 


New to the HubSpot Sales Hub? As a HubSpot Solutions Partner, we've got the team and the training to help you get comfortable using all of those new tools to streamline sales and close more deals. Get in touch with us to learn more about tools like lead scoring, sales sequences, and more. 

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