Mackenzie | July 14, 2020 | Digital Marketing
Lead scoring is the process of assigning value to each lead you generate. Most companies function on a point system — the better the fit and interest of the lead, the greater the score of that lead. Lead scoring helps marketing and sales align their efforts so that everyone is always putting the most effort towards the leads most likely to close.
The thing about inbound marketing is that it brings leads in. When your inbound marketing strategy starts to hit its stride, you'll have leads, most of which are qualified, flowing into your website and inbox.
What's your sales team to do with all of those leads?
Not all leads are the same, and your sales team only has so much time in a day to work to close them. Lead scoring helps give your marketing and sales team a common valuation system they can use to determine which of those leads to spend their time on.
If you want to avoid sales team burnout, and help them close the most deals for their time, lead scoring is the way to go.
Most lead scoring models work on a point system. Essentially, you assign a point value to each attribute or quality a lead has.
Points can be both positive and negative. (My Harry Potter fans get it, right?)
Let's take a look at an example.
Say you're a home builder that builds custom homes for families in the Grand Rapids area.
For the sake of this example, you'd likely assign positive points to lead with qualities or attributes like:
You might assign negative points if:
As points come together for each lead, those with a higher score are going to be the most qualified leads.
Lead scoring will differ from company to company, depending on your product, the industries you work in, and more. There's a lot that goes into developing a solid lead scoring model, so we'll put together another blog that goes into detail on lead scoring models.
For now, there are two major categories that help you define the quality of any lead: fit and interest.
A lead's fit means how well they fit your product or service. If they're in your service area, they work in the right industry, and they have the right job title or role at their company, then they probably fit your buyer persona. It's likely that they're a good fit for your product or service.
You'd think that'd make them an excellent lead, and that they should have a high lead score, right?
This is where interest comes in.
[bctt tweet = "Even if a lead is a perfect fit, they're not a great lead unless they have some interest in your company, your product, or your services." username "evenbound"]
It's important to account for a lead's fit and interest when you're scoring leads.
Has that lead engaged with your website? How often? Are they interacting with key content offers, and have they looked at your pricing page a few times?
These are signs that lead has an interest in your product or service.
Okay, so every lead is going to have different levels of fit and interest.
What do you do if one has more interest, but isn't a great fit? Or if a lead is a great fit, but doesn't seem engaged with your brand?
Here's a quick look:
So you've figured out what lead attributes are valuable, which aren't, and have a basic idea of how you plan to start your lead scoring model.
How will you keep track of your lead scoring model and the scores of each of your leads?
This is a ton of information, both to figure out and to keep track of.
Your two greatest options are to 1) invest in a CRM that can keep track of all that information for you or 2) start manual lead scoring.
The easiest way to keep track of your lead scoring model is to use a CRM that helps you manage and organize each of those leads based on their score. HubSpot offers manual lead scoring for Marketing and Sales Professional, and predictive lead scoring for Marketing and Sales Enterprise.
Both options are great. When you have manual lead scoring all set up, it's easy for sales and marketing to see which leads are the highest priority.
You can check out how that works in this handy video from HubSpot:
With predictive lead scoring, HubSpot takes all that data you've been collecting and helps rank leads for you according to who has the best fit, the most interest, and a historical likelihood to close.
If your company isn't in a place to invest in software tools like HubSpot, manual lead scoring is your best bet. I'd recommend creating a shared document that everyone on the marketing and sales team has contributed to and approved. Then, you'll need to set up a process for scoring each lead.
No matter how you do it, it's important to have a set, repeatable process that everyone understands.
It might seem like a lot of work, and a lot to keep track of at first, but once you have a lead scoring model in place, it will eventually become second nature to marketing and sales to score those leads.
If you're relying primarily on manual lead scoring, it's most important to ensure you're keeping sales and marketing teams aligned. Great lead scoring is only effective if both marketing and sales have the same shared understanding of what makes a good lead.
Remember that as your business grows and changes, you'll start to pull in new leads for different products and services.
Your lead scoring model will need to adapt to that.
Make sure marketing and sales have the time set aside to work together and make sure your lead scoring model is always working to clearly define the most qualified leads.
So there you have it — what lead scoring is, and a general idea of how to start developing and implementing your own lead scoring model. But why is it important to sales?
Lead scoring makes it easy to see which incoming leads are most likely to close. That means your sales team spends less time nurturing leads, and more time closing.
When they're able to see at a glance the top qualified leads, and reach out and interact with those leads first, they're spending their time in the way that will deliver the greatest impact to your bottom line.
Lead scoring is a helpful tool for any company looking to allocate their team's time to the activities that will deliver the greatest ROI.
While there's a lot of upfront effort that goes into developing a lead scoring model that works for your company, the payoff is that your marketing and sales teams are:
Have more questions about lead scoring, or about setting up lead scoring in your HubSpot portal? We're here to help.
At Evenbound, we're all about helping our clients grow. We use inbound and outbound marketing strategies to deliver you the qualified traffic and leads you need for serious growth. And we have a lot of fun doing it.
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