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Most people are concerned about obtaining enough fresh leads into the funnel when they first start using inbound marketing.

However, after you have sufficient leads, you must determine who is truly interested in your product and who is simply starting to look.

This is where the concept of lead scoring comes into play.

Lead scoring is a method to determine how sales-ready leads are and to identify MQLs. It means that leads get points when they fulfill certain criteria that the sales team sets up, the so-called lead score rules. The higher points a lead has, the more sales-ready it is. 

Let’s dive deeper into what lead scoring is and why it matters.

What Is Lead Scoring?

Lead scoring is the act of assigning values to each lead you produce for your company, usually in the form of numerical “points.” You may rate your leads based on a variety of factors, such as the professional information they’ve provided and how they’ve interacted with your website and brand across the internet. This method aids sales and marketing teams in prioritizing leads, appropriately responding to them, and increasing the rate at which leads become customers.

Why is lead scoring important?

Lead scoring allows your sales staff to focus their efforts on the most important leads. Your business will suffer if sales time is wasted on unqualified leads. Pursuing quality leads can boost sales productivity and ensure a higher return on investment for your company. The next facet to explore is how leads are scored in CRM.

The anatomy of a good lead scoring model

Lead scoring models are complex and have many moving parts. Here is a breakdown of the most common types of lead scoring models based on customer data collected.

Implicit and Explicit

Lead scoring can be done in two ways: explicit and implicit. 

Explicit scoring is based on the prospect’s information, such as name, job title, and location. This data is acquired from event registration forms, newsletter sign-up forms, and e-book download forms submitted on landing pages.

Implicit scoring is based on data gathered in an indirect manner. Because it includes questions regarding prospect activity, it’s often referred to as behavioral scoring. How many times did a potential customer visit our website? Is it possible that the prospect clicked on a link? Is it true that they filled out a form?

It can be more difficult to score behavioral data than it is to score explicit data. In order to create a full prospect analysis, a good scoring model should include both types of criteria.

Tiered Behavioral Scoring

Behavioral scoring is usually approached in a 3-step process.

Step 1: Compile a list of relevant behaviors. 

The easiest approach to get started arranging these criteria is to make a comprehensive list of relevant lead behavior across several categories, such as information forms, visits to your website, email campaigns, webinars, in-person events, downloadable content, and direct contact with representatives of the company.

Step 2: Rank actions and assign point values

The next step is a little more difficult: you must rank the behaviors in each category in order of priority and apply appropriate point values to them. Is it as important to open an email as it is to click on a link in it? Is it as significant to visit your company’s home page as it is to approach your booth at a trade show? Take some time to consider your options in order to establish a more efficient and accurate grading system.

Different actions will score higher or lower depending on how likely they are to bring on lead conversions. The number of forms and pages, as well as the types of forms and pages, are critical. Leads who visited high-value pages (such as pricing pages) or filled out high-value forms (like a demo request) may receive more points. Similarly, you may give more points to leads who have visited your site 30 times rather than three times.

This brings us to leads who have exhibited a shift in their behavior over time. It’s possible that a lead has lost interest if they’ve stopped visiting your website or downloading your offerings. You might deduct points from leads who haven’t visited your website in a given amount of time. The length of time depends on your average sales cycle: 10 days, 30 days, or 90 days.

Step 3: Distinguish between global scoring and local scoring

On a global basis, lead scoring means that the same criteria are applied to every lead, every time. However, in circumstances when you want to dig further into a single lead or collect data on a more detailed level, such as with interactive content, it may be essential to define additional scoring rules at the local, or campaign, level.

The idea is to make the most of every piece of information available to you!

Demographic Scoring

While demographic lead scores are based on the lead’s identity rather than their conduct, it is still important and should not be neglected. Details like these are examples of relevant demographic criteria: industry, position, firm size and kind revenue, country of origin.

It can be helpful to check your buyer personas to understand the general profile of the person or business you would consider a good fit when considering what effect a particular demographic trait would have on the lead’s score.

Negative Scoring and Degradation

While it’s good to be optimistic and work on improving the quality of qualified leads, being overly discriminatory can result in a drop in the quality of leads delivered to sales labeled as “qualified.” As a result, negative lead scoring, which deducts points when leads satisfy certain disqualifying criteria, is critical.

From a demographic aspect, this could imply that the lead is working in an unsuitable industry or is in an unattractive position (perhaps an associate-level employee rather than a decision maker). Behavioral criteria are a different thing altogether; points can be deducted for everything from the lead’s decision to mark your company’s emails as junk to using a personal email address instead of a professional one in your landing page form.

Similarly, if a lead’s behaviour remains same over time, regulations should be implemented to degrade their score over time. This isn’t meant to be a punishment; understanding when to try to re-engage a prospect who hasn’t interacted with your firm is vital.

Cooperation between sales and marketing

Finally, as with many lead management procedures, aligning the goals of your sales and marketing teams is critical to developing a successful lead qualification strategy. Sales should be included in the process of developing scoring criteria, and their input can help you define what constitutes a “good” lead.

According to a 2015 study, 46% of B2B marketers have not set up a lead score threshold that can notify or route leads to sales automatically. This indicates that the handoff procedure is inefficient and wastes time and resources for everyone concerned. What is the solution? Establish a mutually agreed-upon qualification threshold to ensure that the proper leads are only assigned once they’ve met the agreed-upon qualification threshold.

Tiered scoring, numerous sorts of criteria, and a dash of common sense to round out what should mostly be an automated process are the major components of a well-designed lead scoring system. The process of implementation begins with the creation of buyer profiles, followed by research and repeated testing.

When it comes to following prospects and using prospecting tools for sales, lead scoring empowers sales professionals to work smarter, not harder. Concentrating entirely on qualified leads saves you time and frustration from attempting to contact and convert prospects who aren’t ready, and may never be. Effectively implementing a lead scoring system will save time, money, and resources during the sales process. But keep in mind that a lead scoring model necessitates some upkeep.

Don’t have time to build a manual lead scoring model? The use of lead scoring software can be valuable. Consider adopting a CRM that builds and updates lead score models automatically.

Wingmate is the #1 Software to connect sales and operations, optimize lead generation, and integrate effective lead scoring to save you time and money. We aim to help you sell better, faster. Contact us today for more information, and book your demo now!

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