What is HubSpot Lead Scoring And Should You Use It For Your Business?

If you are using HubSpot’s CRM software, you may have come across HubSpot lead scoring functionality and asked yourself: am I missing out if I don’t use it?

In this article, we’ll discuss what exactly is HubSpot lead scoring – and more importantly – if you should use it for your business.

Since your HubSpot account is already set up, you may be tempted to use it even though you do not have a lead scoring strategy in place. (Spoiler: you should use it, and we’ll get there in a minute.)

As with pretty much anything in lead scoring (and life!) there are pros and cons to consider, including how easy it is to set up, how expensive it gets, and what results it can bring.

By the end of this article, you’ll be equipped with the ability to

  1. Define lead scoring
  2. Know how to create a lead scoring strategy for your own business
  3. How to set up HubSpot lead scoring in just 3 steps

But how do you make a winning lead scoring strategy? In the last section, I’ll introduce you to the 5 key ingredients we use at Breadcrumbs to create the perfect lead scoring model for you and your business.

Let’s dive in!

What is Lead Scoring?

Lead Scoring Signals

At its core, lead scoring is a prioritization engine: you use a number of criteria to rank your leads based on how likely they are (or aren’t) to purchase your product or service.

Usually, it’s a numerical score, made of “points” that are added to (or detracted from) your leads based on some attributes or actions your leads take over a determined period of time.

The criteria you choose are important as they can make the difference between a poor lead scoring system and a good one.

In a good lead scoring system, you’ll immediately know which are the leads that would need another push to buy vs. the ones that are ready to close right now. Knowing this information will help you have smoother processes, spark collaboration between your marketing and sales teams, and unlock revenue acceleration.

A poor lead scoring system, on the other hand, will give you unclear results or will favor one criterion over the other, missing out on how the different criteria can play together to form the perfect lead scoring model.

Lead Scoring Benefits

All good, but how do you know lead scoring is for you? Key benefits of implementing a lead scoring model in your company include:

  1. Increase conversions: by identifying your right market fit, you’ll be able to reach out to prospects at the right time, when they are ready to buy.
  2. Shorten sales cycle: by knowing when a lead is ready to close, it will take you less effort and time to do it.
  3. Hand off leads at the right time: by having a clear lead handoff, your marketing and sales teams will collaborate (and increase success rate) like never before.
  4. Know what lead gen activities are working: by learning what enticed your high-converting prospects to close, you’ll learn what kind of content you’ll need to create to do it again.

Protip: When deciding to implement lead scoring in your company, you should also evaluate whether it would be better to build or buy your lead scoring system.

How to Set Up HubSpot Lead Scoring in Just 3 Steps

Now to the HubSpot lead scoring set up cave!

On a technical level, HubSpot lead scoring is built around a numerical score, in which points are added to (Positive Attributes) or detracted from (Negative Attributes) your records based on a number of criteria you can set up in your account.

Ready to build your HubSpot lead scoring system with your browser tab open? Not so fast.

Before filling in all the HubSpot score properties, you’d need to

  • understand how the system works,
  • set up your lead scoring criteria, and, perhaps more importantly,
  • attribute the right value to each of the criteria.

HubSpot Lead Scoring Step 1: Familiarize With the System

First, let’s see how the system works.

HubSpot lead scoring has two main attribute sets, they can be:

  • Positive Attributes: points are added to the score if the record meets the criteria in this set. Conversely, points are removed from the score if the record doesn’t meet the criteria.
  • Negative Attributes: points are removed from the score if the record meets the criteria in this set. Conversely, points are added to the score if the record doesn’t meet the criteria.

You can add a number of criteria to either of these sets and the points will be added or removed one time depending on where the criteria have been added to. In the HubSpot lead scoring system, there are two different types of criteria:

  • HubSpot default score properties: these are the default contact properties that Hubspot has in its system and they are available for all free and subscription plans.
  • HubSpot custom score properties: for top-tier plans (Professional & Enterprise) HubSpot offers the ability to customize the default contact properties with custom criteria.

Note: there’s no way to add points incrementally for some criteria (i.e. add one point each time a user opens one of your emails), but you’ll be able to create a set of rules to do that.

HubSpot Lead Scoring Step 2: Planning

Now that you know how the system works, you just have to decide which criteria are important for your business and how much they should weigh in the overall analysis of your leads.

But where to start?

  • Define buyer personas to better understand your niche and your prospective customers. The more accurate the buyer personas, the better for your lead scoring.
  • Ask your existing clients or look into the data you already have on them and look for the recurring criteria in successful clients, you’ll find some hidden gems.
  • Speak with your sales team: ensure that you have your sales team’s input, they speak with clients every day and will help you validate your lead scoring matrix.

Now that you know more about your potential clients, you just need to do some math. Hubspot lead scoring system outputs your lead score as a number. That number is usually a mix of two components:

  • Fit: when using these criteria, you’ll be ranking your lead based on their fit into your preferred demographic categories, such as job title, industry, or company size.
  • Behavior: when using these criteria, you’ll be ranking your lead based on engagement with you and your business, such as how many times they have visited your website or opened one of your emails.

The higher the number, the hotter the score, but remember: your sum must add up to 100.

HubSpot Lead Scoring Step 3: Setup

Now that you have designed your matrix, it’s time to set it up in HubSpot lead scoring system.

1. Once in your HubSpot account, click the settings icon located on the right-hand side of your navigation bar and navigate to Properties. Type in “HubSpot score” or search for a custom score property and click the property name.

Hubspot Lead Scoring - How To Find A Hubspot Score

2. In order to set your criteria, click “Add new set” next to Positive Attributes (to add points) or Negative Attributes (to remove points.) Click “AND” to add additional criteria in an existing set of attributes. Leads need to meet all criteria for the attribute to apply. In order to create an additional set of attributes, click again on “Add new set.”

Hubspot Lead Scoring: Positive And Negative Attributes Setup

3. You can change the number of points added or removed to your lead scoring matrix when a lead meets the criteria of the attribute. Click “edit icon” and digit your new score.

4. Click “Test contact” if you need to test your score property (recommended.) In order to view the score of a specific record, search and select their contact name.

Note: In HubSpot lead scoring, the number of criteria you set for your score property has to add up to 100 (that is: you can add as many criteria as you want but the final number considering the positive and negative attributes must make 100.)

5 Key Ingredients of a Winning Lead Scoring Software

In the previous paragraph, we saw how to setup HubSpot lead scoring but the question remains: should you use it for your business?

While we can’t answer this question for you – here’s some food for thought on what features we think a great lead scoring system should have (and yes, we have built Breadcrumbs upon it.)

1. Combine Recency and Frequency

We believe that Recency and Frequency are two of the most important criteria for lead scoring.

On the one hand, Recency allows you to evaluate and prioritize activities that are currently happening. On the other hand, Frequency will allow you to infer a stronger interest in a prospect that repeats an action in a short period of time.

Combining these two criteria can be powerful because it will allow you to evaluate which are actions are repeated at a recent moment.

In HubSpot lead scoring, there is no combined recency and frequency evaluation – you have to choose one over the other when it comes to evaluating your engagement and this may mean missing out on prospects that are ready to close a deal.

2. Define Clear Levels of Differentiation

At Breadcrumbs, we’re all in for clear actionable data. All fine, but what does it mean?

To us, it means that when you look at the data that comes out from your lead scoring matrix, you need to be absolutely sure of what you are looking at. Seems legit, right?

Having clear levels of differentiation makes the process smoother for both your marketing and sales team and – definitely – less frustrating.

This is something that may be tricky in HubSpot lead scoring as, out of the box, scoring is all done in one field. This means that it will be difficult to understand what you are looking at and if it’s the fit or the engagement that is making up your score.

3. Report on Your Lead Scoring

One of the first – and recurring – actions you need to make to have an always relevant and up-to-date lead scoring matrix is to analyze your leads and customers.

You definitely need to report on your current pipeline to be able to build (for the first time) and adjust (moving forward) your lead scoring according to what your prospects, customers and lost customers are telling you.

While effectively scoring your leads, HubSpot lead scoring doesn’t have a dedicated or out-of-the-box Lead Scoring reporting to understand the makeup of your leads, and it will be challenging to understand and tweak your matrix.

4. Manage and Scale with an Easy Setup

If you’ve got this far, you likely know how difficult it can be to set up, manage and scale your lead scoring system. We know it all so well. This is why, at Breadcrumbs, we have designed an easy setup that will allow you to get started with your scoring model by answering few simple questions or use our intuitive model builder to create an entirely custom one.

When the setup is:

  • complicated – there’s no way to categorize what you want to score with different scoring outputs;
  • manual – you would need to create all these categories one by one

… it will be hard to manage and scale moving forward AND you may end up with a subpar solution that took you too much time to build.

5. Using HubSpot Already? Start with Breadcrumbs for FREE

Hubspot Lead Scoring: How To Connect Breadcrumbs To Hubspot

One of the key benefits of HubSpot lead scoring is that it’s free if you’re using HubSpot CRM software. But what if you could have a significantly more powerful engine – and also for free?

Read on, at Breadcrumbs, we have something for you!

In this article, we went through the top benefit to start using lead scoring for your business and learned how to set up HubSpot lead scoring.

But lead scoring is so much more than that. At Breadcrumbs, we know it all so very well. This is why we put together 5 key ingredients and mixed them up with a powerful algorithm to cook the perfect recipe for a lead scoring model that is perfect for you and your business.

We are on a mission: we aim at enabling 2,000 companies -which at 500 free leads per month will be a cool 1,000,000 leads scored on a monthly basis- to take it to the next level and be the first early adopters of this new modern take on lead scoring.

Are you one of us? Sign up for free with Breadcrumbs to get started with your lead scoring model today or use our intuitive model builder to create an entirely custom one.

Happy scoring!

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