One of the primary focuses for a B2B marketer is to generate leads for the sales team. Lead generation has become crucial as the market continues to change and impact your revenue. Over the years, many lead generation strategies have appeared, each with its advantages and disadvantages for lead generation.
Shaky methods will usually result in friction between marketing and sales, as low-quality leads are unserviceable to anyone. If you invest far too much in your marketing budget on those leads and the sales department only ends up discarding them, this relationship between both departments will suffer.
So what’s the solution for this? Lead scoring. Lead scoring can assist with improving the quality of your leads, which will help you determine the quality of the leads that you receive in your pipeline.
What Is Lead Scoring?
While this is not a new concept that appeared out of nowhere, lead scoring is a method implemented by very few businesses around the world. Even so, it’s a remarkably useful strategy that helps companies rank their prospects based on the perceived value each lead represents to the business.
Simply put, leading scoring is a constantly-active filter that is available for every lead, regardless of position around the sales funnel. Lead scoring is not a method only used for specific leads, and it should be observed over every lead generated.
That also requires consistent assessment and improvement to make sure it remains accurate and successful. It exists as a way for developing a quantifiable sense of how well the interdepartmental marketing-sales process is working, ranking leads coming in, and designating them priority levels.
That causes everything to be strictly run on the numbers instead of guesswork and feelings. Your leads will no longer be clustered together based on distinguished similarities. Each of them will gain their own score and individual category. Furthermore, every B2B marketer that uses lead scoring shall be required to tailor the practices for their own needs and requirements of quality leads even if they are following a particular method.
Why is Lead Scoring Crucial to your Business?
Most people are unaware of this, but over 70% of leads and sales are lost due to inadequate follow-up practices.
The potential growth opportunities a company can see if most of those leads follow through with a single purchase would be outstanding. Ranking them based on the probability, along with others, will help you with making sure that happens, and that is where lead scoring starts coming into play.
68% of marketers considered lead scoring to be one of the most contributors to their revenue, with a 77% higher lead generation ROI than their previous methods. According to information from Aberdeen Research, businesses that successfully used lead scoring have seen a higher average lead qualification rate than their competitors.
These are just some of the few studies that show the benefits of using lead scoring. Although other trends have indicated that somewhere around 66% to 81% of businesses still do not utilize lead scoring. Moreover, when it comes to B2Bs specifically, only about 21% use some type of lead scoring, which presents a solid chance to get a head start against other businesses.
The primary benefit of lead scoring will factor into several reasons, such as boosting engagement and saving time by not following low-quality leads that end up being a dud.
It can be pulled off by having a better understanding of which leads are best suited for the restriction of your highest converters and frequently speaking with them.
It should also be obvious that the relationship between the marketing and sales team will improve over time.
When a clearly defined lead score strategy leads the process, both teams will be working towards similar goals, which will allow sales to assess which leads are the most beneficial, while marketing can develop content specifically made and targeted toward nurturing those high-quality leads.
The sales team will no longer need to waste precious time following through with leads that won’t convert. A lead scoring system works like a filter that will do the majority of the heavy lifting in this regard. The overall sales cycle will become vastly shortened when utilizing the appropriate lead scoring strategy specifically designed for your company.
While there may not be a one-size-fits-all method to perfect scoring systems, there are still several examples you can look into to see what fits your business.
Is Lead Scoring Possible for your company?
Lead scoring is just like any other marketing and sales strategy out there, not suited for every business. There are some simple questions you should consider going through before deciding on whether lead scoring can benefit your business or not.
Does your marketing team acquire enough leads?
If your sales team is not getting more leads than they could handle, you most likely do not need to spend time setting up a lead scoring system. Instead, encourage your marketing team to concentrate on bringing more leads to the top of the funnel.
Is the sales team processing the leads they acquire from marketing?
Is your sales team complaining about the awful leads and the marketing team complaining about sales not even following up on the leads they were given?
Then you are probably in desperate need of a service level agreement than a leads scoring system. Have a meeting with both departments and decide on how many leads marketing should deliver to sales each month and how many the sales team needs to follow up with. Once you manage to set up your service level agreement, you can start considering lead scoring.
Have you obtained enough data?
For this part, you will need behavioral data, contextual data, and company data on your leads before you can even set up a lead scoring system. If you do not have the required data, you will have to do some legwork before you can even begin with lead scoring. If you answer any of these questions are no, then your company is not prepared for lead scoring for the time being.
Setting up a Lead scoring system
When marketers rank their leads to determine the sales-readiness, they will be using a lead scoring system. Lead scoring will usually look different for every business, and there is no one-size-fits-all approach. There are several types of lead scoring methods, each of them with its advantages and disadvantages.
Every business will have its own, tailor-made scoring system that aligns with its specific objectives, goals, and targets. That said, we’ll be going through several different methods for you to determine which makes the most sense for your company.
Generate buyer personas
Before you can begin scoring your leads, you need to understand the characteristics that make a prospect the best choice for your service and products. That is where your buyer persona is introduced.
A buyer persona is a semi-fictional representation of your perfect customer. Each buyer’s profile is generated by criteria gained from quantitative research, anecdotal observations, and existing customer data. The more buyer personas you have obtained, the more holistic your understanding of your customers will become, which leads to your leading scoring attempts to be far more precise.
Deciding on which data point to score
Once you have become aware of the ideal buyer you are searching for, you need to decide which attributes you will assign a point value to. Lead scoring standards can be separated into two main categories. The first shall be behavioral information and demographic information. For demographic information, it refers to the characteristics that a lead has in possession of, for example:
- Job Title
- Company Size
In the case of behavioral information, this refers to the actions that a lead takes or how they associate with the company. Here is an example:
- Web Page visits
- Social media engagement
- Email subscription
- Email Interaction
- Number of phone calls
- Webinar attendance
- Form submissions
- Content downloaded
- Free trial requests
Every company will have its own definition of sales preparedness, so it’s not possible to tell you the exact criteria to score on. However, the information provided above should give you some ideas when you start your thinking session.
Setting up your point value
Not every scoring system will be made equally. The objective is to define which traits and actions cause a lead to close the deal. That means you need to set up numerical values for each data point accordingly. For instance, leads who subscribe to receive updates on your blog posts are not often converted into paying customers.
On the other hand, leads who download a whitepaper will have a high conversion rate. Blog subscribers may score a minimal amount of points, while those who download the white paper scored much greater points.
Here what you can do to collect the data you require to develop an efficient lead scoring framework:
Discuss with your sales team
Sales representatives are known for directly interacting with customers every day. Therefore, they have crucial insight into the factors that qualify a person to become a customer. They may also have a more extensive insight into purchasing indicators that you may have missed out on integrating into your buyer persona. If you do not want to waste your sales rep’s time, then check the data gathered by your CRM. It will let you get a peek at tons of critical information by looking at the lead your reps do and do not follow up.
Speak to your customers
Your customers will be able to tell you about their purchasing journey in better detail than your representatives can. Speak to some of your top buyers and ask them what steps they underwent before deciding to make the final step and buy. As you continue to talk to your customers more, you will start to see a pattern that can help you with lead scoring.
Deciding on a threshold to make qualified lead sales
When you have designated each data a score, you total every data gathered by a single lead, and that will be their closing lead score. While this may seem simple, there are still some complicated hurdles to get through. You will need to decide on what range of scores represents sales-readiness. That is most likely to require several tests and analysis when you start enacting lead scoring.
You should consider enacting lead scoring with no minimum value to begin. Request that sales follow up with leads equally, regardless of their score for a predetermined test period. When the testing period is finished, analyze sales follow-up and lead score. That should allow you to identify a cut-off point where leads stop becoming customers.
Now that you have the number, marketing and sales need to work alongside each other to create the appropriate outreach process for leads of specific scores.
For instance, if after close analysis you notice most leads that have a score below twenty-five never turn into customers, you decide on an agreement that sales will follow up with every lead scored above twenty-five, and those who fall beneath the threshold will be moved to a nurture program until they are finally inclined to buy.
Marketing automation tools
If you want to implement a lead scoring system but setting one up manually seems impossible, there are ways to get around that.
Scoring leads without the assistance of marketing automation tools can take far too much time. Furthermore, it can lead to some severe data inaccuracies and lead routing issues.
Plus, as a lead is nurtured through the sales funnel, their score will change. Without having an automated process in place, it can be extremely challenging to keep up with a single lead’s daily activities.
Fortunately, the most popular marketing automation tools are fully capable of handling the entire lead score process for you. The only thing you need to do is enter the scoring criteria, and the automation tool will score leads as they appear and update the score as they change. That allows you to concentrate your time on other things while the tool gathers that precious data.
Revenue is the lifeblood of any business out there. Seeing your revenue go up is something you always want to, and you will do everything you can to ensure it remains that way. There is a time in every company’s history where they start to see their revenue growth stall. Something like this will lead to an investigation on each department and cause the question to arise on how to fix such issues.
Here at Breadcrumb, we believe a core principle is required for every company, and we’ve managed to create something that has proven to be effective for any business out there. A Revenue Acceleration platform that was developed on co-dynamic lead scoring and routing engine living at the intersection of sales and marketing. This platform will provide you with always up-to-date information and template models best suited to your business.
There are several reasons why this system works best compared to others. Most companies do not realize that weight. While every department in your business may have a path to generating more revenue, they all have a different definition and idea on how to accomplish this.
The problem is that most companies are not having their departments coordinate with one another to ensure everyone is on the same page. That can lead every department to compete against one another, causing a rift to appear in the business.
A core principle is required by every company to make sure that it is steady and efficient. A revenue acceleration platform is capable of assisting with this issue by making sure every department can remain on the same page with each other.
Lead scoring might sound like a hassle to implement, but we assure you that once you implement a lead scoring system, your entire company will become more productive and effective.
If you are looking for an easy solution to get started with lead scoring, give our platform – Breadcrumbs a try. With our platform, you can build and set up a lead scoring system with a few clicks! Give our free plan a try and we’re certain that your entire team will be delighted with the results and workflow.