Lead scoring can make the difference between closing a deal with a hot customer or wasting your time with someone who is not interested in buying from you at all.
Interestingly enough, recent research found that 64% of companies don’t even use lead scoring, and 27% have no plans for adoption. Hence, there’s a great opportunity to be ahead of your competitors if you are able to implement it.
But where to start? Finding the right lead scoring model for you and when to use it goes a long way.
If you are used to using a marketing automation platform like HubSpot, Marketo, or Pardot, you know that lead scoring is a foundational feature in all of these platforms. But what isn’t the same is how they interpret lead scoring – and that is precisely why we are here today!
In this article, we’ll discuss what’s in a lead scoring model and how you make one, plus three different approaches to a lead scoring model–including which model to use depending on your company’s needs.
By the end of this page, you’ll know the right lead scoring model to use for your business to close more deals.
Let’s dive in.
What is a Lead Scoring Model?
Simply put, lead scoring models are systems that you can create to rank and prioritize your leads. This process will provide several benefits.
It will inform you where they are within your customer journey. This is important because, in this way, you can respond with the most appropriate action to either gently push them through the next step of the journey or immediately reach out to them and close the deal.
This is where lead scoring models come into play. Depending on which lead scoring model you use, leads that are ready to buy will be given a different name, but the idea is the same: the more they are likely to buy from you, the higher they’ll rank (or the hotter they’d be.)
Lead scoring is indeed a huge topic, and at Breadcrumbs, we have focused on the customer journey and on how the recency and frequency of a user’s behavior can impact the overall value of the lead being ranked so that you can boost your company’s growth and unlock revenue acceleration.
How Do You Create a Lead Scoring Model?
As you may have guessed by now, lead scoring can take many different forms… numbers, letters, and numbers, even (spoiler alert!) peppers…. I know what you are thinking: Oh my! Read on – all will make perfect sense in a minute!
Before we dive into the specifics of each lead scoring model and its different forms, let me add a little note of caution.
While the concept of lead scoring applies across all of the different types of lead scoring models that we’ll describe in this article, you want to ensure that you take the following two concepts into consideration when thinking about what type of lead scoring model you want to implement for your business.
Make Lead Scoring Models That are Easy to Understand
This first point seems obvious, right? But it’s super important because different teams will be involved in analyzing the results of your lead scoring efforts–in particular, your sales team and your marketing team.
What you’d need to ask yourself here is: will my sales team understand the quality of the lead based on the scoring output?
This is super important because you want your sales and marketing teams not only to go together well but also to be more effective and work in synergy. What if your lead scoring models can help in defining when exactly your marketing team should hand off a lead to the sales team?
Make Lead Scoring Models with Clear Levels of Differentiation
There’s nothing more frustrating than creating a lead scoring model, looking at the ranked leads, and not being able to figure out if the result you’re staring at means that your lead needs more nurturing or is ready to buy.
What you’d need to ask yourself here is: when you look at the score, can you tell the difference between a hot and cold lead?
Once you have clear levels of differentiation, the handoff process becomes smooth and easy, and your sales team won’t lose any more time trying to figure out how to prioritize the leads your marketing team is sending their way.
3 Lead Scoring Models That Will Win More Deals
In the previous section, we have seen what a lead scoring model is and some key points you need to take into consideration when choosing which approach to use for a brand-new model or for reviewing an existing one.
Now, we’ll describe how to get the most out of your lead scoring models, including how each lead scoring model would look more in-depth and which model your company should be using.
There are a few different ways to articulate lead score models, and we will showcase three key approaches below.
Lead scoring model #1: Numeric Score Output
With this type of model, you typically output your lead score as a number.
That number is usually a mix of fit (aka ranking your lead based on their fit into your preferred demographic categories such as job title, industry, or company size) and behavior (aka ranking your lead based on engagement with you and your business) information.
The higher the number, the higher your score. And conversely, the lower the number, the lower the score.
When you use a numeric output, while it’s simple in terms of understanding, what it can do is leave you wondering how much of the score is based on the fit and how much is based on the behavior.
This is a type of model you typically see in businesses that are just getting started with lead scoring and are looking for a basic way to get started by looking at leads at a score out of 100.
The pro of this model is its simplicity. It allows your organization to get started and provides a clear level of differentiation. However, It can become more complicated and difficult to get a clear ranking over time as you add more variables to your scoring matrix.
Most marketing automation platforms provide lead scoring functionality in this method.
Lead scoring model #2: Hot vs. Cold
With this type of model, the lead score output is usually represented by hot food or flames (or yes, peppers!), whereas cold could be an icicle.
The more hot items you have, the hotter your lead is, and conversely, the coldest items you have, the colder your lead is. This type of scoring will only focus on behavior activity and not take into consideration the fit of the lead.
This type of model is typically used by businesses that are really just looking to evaluate the activity of a lead and showcase it playfully (don’t misunderstand me, there’s nothing wrong with that).
Activity is definitely important when it comes to lead scoring. However, doesn’t tell the whole story when it comes to the quality of the lead. The attributes of a lead, such as their industry, title, and company size, help the score better understand the overall Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) and buyer persona fit.
Lead Scoring Model #3: Co-Dynamic Lead Scoring
This model is probably very familiar to Breadcrumbs customers, as this is the one we use for our software.
With this type of model, the lead score is broken out into both a letter and a number.
The letter represents the level of fit the lead has and is articulated as either A, B, C, or D–where A is the highest fit and D is the lowest.
The number represents the level of engagement a lead has and is articulated as either 1, 2, 3, or 4–where 1 is the highest level of engagement and 4 is the lowest.
Sounds complicated, but it really isn’t. While this model typically has 16 different variations of lead scoring, it provides a very easy way to understand both the quality of the fit and the right type of engagement.
Companies that employ a co-dynamic lead scoring model typically understand who their buyers are, and what sort of activities are indicators of buying behavior and see not only the benefits to understanding both what the prospect does but also who they are.
You may have guessed. At Breadcrumbs, we root for them. We root for you, really. Our mission is to enable 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 of lead scoring.
Do you want to be one of those companies? 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.
In this article, we discussed what’s in a lead scoring model and how you make one and three different approaches to a lead scoring model–including when to use them–so that by the end of this page, you’ll know the right lead scoring model to use for your business to close more deals.
Now back to you! What is the most effective lead scoring model you have used and why? Let us know in the comments below.