What should be the lead scoring criteria for scoring models?

DEFINITION
Lead scoring criteria is a set of data points that you use to create a lead scoring model and rank leads. This can include demographic, firmographic, activity, and engagement data.

đź’ˇUnderstanding lead scoring criteria

Finding the right set of lead scoring criteria is the most fundamental part of creating a lead scoring model. The data points you choose and the weight of each category will make the difference between a high and low lead score–and ultimately, which leads will be prioritized by the sales team.

While you may think you need many lead scoring criteria to create your model, the truth is that you can get started with just a few pieces of contact data that already exist in your database.

There are two categories of lead scoring criteria that you can use to create a lead scoring model:

  • Demographic or firmographic data. Demographic data is information about a particular person (usually in place for B2C scoring models), while firmographic data is information about a company or organization (used mainly in B2B.)
  • Engagement or activity data. This data includes how engaged users are with your website or product and what activities they are doing that signal interest and buying intent (i.e. view pricing or product pages, open emails, and so on.)

While most lead scoring models take only one of those data sets into consideration, unifying your existing marketing, sales, product, and customer experience data generates a complete 360° view that serves as the foundation for lead scoring success and revenue acceleration.

đź–‹ Takeaway

Choosing the right lead scoring criteria for your scoring models can make the difference between success and failure in your scoring initiatives and can ultimately cost you money.

The reality is that most likely you already have all the data you need to create effective lead scoring models but that data is usually siloed in your tech stack.

Combining data from your CRM, marketing automation tools, and product analytics tools will allow you to have a holistic view of users’ interactions with your brand and behaviors with your product and website and unlock revenue acceleration.


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What are lead scoring models?

Lead scoring is a well-established methodology used by GTM teams in B2B and B2C that involves assigning points to a contact or potential prospects based on how closely they resemble your buyer persona.

Lead scoring is implemented through lead scoring models. A lead scoring model is a tool designed to rank leads and contacts based on a number of the data points (aka lead scoring criteria.) The higher-scoring contacts will be more likely to purchase than those with low scores.

There are at least three different types of lead scoring models. Before creating one, however, you’d first need to choose the right lead scoring criteria to populate it.

What should be the lead scoring criteria for scoring models?

While each company may have a specific set of lead scoring criteria that make sense for their business, we have identified the 5 best lead scoring criteria that you can implement today to get started with ranking leads and accelerate your company’s growth:

  1. Recency, aka when. Recency allows you to evaluate and prioritize activities that are happening right at this very moment as it will tell you how recently your prospects have interacted with your company.
  2. Frequency, aka how often. Broadly speaking, it means you’d be able to count how many times leads are raising their hand at what you are proposing to them. No actions are created equal, of course, but you can infer a stronger interest in a prospect that repeats an action in a short period of time.
  3. Online + Offline activities, aka what. Both online and offline activities help to identify what someone is interested in and how they like to consume their information. This is information is gold for you, both in terms of being able to reach back out to them with the right content and create that content in the first place.
  4. Job title, aka who. A contact’s job title provides great guidance around the level of decision-making and budget authority that person has. While the ideal conversation your sales team may have is with the ultimate decision-maker, it is crucial to identify people within the company that may have the authority to push the opportunity and conversations forward.
  5. Industry, aka ICP. Industry helps with aligning your product and/or service fit to companies that have shown success. You can better understand this (and learn from your mistakes) by looking at your customer base (or past opportunities) to see if there is a correlation between closed-won opportunities and successful customers.

How are lead scores calculated?

Once you have your lead scoring criteria set, you can then move on to creating your scoring model. The leads are then ranked using one of three traditional lead scoring model types.

  1. Numeric lead score output. Your score is a number on a scale from 1-100. The higher the number, the better the chance that the lead is ready to talk to your sales team. The score is usually a mix of demographics/firmographics and activity but, since it is condensed in a single number, it is difficult to know which percentage of the score is one and which is the other.
  2. Hot vs. cold. Your score output is usually represented by hot and cold symbols–like fire signs or snow. The higher the lead is on the hot scale, the more likely your lead is to be sales-ready. This type of scoring will only focus on behavior and activity and typically ignores the demographic attribute of the contact.
  3. Co-dynamic lead scoring. Your score is broken out into both a letter (A-D) and a number (1-5), and typically has 16 possible combinations. The letter represents the fit (=demographics & firmographics) of the contact, while the number represents activity (=engagement & behavior). Co-dynamic lead scoring has an out-of-the-box approach as you can clearly identify how much of the score you can attribute to fit vs. activity.

Breadcrumbs uses the co-dynamic lead score method as it provides the most accurate contact score.

How do you create a lead scoring model?

One of the first steps in creating a comprehensive lead scoring system is to define your point values and model criteria. The easiest way, if you’re working with sales teams or marketing personnel on this endeavor, would be figuring out which characteristics typically indicate higher intent to purchase from their current clients (i.e., those who have already made purchases).

These indicators can include things such as demographics/firmographic data—looking at what products these individuals buy online; how often they visit specific web pages, and even conducting interviews.

Once you’ve created your scoring model and assigned point values, it’s time to rank the leads in your database. Marketing automation tools often come with pre-built scoring systems but these don’t offer as much flexibility for co-dynamic methods as we mentioned earlier.

Tools like Breadcrumbs combine the power of machine learning with the human touch, giving you the flexibility to change your model based on your business’s current goals.

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