Part 1: Building Your Scoring Model

This blog post is the first in a two-part series about lead scoring models! In part one, I’ll write about the importance of lead scoring models and how to build one. In part two, I’ll dive into implementation.

When running lead generation campaigns, how many times have you ended up frustrated from the lack of follow through from the sales team?

The scenario typically plays out like this:

Your marketing team has worked closely with developers to create a very useful cost calculator. They’ve placed it on a highly trafficked landing page, gated behind a short form to capture names. They then worked hard to drive even more traffic to the website, increased conversions, and generated a list of leads.

Perfect!

These leads need to be followed up with. Immediately.

They were carefully targeted from the start. They’ve shown their interest. They’re ready to buy. You know for a fact these leads are hot!

… Now you just need to convince the sales team.

The most common end result?

Frustration.

In some cases, our clients vent to us that their sales reps quickly scan the leads list sent to them by marketing and cherry-pick one or two leads they think are worth following up with. In other cases, the entire list gets put on the back burner only to be completely forgotten within a few weeks.

If you’re lucky, reps will relentlessly follow up with all the leads the marketing team has supplied them with, making multiple attempts to get in touch. More likely, unfortunately, they’ll give up if the prospect doesn’t return their call on the first shot.

So, what gives?

The reality is that no matter how much money and time marketing puts into generating leads, most sales reps aren’t convinced that these leads are really worth their time.

The reason is that the typical expectation is that marketing will deliver leads that are qualified and ready to buy. Therefore, a high percentage of leads passed on to sales should result in opportunities (and ultimately, revenue.) To make matters even more complicated, the expectation is that these opportunities will develop quickly.

However, that’s not always how things pan out, and marketers are struggling to meet those expectations.

Marketers, repeat after me: All leads are not created equal.

All leads that you generate are not equal and therefore shouldn’t be handled in the same manner. This concept isn’t new. High-performing marketing teams embrace this idea and leverage it in order to align with their sales teams, convince them to follow through, and ultimately close more deals.

So, what is their secret?

Lead scoring.

About Lead Scoring

According to Hubspot, “Lead scoring is a methodology used to rank prospects against a scale that represents the perceived value each lead represents to the organization.” That means it is marketing’s responsibility to pre-vet leads, including prioritizing which ones are the most likely to close. Only the best ones get passed on to sales, NOT every single person that fills out a contact form!

The benefits of using lead scoring models are widely known and extremely valuable for marketers, sales reps, and managers alike. Lead scoring essentially bridges the gap between marketing and sales and enables marketing teams to:

  • Increases sales efficiency
  • Improves marketing’s effectiveness
  • Boost revenue

Despite the benefits, lead scoring is actually under-utilized in b2b companies:

  • Only 1/3 of b2b companies are even leveraging lead scoring
  • One in four marketing teams send prospects to sales without qualifying them at all (yikes!!!)

The benefits of using lead scoring models for marketing and sales teams are huge. Companies that can embrace this methodology and do it well will see huge gains as they outpace their competitors in marketing efficacy. It all starts with marketing.

So how can you implement lead scoring within your own organization?

To start, it’s important to clarify what goes into lead scoring to avoid some common pitfalls. One of the biggest mistakes marketing departments make is not approaching lead scoring from two dimensions. Oftentimes they focus on things like title and company while disregarding readiness to buy. This is uncovered by monitoring prospect behavior.

A complete lead scoring model is made up of two main components:

  1. Explicit information- Criteria you’ve collected on the prospect through online forms or other databases
    1. Title
    2. Location
    3. Industry
    4. Company Size
    5. Etc.
  2. Implicit information- Trackable behaviors to determine buying intent
    1. Downloaded a whitepaper
    2. Looked at the pricing page
    3. Attended a webinar
    4. Subscribed to your mailing list
    5. Etc.

The criteria are developed when marketing speaks with various departments such as:

  • Sales
  • Customer Service
  • Support
  • Products
  • … and any other people whose jobs are focused on the customer!

Have these people help you fill in a list of criteria based on their own experiences. Throughout the process, make sure to keep in mind how much weight an attribute and/or behavior holds when determining lead quality. Some examples are:

  • Is title not as important as location?
  • If a company size is under 100, is that a deal breaker no matter what?
  • Is viewing the pricing page much more important than subscribing to your company newsletter?

Data is key. As you’re going through this process, make sure you are also checking your organization’s data to confirm or deny assumptions. Generally, this would mean taking a look at the data in your CRM to uncover patterns for the types of people who ended up buying.

*Pro-tip* If you find you have multiple scoring models for various lines of business, start with only one to avoid feeling overwhelmed.

Once you understand the basics, it’s time to implement your lead scoring model! Stay tuned for part 2 in this two-post series!

Can’t wait and want to get started now? We’ll help you take the first step.

Nikki Kyriakopoulos

About Nikki Kyriakopoulos

As a Digital Marketing Strategist at Liquid, Nikki supports the development of marketing strategy and execution for a wide variety of clients. She brings with her experience in lead generation + management as well as a budding passion for marketing automation.