Is your organization using lead scoring best practices? Have you implemented lead scoring at all?  Perhaps it’s time to start. According to the Aberdeen Group (State of Marketing Automation 2014: Processes that Produce (2014)) 68% of Best-in-Class companies are using lead scoring, compared to just 28% of Laggard firms.

Is now the right time to incorporate lead scoring?

Before jumping on the lead scoring bandwagon, you need to take a close look at your organization and determine if you are ready, organizationally, to begin using it. It can drastically improve your conversion rates, but only if you’re ready to make the change. To start, ask yourself these questions:

    • Is your business consistently generating leads for the sales team? If the answer is no, then now is not the time to consider adding lead scoring to your business model.  Instead focus your efforts on ramping up lead generation efforts.
    • Are you collecting the proper data to be able to implement lead scoring? Do you ask questions on your landing pages that address: demographics and company info ( size, type, industry)? Do you track online behavior or email engagement? Having this type of data is necessary in order to properly start lead scoring.  
    • Do marketing and sales communicate effectively? Is a service level agreement in place that clearly defines goals and keeps each team accountable?  If not, it’s essential to have one in place before implementing lead scoring.

If you are a lead generating machine that captures all the right data and effectively communicates with sales, then now might just be the perfect time to start lead scoring.

Best Practices for Lead Scoring
Lead scoring will allow your organization to prioritize its investment in marketing campaigns as well as sales team efforts. Prioritizing leads into hot, warm, and cold categories will ultimately result in higher revenues for your business by focusing on those leads most likely to convert.

Determine the characteristics of a qualified Lead
Sitting down and having a marketing and sales team pow wow is an absolute must.  These 2 teams need to be on the same page and collaboratively decide what consumer behaviors make a qualified lead.

Hone in on your target market. Do you only sell to IT security professionals? Do you only sell in the tri-state area? People that don’t fit your demographic profile can then be given a negative lead score ranking.

Business Info
If the B2B market is your focus, capturing the size of the organization and industry would likely be of importance to you.  Depending on the answer, and what your business focuses on, the leads can then be assigned an appropriate numerical value for ranking purposes.

Web Behavior
Which offers are your ideal customers being drawn to? Be sure to track downloads, free trials, and product demos. How long do they spend on each page, how many pages did they view? How often do they come to your website? Each of these behaviors would also have an assigned numerical value according to what is most important to your business.

Email Behavior
After a prospect signs up to receive emails from your business, it’s important to analyze how engaged they are with the content. What are the open rates and click thru rates? Have they replied or forwarded the message?  If a lead is opening, reading, and clicking thru on every email they receive, they will receive a higher point value than someone who never opens an email.

Social Behavior
Actively engaging on social media via FB, Twitter, or any other platform show interest.  If prospects are commenting or sharing your business posts this is a good indicator that they have an interest in your product offerings and consequently should be ranked accordingly.

Decide on a System
After all of the lead quality characteristics and behaviors have been identified and agreed upon, it’s time to hammer about the lead values.  Typically this is done on a 0-100 point value basis.  You should begin by giving each category a max value, and then you can distribute the points within that category.

By organizing the system in this manner, you will create a balanced system that gives weight to all areas of importance.  Use your experience and sample prospects to help navigate you through this process.

Review & Refine
When sales and marketing teams work together, companies see 36% higher customer retention and 38% higher sales win rates. Make sure to schedule regular meetings with sales and marketing to review the system, identify any issues, and make tweaks as necessary.

Start the system off right by first making sure your business is ready for lead scoring, and then following lead scoring best practices of working closely with marketing and sales to set up the ranking system to account for all of the above mentioned categories from the get go. When used properly lead scoring is a powerful marketing automation tool that drives efficiency across sales and marketing. Have questions? We’d be happy to help. Please contact us for more information.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at


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