Lead scoring is a method used by modern marketers to define the value of prospects, contacts and customers. It is used to identify the best prospects for sales activities, and to help prioritize marketing efforts, so that the most valuable contacts and leads receive the resources needed to drive conversions.
The basis of lead scoring is assigning numerical or categorical points or ‘scores’ to leads, and then evaluated against predetermined criteria to identify leads that may be more likely to convert. The algorithms used to assign points to leads can be built upon firmographic (company data) and/or demographic (individual contact data) data points.
Lead scoring is important because it helps to uncover the most qualified leads, rather than just sending sales messages to as many people as possible. For example, if a lead’s score reaches a predetermined threshold, it can be classified as a ‘hot’ lead and sent through to the sales team for follow-up and immediate attention.
Lead scoring is particularly useful for companies and organizations that generate large impressions or visits from potential customers, enabling them to focus their efforts and resources on the most likely prospects. It can also be useful for organizations that generate leads from inbound or outbound sources, enabling them to know which leads are likely to convert before putting resources into actively prospecting for new leads.
When setting up a lead scoring system, the most important considerations should be the data points used to assign points to leads, the criteria applied to evaluate the data points, and the threshold needed for leads to qualify as a sales-ready.
There are a number of steps involved in the lead scoring process, including defining the data points, assigning points, calculating the lead score, and deciding when to move a lead to the sales team.
1. Defining data points:
Data points refer to the specific information that can be used to assign points to a lead. Common data points to consider when setting up lead scoring include demographic features such as name, job title, company, location and industry; firmographic features such as company size and revenue; and behavioural features such as website visits and email open rates.
2. Assigning points:
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Having defined the data points that can be used to assign points to a lead, the next step is to decide how many points to assign each of them. Points should be allocated according to how likely a lead is to convert - for example, it could make sense to assign more points to leads from companies of a specific size, or leads with recent website visits.
3. Calculating the lead score:
Once the points have been assigned to the data points, they need to be combined to calculate the lead score. The lead score should be the sum of all of the points assigned to a lead.
4. Deciding when to move a lead to the sales team:
Once the lead score is calculated, it should be compared to a predetermined threshold. If the lead’s score is above the threshold, the lead should be classified as a ‘hot’ lead and sent through to the sales team for follow-up and immediate attention.
Once a lead scoring system is in place, lead scores should be monitored and updated regularly. As contact information changes over time, so too will the associated lead scores. This is important to ensure that the lead scoring system is still providing accurate data, and that sales efforts are still being focused on the right leads.
Lead scoring is a powerful tool for marketers, as it enables them to quickly prioritize their efforts and resources to the most promising leads. With a defined system in place, marketers can ensure that their sales teams are engaging with the right leads, and that the most valuable customers aren’t overlooked.
To make the most of lead scoring, organizations should ensure they are taking a data-driven approach when assigning points to leads, as well as regularly reviewing and updating the system to account for changing contact information. With these considerations in place, lead scoring can be a valuable tool for helping to identify the most promising leads and drive conversions.