There’s little time in sales. Every week, month, or quarter the clock starts, and you (and your team) are rushing to meet the quota. Time spent needs to equal deals closed.
There are also ways you can streamline your sales process. One useful way to conserve time and boost revenue is to make sure you’re working on the best possible leads and not spending time on dead-end prospects – that’s where lead scoring comes into the picture.
Why do Businesses Believe in Lead Scoring?
Sales and marketing teams should collectively set up a lead scoring framework. Both divisions deciding on a standard way of addressing and identifying quality leads (Marketing Qualified Lead or MQL) and sales-ready lead (also called Sales Qualified Lead or SQL) is a huge achievement.
Here are five typical situations that lead score is useful for:
1. Prioritize from a long list of leads
If you and/or your team are working on an outbound call, lead score lets you prioritize leads and call those with the highest score first. This would boost the hit rate relative to merely calling through your list alphabetically.
2. Identify and target leads that need tailored nurturing
Leads come in every day from outreach campaigns, and it’s up to the marketer to cultivate them before they are sales-ready. If you have an initiative that you want only for warm prospects, lead scores will help you drop each lead into the correct campaign. Example: You submit a newsletter that takes people to your campaign landing page, and only when anyone clicks on your site can you call with a webinar invitation.
3. Refine your marketing messages
Through segmenting leads and approaching them at each point of the funnel with distinct messaging, the marketing team will test different messaging at each stage. It will allow the marketing team to figure out what strategy leads to better scores for sales and what talking points should be used.
4. Standardize how leads are analyzed and discussed
Across many businesses, the relationship between sales and marketing is tense. Marketing departments think they’re doing great when they send leads in greater numbers. The sales team doesn’t seem to notice the initiative. But instead, they yawn over the elevated number of leads and moan over the low quality. With proper lead ratings, and by offering marketing and sales a similar language to address the consistency and quantity of leads, they can automatically align themselves.
5. Don’t Push Leads to Make a Decision
There’s a consultative approach, and then there’s a hectic, unsolicited promotional outreach. The clear win with the lead score is that the system lets you realize what leads you should concentrate on now. The less apparent advantage is that the scores allow sales to realize who they should NOT focus on. Instead, you can build a lead warming process to get low score leads ready for a call from a sales team member when they hit the correct score threshold.
Lead Scoring vs Account Scoring
Many marketers and sales reps often use the lead scoring model for account scoring. However, there is a difference between the two.
Whereas lead scorers rate interactions in order based on their probability of being a customer, account scorers rely on the likelihood of a company becoming a customer.
Especially in B2B, the focus on account rather than a lead score alone is a wise step since a person seldom makes a buying decision on an individual basis. You need to take into account the present state of the business as well as the view of the owners, the technology currently in operation, the financial situation, company size, current infrastructure, and more. Using a data intelligence tool allows you to collect valuable information about individual decision-makers and the company.
Now that you know the difference between the two let’s dive into how you can set up the lead scoring model.
Step-By-Step Guide to Setting up a Lead Scoring Model
1. List what you require from a lead
Start by setting the minimum requirement for a lead to become a customer.
Collect data from marketing, distribution, and consumer success. If you already know what attributes your target group or desired consumer profile typically possesses, this job is more or less already completed. The point is to find opportunities similar to those of your current clients. They are more likely to be good future customers for you.
3. Visualize your dream lead
What are the characteristics that define your dream lead? Are there any unique attributes that suggest that the lead ends up being a high-paying customer that offers a great lifetime value for your business? You can also use a data intelligence tool to determine your ideal potential customers and access supporting data such as technographics and firmographics.
4. Look at how the existing customers are behaving
More specifically, how did they act immediately before they reached a contract with you? Which part of your website did they visit? Have they opened a lot of your marketing emails? Have they clicked on your site after an email has been opened? Have they downloaded a series of white papers or taken part in a webinar? Make sure that you mention as many acts that show a positive interest in buying from you as possible here.
5. Decide on a scoring system
How many points would the lead have to work as a VP for a mid-sized company in X industry? Can the lead forfeit any points if they are a student or have viewed your job page?
Theoretically, you can set any scale you want, but you normally want to stick to a scale of 0 to 100. Provide a block of points with unique “must-have” requirements, such that only leads that meet the required standards can pass the qualification level.
If you sell several items and plan to set up different score templates, you might need to find a more sophisticated score system. Weigh the arguments of how they’re asking you about the lead’s ability to buy.
6. Refine and tweak scores
Changes in your product offering or market growth mean that the picture of your “perfect lead” changes. There is also a possibility that no matter how comprehensive your analysis, your lead score system will have the potential for improvement.
If you have 30 days or more of the results, start reviewing:
- Have any of your low-scoring leads been converted?
- Did a large number of your highly ranked leads not resonate well with your sales efforts?
If you replied yes to any of these questions, you may need to tweak your lead score model to achieve its maximum potential.
Simplifying Lead Scoring Using SalesIntel
Setting up the lead scoring model is not a cakewalk. As a result, it often takes a considerable amount of time to set up the process, monitor, and improve it. Here’s where SalesIntel’s buyer intent data can help you go a long way.
SalesIntel helps you uncover your prospect’s purchase signals based on the intent topics that are being extensively researched by specific organizations. With almost 7,000 Intent themes constantly monitored, it allows you to discover what your potential buyers are interested in before you reach them.
Each account is given a real-time score based on the level of interest for a particular theme. The more material you consume relevant to the Intent topic, the higher the ranking. Since it is an automated process, it simplifies the lead scoring model. You can easily find accounts with the highest possibility of conversion by filtering the subjects relevant to the products and services.
Re-Evaluate Your Lead Scoring Model With Time
Since a lead’s activity or company will change from day to day, the lead score will also change over time. For this reason, the score is not something that can be handled quickly manually. Research what sales tool suits your organization, and let technology make your job simpler.
Remember to go over and re-evaluate the scoring system every couple of months. The features and attitudes that distinguish a strong sales-ready lead today can look different in the future.