Know your customers by the numbers
Relevant content, marketing automation, and effective communication are all part of creating a great marketing strategy for your brand. The various goals of that strategy might differ, but there is one goal which largely stays the same: making sure that you generate leads.
Leads are the substance of your business. The people who take an interest in your brand or product, and subsequently invest in it, are the ones who help you keep a successful business thriving. However, as we know, marketing is an ongoing process which requires consistent attention to ensure success, and that’s where lead scoring comes in.
What is lead scoring?
Lead scoring is a method used by sales and marketing to determine the sales-readiness of leads. The score is determined based on the interest of the leads in your business, the current place they hold in the buying cycle, and their fit in regards to your business. Lead scoring is mostly used to provide companies with information like whether or not certain prospects need to be fast-tracked to sales, or if they still require nurturing before they can reach that point. In simple terms, lead scoring is a process of assessing prospects against a set standard of criteria in order to determine their sales potential and sales timing.
Some of the best lead scoring systems use methods which determine demographic and firmographic attributes, such as company size, industry, and job title. Behavioural scoring is also used in determining information; things like clicks, keywords, and web visits tend to help paint a bigger picture for your business’s relationship with the prospect. It is important to know that lead scoring isn’t meant to be a process where you cherry-pick hot leads and ignore the rest of the database. It is meant to be a system put in place so that you can generate even more leads, keep the ones that you already have, and nurture your prospects to the point where they become loyal to your brand or product.
Why should you implement lead scoring?
The biggest advantage of lead scoring is making it possible for you to distribute scarce resources to the right people. If you are not aware of who your strong leads are, it will be impossible to designate your resources properly and that will lead to a waste of those resources. Besides this major benefit, there are several more which your business can reap rewards from if you implement a lead scoring strategy:
Sales and marketing will work together fluently. Through agreements of which leads are the best scoring, sales and marketing departments are more likely to work together. This means that sales will have an active role in deciding which leads they receive.
Tracking the lead scoring process means that you can consistently find new ways to improve your system. Being able to track how many qualified leads turn into sales, what content helped them along the way, and subsequently how many unqualified leads convert to sales ensures that you are able to tweak your system to suit your business as you go.
Lead scoring improves trust in sales staff as well as helps to drive action through improved quality and rank of leads. This will subsequently lead to improved hit rates and more sales.
Lead scoring is a primary driver of revenue. According to The Lenskold and Pedowitz groups, 68% of efficient and effective marketers report lead scoring as a primary driver of revenue generation.
How do you implement lead scoring?
Before you start thinking about creating your lead scoring strategy, there are two main prerequisites to meet:
Know your buyer personas
It is very difficult to assign any type of score to buyers whose personas you do not understand. You need to know what actions you want your buyers to take, and how important those actions are to a closed deal.
For example, visiting your pricing page is a good sign, but merely opening an email is not nearly as important. Your scoring should reflect this with higher and lower numbers.
Understanding your buyer’s journey
Identifying the buyer’s journey will help you understand the process from awareness to purchase. In turn, this will help you know how soon you are likely to make a sale. Only leads who achieve high scores should be close to ending the buyer’s journey, while those with lower scores should be nurtured more.
Getting started on your scoring system is a fairly simple process.
First, look back at the last few months and identify the characteristics of customers who bought and those who did not buy. From there, you should be able to pinpoint certain factors which contributed to sales success in your business and start building a lead scoring method which identifies those factors in current and future leads.
Secondly, you need to be aware of what works and what doesn’t when building a lead scoring system. Here are three main points to consider when identifying characteristics of your leads:
Firmographics and demographics, which determine the persona of the buyer. Firmographics pay more attention to the organisation the prospect comes from, whereas demographics pay attention to more specific details like job title and seniority within that organisation. You want to be sure you assign points based on if your product or solution is available in their area and if they are a decision-maker to purchase your product. Other considerations could include their industry, their income and budget.
Focusing on the activity of your prospects. There are two types of activity to focus on; journey and action. Journey focuses on how the prospect navigates your websites, and action indicates the level of interest of the prospect beyond browsing. Examples of journey action could include viewing the features page, blog and then the pricing page. All of these show interest and should be allocated points accordingly. Examples of action include contacting your sales team or attending a virtual event, which are promising signs for their lead score
Don’t forget to assign negative points. Not every action and profile is favourable for your company—and it shouldn’t be! Lead scoring allows you to qualify which leads will be worth focusing on, so don’t be afraid to deduct lead scoring points for negative actions or identifiers. Some examples of this are not opening emails, ignoring webinar requests, quickly navigating (bouncing) away from your pricing page, or neglecting to interact with your company beyond the initial contact.
Some tools to assist
There are more in-depth models which you could use to implement lead scoring, such as:
Lead pilot - an inbound marketing tool for financial advisors that has its own integrating lead tool.
Juan Merido - A lead scoring matrix which combines PAIN score and FIT score to determine lead scores.
Cyberclick - A lead scoring matrix which combines two parameters, demographic profile and behaviour, which combined sees a final lead score.
Silverpop - Features a template which combines 16 different possible combinations of suitability and interest.
Business2community - A lead scoring matrix which is based on answers users give for 4 questions.
These models are an effective way to gain an understanding of how you can create and implement your own lead scoring strategy. Combine elements of some of them, or just use them for inspiration when thinking about a personalised lead scoring strategy for your business.
Go forth and build
Once you have a strategy for building your lead scoring system, make sure that you include your sales and marketing teams in the implementation of it. Update your marketing automation to include the strategy, and keep track of it for a future of success.
Understanding your leads will not only allow you to build a strong base of customers but also make it easier for you to gain more leads as you move forward. Moreover, it will help you manage resources more effectively in your business. Essentially, a lead scoring scheme is the way to go if you want to effectively keep up to date with marketing automation and grow your brand.
If you would like assistance with setting up a lead scoring strategy for your own business, consider Demodia. Demodia has set up full-proof lead scoring models for enterprises and start-ups around the world, in various industries. We understand, on a fundamental level, that not all leads are created equally—and the right customer can take your business into the next level.
Contact us today for a free consultation or demonstration of how our marketing tools and insight can assist you today.