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Home » The Ultimate Guide to Lead Scoring: Benefits and Best Practice

The Ultimate Guide to Lead Scoring: Benefits and Best Practice

When people first begin to implement inbound marketing, they’re usually concerned about bringing enough leads into the funnel.

However, once you’ve got many leads, you must figure out who is really interested in your product, and those who are just beginning to explore.

This is the reason lead scoring is important.

What is Lead Scoring?

The process of scoring leads is the method of assigning a value, usually in the form of numbers or “points,” to each lead that you generate for your company. Leads can be scored by evaluating their attributes in a variety of ways such as the professional information they’ve provided to you as well as how they’ve interacting with your brand and website on the web. This assists marketing and sales teams prioritize leads, react to them in a timely manner, and improve the speed at which leads are converted into customers.

Each company has its own method of assigning points to their leads. However, one of the most popular methods is to use data from previous leads to build an assessment system.

How? The first step is to examine your contacts who have become customers to determine what they share. Then, you’ll examine the characteristics of your contacts that didn’t become customers. After you’ve reviewed the historical information from both sides, you’ll be able to determine which of the attributes ought to be weighed heavily in relation to the likelihood they will suggest that someone is a good fit to your product.

Lead scoring is simple isn’t it? Based on the business model you’re using and the leads you have in your database, it can quickly get complicated. To make the process easier for us, we’ll guide you through the fundamentals of calculating a lead score, focusing on what information you need to look over and how to identify the most crucial attributes, and the method for formulating a basic score.

Lead Scoring Models

Lead scoring models make sure that the scores that you give to every lead are based on the real compatibility to your products. A lot of lead scores are based on a range of points from zero to 100, however each model you develop will be able to support the specific characteristics of your primary customer.

Here are six different lead scoring models that are based on the kind of information you collect from customers who interact with your company:

1. Demographic Information

Are you selling only to people who belong to a specific group of people, such as parents of children in the early years or CIOs? You can ask questions about your demographic on those forms that you have on your landing page, and then use the answers of your leads to determine if they are a part of your intended audience.

One way to use this data is to eliminate the outliers in your sales team’s queue by subtracting points from those who are in the category that you do not sell to. For instance, if you sell only to specific geographic areas it is possible to assign an unfavorable score to any lead that isn’t in the appropriate city or state zip code, country or state, etc.

If certain forms have fields that are not required (like the number of a phone, for example) and you want to make sure that they are, then you could award points to leads who supply the required information.

2. Company Information

If you’re an B2B company, are you more inclined to sell to companies that are of a particular size or type? Are you more drawn to B2B companies or B2C companies? It is possible to ask questions similar to these on your landing page forms as well, and you can offer points to leads that are in line with your ideal group and remove points from leads that aren’t at all what you’re seeking.

3. Online Behavior

The way a potential customer interacts with your site can reveal the extent to which they are in purchasing from you. Check out the leads that eventually turn into customers: What deals were downloaded by them? What number of offers did they download? What pages — as well as how many -did they browse on your website prior to becoming a customer?

The quantity and the type of pages and forms are crucial. It is possible to offer higher scores for lead those who have visited pages with high value (like price pages) or completed high-value forms (like demo requests). In the same way, you could give more points to leads who have had more than 30 page views on your website instead of three.

What happens to leads who have changed their behavior in the past? If the lead has stopped coming to your site or downloading your offer They might not be interested any longer. It’s possible to take points from leads who have stopped engaging with your site after a certain amount of time. What time period -10 days or 30 days, 90 days — will depend on the typical sales cycle.

4. Engagement via Email

If a person has opted-in to receive email from your business but you don’t know what level of interest they have in purchasing from you. Clickthrough and open rates however can give you an idea of the level of interest. Your sales team would like to know who opened each email from your lead nurturing sequence, or who has always clicked through the emails that promote your offer. This way, they can concentrate on those who appear to be the most engaged. It is also possible to give more points to those who open valuable emails, such as demonstration offers.

5. Social Engagement

How much of a lead is engaged with your brand’s social media can provide you with the idea on how engaged they are. How often did they visit your company’s Twitter and Facebook posts? What percentage of them retweeted, retweet, or share the posts? If your buyers’ target audience is active on social media You might think about giving points to leads who have specific Klout scores or the number of followers.

6. Spam Detection

Not least, you may want to assign negative points to those who completed form on landing pages in a way that suggests they’re not legitimate. For instance, was the names of the first, second name, or the company’s name not capitalized? Did the lead fill in the form fields using at least four letters within the standard “QWERTY” keywords side-by-side?

It is also a good idea to consider the types of email addresses your leads use compared to the addresses of your client base. If you’re selling to companies such as a company you could remove points from those who have a Gmail as well as a Yahoo! email address.

How do you know what is Most Important?

There’s a lot of information to sort through — how do you determine what data is most important? Do you ask your sales staff? Should you ask your customers questions? Do you need to dig into your data and run couple of reports?

We recommend using a mix from all three. The sales staff, the customers, as well as your reports on analytics will all aid you in determining what information is most effective to convert leads into customers and help you connect certain aspects to specific offers or emails and so on.

Contact your sales team.

Sales reps are those in the field, communicating directly with leads that have turned into customers as well as those who did not. They usually have a good idea of what pieces of marketing materials can help in promoting conversion.

What blog posts and offers do your sales reps prefer to share with leads? There are a few of them saying “Every when I give people this particular item of documentation, it makes it easy to close the deal.” This is a valuable piece of information. Learn what the collateral items are and then assign points according to them.

Contact your customers.

Although your sales team may say that certain content is effective in converting customers, you may find that those who participated in the sales process are of different opinion. It’s fine: You’d like to hear on both sides.

Do a few interviews with customers to find out what they believe was the reason for their decision to purchase from you. Make sure that you’re talking to customers with both long and short sales cycles to get different viewpoints.

Go to the analytics.

It is also recommended to supplement your in-person research with information from your marketing analytics.

Create an attribution report to determine the marketing strategies that result in conversions across the funnel. Don’t just look at those content pieces that turn leads into customers. What about the content that people consume before they turn into leads? You could award a certain amount of points to those who download content that has historically transformed leads into leads, and more points to those who download content that has historically transformed people into customers.

Another method to help you put together useful pieces of content for your website is to run a contact report. A report on contacts will tell the number of contactsand the amount of revenue has been generated by specific, targeted marketing actions. Marketing activities could include offers downloads, emails campaign clickthroughs, and more. Note which actions are typically first-touch conversions, last-touch converts and so on, and assign points accordingly.

Does One Lead Score suffice?

If you only have one primary customer at the moment one score is enough. As your business grows it will be selling to different customers. It could be expanding into new products, new areas or even new personas. You may even concentrate more on cross-selling and up-selling to customers you already have, instead of pursuing new ones. If your customers aren’t “one size is not all,” your scoring system shouldn’t either.

Through certain marketing platforms it is possible to create multiple lead scoring systems, which gives you the ability to score various sets of contacts in various ways. Are you unsure of how to create multiple scores? Here are some examples to help you get started:

Fit vs. Interest

For instance your sales team would like to assess customers based on the quality and fit (i.e. is the contact located within the correct region? The appropriate industry? The correct job?) and level of interest (e.g. how much have they engaged in your and content?). In the event that both aspects are important to you then you can build both an engagement score as well as an appropriate score, so you can determine which outreach to send to people whose value is very high in both of these areas.

Multiple Personas

Imagine you’re a software firm that sells two types of software through different sales teams to different kinds of buyers. You could develop two distinct lead scores – one to determine a buyer’s suitability and the other based on their desire to use the tools. You’ll use these different scores to send leads to the appropriate sales teams.

New Business in contrast to. Up-sell

As you expand as a business, you may begin to concentrate on up-sells or cross-sell to attract new businesses. However, keep in mind that the indicators that show the how well new prospects are doing and customers who are already in the market can be completely different.

For prospective customers, you could examine demographics and site engagement. For existing customers, you could examine the number of tickets to customer support they’ve submitted and their interaction with an onboarding expert and how engaged they are currently with your services. If these signals for buying appear different for different sales, you might want to create multiple lead scores.

There are a variety of methods to determine the lead score. The easiest way to calculate it is as follows:

Manual Lead Scoring

1. Calculate the conversion rate from lead to customer for all your leads.

The conversion rate of your lead to customer is the same as your number of customers that you gain divided by the number of leads you create. This conversion rate can serve as your standard.

2. Choose and select different attributes customers you think were better quality leads.

Customers could have wanted to try a trial for free at some point, customers working in the finance sector, or clients who have 10-20 employees.

There’s a particular art in choosing the features to include in your model. The attributes you choose will be in light of the conversations you had in your team with sales, the analytics, and other factors, but in the end, it’s a judgement call. There’s a possibility that five people perform the same task and create five different versions. However, that’s fine as you make sure that your score is dependent on the information we discussed previously.

3. Calculate the individual close rates for each of these characteristics.

The calculation of the closing rates for every type of action that someone performs on your site or the kind of person who is taking the action is crucial as it determines the actions you’ll take to respond.

Find out the percentage of people who become competent leads (and ultimately, customers) by the actions they perform or their position in relation to your primary customer. These close rates will be used to actually “score” these leads in the next step.

4. Check the closing rates of each element with your overall closing rate and assign points accordingly.

Find attributes with closing rates substantially more than your average close rate. Choose the attributes you’ll give points to and, If so, how many points. The point value of each attribute based on the size of their respective close rates.

The actual points awarded will be somewhat random however, try to be as consistent as you can. For instance, if your overall close rate is one percent and the “requested demo” close rate is 20 percent, then the closing percentage of your “requested demo” attribute is 20 times your overall closing ratewhich means you can, for instance, award the leads 20 points who have these attributes.

Logistic Regression Lead Scoring

The simplest method, as mentioned above, to calculate the lead score can be a good starting point. However, the most scientifically sound method is to use the use of data mining techniques like logistic regression.

Data mining methods are more complicated, and are often more logical to the actual closing rates because of it. Logistic regression is the process of creating an equation in Excel which will calculate the likelihood that a lead will eventually turn to a client. It’s more precise than the method we’ve described in the previous paragraphs because it’s a comprehensive method that considers how the various factors that affect a customer’s experience — such as the size of the company, industry and whether the person requested a trialare interconnected.

Predictive Lead Scoring

The creation of a lead score could be a huge benefit to your company: it can enhance the lead handoff process, improve lead conversion rates and increase productivity of reps, and much more. However, as you observe from the two approaches mentioned above, figuring out an effective scoring system is an extremely time-consuming process when it is done by hand.

In addition, establishing scores isn’t “set the criteria and then forget about it.” When you receive the feedback of your staff members and test your scores, you’ll have to adjust your lead scoring system on a regularly basis to ensure that accuracy. Wouldn’t it be more efficient to have technology take the manual setting up and continue adjustments, giving your team with more time to establish relationships with your customers?

This is the reason predictive scoring is so important. Predictive scoring makes use of machine learning to analyze hundreds of data points to determine your most promising prospects, so that you don’t need to. Predictive scoring analyzes what details your customers share and also what leads who did not close share and then comes up with an algorithm that sort your contacts in relation to their potential to be customers. This enables your sales team and you to prioritize leads so that you’re not contacting people who aren’t (yet) engaged and engaging the ones who do.

The most appealing aspect of predictive scoring is that it’s not just about the numbers. Like any other application to machine learning, the predicted score will become more accurate over time and your follow-up plan will improve itself.