Lead Scoring – your 5 step checklist to success

What is lead scoring? Lead scoring lets you score your leads on their demographic data (are they the right age group, in the correct location, has a company turnover of xyz) and engagement with your brand (emails opened, web pages viewed, events attended, order history and buying patterns, social interests and most used social channels). This lets you know who’s hot and ready to convert. And who’s not so you can work on warming them up.

Why do lead scoring?

It helps sales prioritize leads and you know who to focus your efforts on to warm up. It also gives you insight into what marketing activities work well in the buying cycle for your business, so you can adapt it to new prospects and shorten the buying cycle and increase conversion rates.

So here’s a checklist you should follow to harness ultimate success:

1. Have complete alignment between sales and marketing

  • Both teams need to define the ideal customer and agree on what makes a qualified lead that is passed over to sales
  • The sales team need to follow up with leads passed over from marketing and both teams need to agree within what time period

2. Really think about your scoring criteria

  • Take a look at all the different ways prospects and customers can engage with you (media, whitepaper download, attended an event, visited your shop, took part in a competition, pages visited on your website) and score each interaction accordingly. For example, registering for an event but not attending would have a lower score than actually attending. And visiting your pricing or free trial web page would have a high score whereas a visit to your careers page would be a negative.
  • Develop a persona of the ideal customer. What do they look like? Age, gender, location etc.
  • Have positive and negative scores. It’s the only way to cut out the time wasters and make your time and effort more efficient and effective.
  • Believe it not, you should assign scores for when contacts don’t engage with you. Has it been 3 months since they opened an email from you? Even longer since they downloaded a whitepaper or acted on a discount code? It might be time to take a new approach with these contacts to re-engage them.
  • Look at your existing data. What were the key factors in converting a key customer? Use the buying cycle pattern and buying signals to influence your score. Did an attended event contribute to a sale VS sharing your content on their social networks?

3. Three groups are optimal

  • Don’t create too many different segments. Three is optimal: hot, warm, cold. This lets you easily spot the gold dust from the garbage. And if you make too many different lists you’ll soon find you’re not sure what the difference actually is between them and you don’t have the resource to create different content and automation programs to nurture each group. As you develop your lead scoring you might realize you need more than three segments but I wouldn’t create more than five.

4. Set a tipping score

  • At what point do they become a marketing qualified lead (MQL) and leave marketing’s nurture pot straight to the sales team’s desk? And what do sales do next? Make sure they have all the content they need to make that call and convert the prospect into a customer.

5. Learn and improve

  • Never rest on your laurels. Things change and you need to change with them. Constantly review how your lead scoring is performing – are the leads you’re passing over to sales converting faster or are they dragging and end up being ignored by sales and are excluded from your nurture program?. Has your business’s strategy changed so therefore the definition of your ideal customer? What results have you seen? Shorter conversions, bigger orders etc.?

I hope this checklist is helpful in getting you started on your lead scoring journey. If you’re already doing lead scoring check out this blog by my colleague who talks about using lead scoring in your marketing automation. And vice versa.

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