The lead scoring is a methodology used to score and rank the leads according to parameters set by the marketing and sales teams. These parameters define which leads from the base are really qualified taking into account profile, interest and time of purchase.
The lead scoring is a methodology that can be used both by the marketing team as the sales team of Agro farms to classify a lead.
The lead scores based on their interactions with the content and analysis of their profile according to the persona defined by the company. Most companies build the lead scoring using as a parameter:
- Demographic data;
- Information about the lead’s company, such as size and market segment;
- Lead position;
- Blog posts visited;
- Downloaded rich materials;
- Among others.
The bottom line is, with lead scoring, marketing and sales teams increase their efficiency and productivity when trying to locate a lead that is at the ideal time to receive a contact from your company.
The scoring helps to know if the lead is ready to receive an approach or if it must still go through the nutrition marketing process.
Along with all this, you should also know what lead scoring is not:
- An exclusive marketing process: it is essential to align with the sales team the quality of the leads that are being qualified as opportunities for the scoring to bring real results;
- A process that only focuses on hot leads while ignoring other leads that are in the database.
Why is this score important?
According to an estimate made by the sales team of Blue World City, less than 25% of new leads are ready for sale.
So how do you know when it’s time to prospect the lead? How do you educate and qualify the remaining 75%?
Through lead scoring, companies can divide leads into groups, in order to facilitate the process of nurturing and educating those leads that are not yet ready to receive a commercial proposal.
With the different groups of leads in hand, the marketing team should focus on building a lead education process, so that they become aware of their problems and possible solutions available.
Only from this point on will the lead be really prepared to receive an approach from the sales team.
Aligning Sales and Marketing
When the marketing team and the sales team have the same vision about what a hot lead is, there is a better use of the base, avoiding the waste of leads and increasing the productivity of the sales team.
Some tips for aligning between teams are:
- Create a common lead definition;
- Simplify the communication process between the two teams;
- Leads considered lost by the sales team must be re-nourished by the marketing team.
The fundamentals of lead scoring
You need to look at two different types of scores when building the lead scoring: explicit and implicit.
- Explicit scoring is based on information that the lead makes available through forms, surveys, among others;
- Implicit scoring is based on information you observe through online lead behavior.
By joining these two scores you build a profile about the lead and the company he works for.
Explicit lead scoring is information obtained directly, usually collected through an online form or registration process.
Demographic and behavioral information is matched against your persona profile, while BANT- based information indicates where in the buying journey the lead is.
Score for the lead and for the company
The lead and company score is based on information such as: job title, industry, company size, and annual revenue. Some demographic or corporate factors to consider are:
- Position: Does this person have the decision-making power? Is it possible to reach the decision maker through this person?
- Company Size: What is the size of the company? Is there a minimum or maximum amount required to implement that company’s solution?
- Industry: Does the company with this lead tend to need a solution like yours?
Obviously, lead scoring success will depend on having well-defined personas from your ideal customer profile.
BANT is a lead qualification methodology created by IBM. Its acronym means:
- Budget (budget);
- Authority (authority);
- Need (need);
- Time frame (urgency).
Can the prospect actually buy your product or service? What is the financially set limit for purchasing a solution like yours?
Always keep in mind that different departments in the same company may have different budgets for different solutions.
Is the lead a decision maker? What is his position? Does he approve the budget alone? Some companies may have different types of decision makers and influencers.
Does the company need your solution? Is it a specific or a general problem? More importantly, what is the fact that this is a priority for the lead?
If, for example, internal processes are performed manually and inefficiently, the lead is losing efficiency. This is what drives the need for a solution.
Time frame (urgency)
When does the lead need to resolve this issue? Is he being charged for the results his solution can bring, or is it a hire that can wait?
Implicit scoring typically consists of tracking the prospect’s behavior in order to gauge their level of interest in your company or solution.
Behavior scoring identifies the lead’s level of engagement with your company and the content you provide.
Leads who visit multiple blog pages and respond to marketing emails often show that they are looking to learn about an issue.
Leads who visit a product page are considering hiring a solution, or at least are more open to a sales team approach.
Creating a method that scores and classifies lead behavior is not an easy task. The most important point is to be able to differentiate a more engaged (hot) lead from a less engaged (cold) lead.
For example, imagine two leads with similar scores but different behaviors:
When creating your lead scoring model it is important to ensure that you are able to adjust the score to map the different behaviors and interest level of your leads.
It is not possible to say that João and Mateus are at the same moment of the purchase journey.
Building the lead scoring
Often the hardest part of lead scoring is getting started. Not because it’s complicated or time-consuming, but because you need some knowledge to build it.
Now that you know why it’s important to your marketing and sales strategy to have lead scoring, I’ll show you where you can start scoring the information you have about your leads.
Step #1: Gather information about your ideal customer profile
Start by talking to your sales team to gather all the information that indicates the ideal profile of your customers. Review the following:
- Who are the leads in your sales funnel and what do they have in common?
- Online Activity Log: What pages did prospects visit, what materials did they download, and where did these leads come from?
- Sales Records: Discover activities or campaigns that caught the lead’s attention prior to purchase.
Step #2: Determine your ICP and your personas. Test!
Use all relevant information to design your ideal customer profile and personas. Think of explicit and implicit scores and assign points based on their relevance.
You can test your score with leads that became customers or advanced in negotiations with the sales team. Check if your score really agrees with reality.
Step #3: Align sales and marketing goals
Your sales team must help build and approve the necessary information. The main points to be aligned between marketing and sales regarding lead scoring are:
- The profile of an ideal customer and what constitutes a ready-to-sales lead;
- A core lead scoring and ranking methodology;
- The score threshold that indicates the lead is ready for sales;
- Scoring leads according to explicit data such as information from completed forms and BANT.
When bringing the marketing and sales team together, start with simple scoring ideas and ensure everyone contributes. Also, build a document to be the starting point of your lead scoring.
This document is going to help you think of different scoring attributes that might be relevant to your business, including those that will have a negative effect on scoring.
The ROI of Lead Scoring
The true value of lead scoring comes from prioritizing leads. This way, you help your sales team to focus their efforts on the right leads at the right time.
But how do you know if your scoring model delivers results?
Lead scoring should increase sales force productivity, increase the number of leads converted to opportunities, and shorten the sales cycle for qualified leads.
Yes, that’s the rule and that’s what lead scoring is there for!
Result #1: Increased sales team productivity
You can measure the impact of lead scoring on the productivity of the sales team by recording the number of follow ups that were needed to close, before and after lead scoring came into use.
Result #2: Increased conversion of leads to opportunities
The lead scoring ensure that salespeople to work more efficiently, focusing on the leads most likely to buy.
Likewise, you should compare results before and after lead scoring implementation.
Result #3: Sales cycle reduction
Sales cycles typically start from the moment an opportunity enters your sales platform until the purchase closes.
Average your sales cycle for leads qualified by lead scoring and leads from other sources, such as outbound. Remember to remove outliers that might distort the dataset.
That way you will find out whether lead scoring reduces your sales cycle or not. Review this metric every time you optimize your process.
The lead scoring is a key part of the lead management.
By tracking your potential customer’s behavior, you can determine their level of interest in your solution and the ideal time to contact you.
With the combination of these two factors, it is possible to send really qualified leads to the sales team, promoting alignment between sales and marketing and increasing the performance of your process.
The more you learn about lead scoring, the better you get every lead that enters your contact base.
You increase the efficiency of your marketing team, which delivers qualified leads to the sales team. Consequently, you increase your conversion rate 😉