So you want to create an awesome lead scoring model?
Well here’s a handy how-to-guide for you…
Let’s start at the start, what’s a lead?
A lead is someone who has expressed some sort of interest in your company, product or service. They may have looked at your website, clicked on one of your social media posts, or responded to one of your awesome e-shots.
A lead is exciting! You haven’t had to cold-call for their attention; they have organically found you or have appeared as a result of your amazing lead generation strategy! (click here for 10 tips on lead generation)
A lead is the beginning of what we all hope is an ongoing buying relationship, and it’s down to you. Bloody well done!
However, not all leads are born equal. Not everyone who visits your website necessarily wants to buy, not everyone who opens a discount email you have sent them is genuinely interested in using it!
So how do you find the prioritise leads that are qualified for further contact? How do you know that this lead isn’t just the competition having their weekly nose at your homepage? You don’t necessarily want to call every single person who visits your website… to prioritise your leads you need the added power of lead scoring!
Ok, sounds exciting, so what exactly is lead scoring?
Lead scoring is a great way for your sales and marketing team to measure how ‘sales ready’ a lead is based on the behaviours you, as a marketer, deem to be tell-tale buying signals!
This is the way sales can prioritise their time more effectively and get to work converting qualified leads into bottom-line. The lead behaviour should determine who gets passed to sales, who gets called as a priority, and who to nurture further.
The other huge benefit to well-executed lead scoring model is that the leads themselves will be more open to sales direct sales communication. Would you prefer to be called as soon as you looked at a homepage, or would you prefer to enter into discussions once you’ve got to know the company more and sized up their products and services?
It requires a good deal of communication and planning between sales and marketing to create a perfect fit lead scoring model for your business, to automate this process and ultimately improve your sales productivity and results.
So where do lead generation and lead nurturing fit in?
Lead generation is unbelievably important to this process! Without generating a strong flow of leads into the sales funnel, the lead scoring model itself won’t have anyone to score and sort.
Similarly, lead nurturing is also key to lead scoring success. Once you have those leads in the funnel through lead generation, your lead scoring model will determine how sales ready that lead is, you need good lead nurturing in place to take any ‘not ready’ leads and make them ready!
Technology such as marketing automation can help with every stage of this process:
1) Lead generation & Lead nurturing
Use your marketing automation (MA) software to create enticing landing pages and forms to gather as much information from your lead as possible. Be wary of asking too much though. It’s well documented that asking too many questions will put a potential lead off. Don’t ask for any unnecessary information, and use your common sense. If you ask for their business email, don’t also ask for their business name, as that’s obvious from their email address.
Better still, take advantage of backfilled and progressive profiling forms that only ask a question once (and yes, Kulea offers all this, and more, out of the box)
From here you can score the lead as they arrive into your digital eco-system and place them on a nurturing journey if necessary. Personalise (and persona-lise®️) your digital communications to enhance the lead’s experience.
You can now create and send timely email campaigns full of relevant, personalised, value-adding content and see all of the results in one place, even going as far as to trigger emails based on a lead reaching a particular threshold – so engaged leads will receive different content from casual leads.
2) Lead scoring automation
Automate the entire process using journeys and automations. Lead scoring automation is quick and easy to set up within marketing automation. You can assign lead scores from any online trigger or activity (for example, opens and clicks an email = 10 points)
You can use automation to not only make sure leads receive the correct email communication at the right time (for example, if they do not open email A in 2 days, send them email B), but also to alert your sales staff if a lead score threshold is reached, so they automatically know the best time to call.
It’s best practice to get all of your ducks in a row before pressing play – document your lead scoring model, get your lead generation system in place and set up your marketing automation platform to alert your sales team when appropriate thresholds are reached.
What lead scoring model is right for me? How do I create one?
A lead scoring model is not just there to help the sales team determine who to contact, but also when to contact, to be most effective. However, this doesn’t mean that every company needs a big, scary, complex lead scoring model; each company will have different needs, wants and resources.
This is where the communication between the sales and marketing team becomes imperative. The sales team will know your customer inside out, they will know their pains, and they will know what excites them. Whatever these may be, your model should focus on two main characteristics:
If you don’t look at both characteristics together, you run the risk of giving false information to the sales team…
Remember the ‘competitor lead’ example I gave earlier? If you only base the lead model on activity then your competitor, who has looked at your pricing page 3 times, your product page 7 times and downloaded 2 of your free assets, will have a huge lead score, with absolutely no intention of buying your product.
This is where demographic comes in, if we ask that competitor for information on their company and position before giving out the free asset, we will be able to lower their score when we see their company name.
The example above is an extreme case, however the logic still applies to all of your leads. It works the other way too, if you base the lead score solely on demographics, you may quickly find you have high numbers of the ‘right kind of people’ to call, but how interested are they if you don’t measure behaviour/activity?
Now is the time to apply this to your own company, determine the demographics and behaviours of your ideal lead and assign a score to each one
You should use both positive lead scores and negative lead scores, so if a lead first appears engaged and then starts acting in a ‘negative’ way, then you want that lead score to go down to show this (maybe they’ve started looking at your company jobs page?). You may also decide that a specific action resets the lead score to 0.
Most models use a 1-100 point score to determine who is a qualified lead to sell to and who is a good lead to nurture, this may be determined by them being engaged/not-engaged or cool/warm/hot…
Here is a great example, courtesy of propellercrm.com of what actions might warrant a negative lead score or a positive lead score:
You will now need to assign a Lead score to your digital leads actions.
This is an example of what point scores you could allocate:
You will now need to decide your lead score thresholds, but what lead score determines which stage?
(Here’s another great example from propellercrm.com)
Now you can decide which actions should be taken based on which stage a lead has reached. These thresholds can serve as the trigger in your marketing automation to either alert or nurture.
Through these stages, you can implement your marketing automation to trigger certain actions as things progress. Automation can be set up to alert the sales team once a person lead score reached a certain threshold, or a particular threshold can trigger a nurturing journey to try and bump up that score to hot.
Most marketing automation solutions (including Kulea) can integrate with your CRM so sales automatically updates their work into the MA solution, meaning both sales and marketing are automatically updating each other on progress!
Make sure you test your lead scoring model regularly
Once you have created your lead score model it shouldn’t be set in stone, as you scale, grow, the market changes… this model will need to evolve. Make sure you monitor the results every few months to make sure it is working the best it can for you – your lead scoring model should only ever be a work in progress.
So what are you waiting for? Time to get modelling!