When companies start implementing strategies that focus on attracting leads or customers, the first question that comes to mind is, will we get enough new leads in our funnels? The next step is to evaluate the quality of your lead and this is where lead scoring comes in.
So what exactly is lead scoring? It is a process used by numerous marketing and sales departments to evaluate and rank prospects on a point scale which assigns a score to each lead. The emerging score is then used to determine the priority of the leads the sales team then will engage with.
According to a recent research by DemandGen, 41% of participants reported an increase in the conversation rates when it comes to leads that were generated through the lead scoring process. (Source: demandgen.com)
Each company has a different process of verifying and qualifying it’s leads – nonetheless, to benefit the most out of this significant approach companies should:
Define explicit and implicit criteria
The base of each lead scoring is the definition of the explicit (demographic) and implicit (behavioral) characteristics of your ideal lead.
The explicit approach describes the readily available information that enables marketers to determine whether the leads are a good fit for the companies this includes: the industry, products or service, company size, etc. On the other hand, the implicit approach describes the behavior of the prospects, for example: Do they register for webinars? Do they open the emails? Do they download white papers from your website? Do they hold decision making positions in their companies? This helps you to filtering through the clutter and select the ideal customer profile.
Crosscheck with sales
Your sales team is closer to the leads because they get in touch with them more often. Most likely, they understand the pain points and needs of prospects better than any other department in your company. Their feedback about interests and tendencies should be considered when developing a lead scoring model.
Customise your scoring
Assigning the same value points for actions of the same nature could hinder an effective lead scoring process. For example, when awarding points for opened e-mails, one should consider what the email is about. Is the e-mail announcing a new innovative product or service or is the e-mail informing people that your company will be closed for holiday? The first action certainly requires a score while the second doesn’t. Applying the same principle to other actions will help in fine tuning your scoring process
Disqualify dead-end leads
Occasionally, some leads which contact you never convert into customers simply because they are not decision makers. For example, an intern who fills out your contact form would probably be doing an academic research rather than looking to purchase your product or service. Using lead scoring tools to automatically disqualify such leads saves time. Example of tools?
Last but not least: Automate
Despite the human factor when defining the ranking amongst leads, implementing a lead scoring model can be difficult to manually accomplish because a lead’s preference or activity can change every day. You need technology for optimal results so that the hard work of qualifying the data is done through the algorithms that are created. Companies should thus ensure their marketing automation and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems are integrated for scoring. FinancesOnline, a reliable SaaS software review platform assessed top 20 online CRM tools and found out that many of these tools deliver excellent lead management such as:
- HubSpot CRM is listed as one of the best free of charge CRMs that includes modern features, tracking and nurturing faucets all in one package.
- Salesforce Essentials dominates a big fraction of the market because it provides a variety of services like marketing automation, partner management, lead management and sales data control. Many companies mostly prefer it because of its top-notch reports and real-time views of the sales team’s interaction that can help you in creating weekly analysis and forecasts.
- Freshsales is also among the most chosen CRM. Users find its intuitive interface, activity & behavior captures, AI-powered lead scoring and other unique features very effective. Freshsales works best for small or medium sales teams which possess minimum to no previous experience with digitized customer relationship management.
- Pipedrive is a CRM that should be considered to improve sales and service delivery. Due to the numerous features, Pipedrive is used with over 50,000 companies worldwide. All the functions are built within active selling that provides users with adept control over deal completion as well as lead nurturing.
If companies invest on the latest lead scoring tools and implement the key factors as mentioned above, their overall sales process is bound to improve. And for an effective lead processing strategy, it is essential for the marketers and sales teams to closely align their lead management efforts which will in turn maximize sales opportunities.
Which other lead scoring tools do you know of?