What is Lead Scoring and Lead Scoring Best Practices – A Primer

What Is Lead Scoring?

Lead scoring is a method necessary to build an efficient marketing and sales process. By assigning scores to your lead, you can identify which are ready for sales and which are still in need of nurturing through various marketing strategies.

This practice can provide you with better leads and simplify communication between two departments. And, your sales lead management process will receive better quality indicators.

sales leads management tips

Knowing what leads you must prioritize gives you a better grasp of your prospects. It determines the probability that each leads fit the ideal customer who are informed enough to talk with sales (and vice versa.) 

Using a marketing automation system can ensure you that leads that land in front of sales are truly the most feasible.

A good way to evaluate leads is giving scores to both explicit and implicit data. Explicit data is static and based on your company size, industry segment, and geographical location. Implicit data is more dynamic and based on your digital body language, including page visits, email clicks, and white paper downloads.

Why You Need Lead Scoring

A strong lead scoring system can make the top end of your sales funnel more efficient. It allows marketing to manage, prioritize, and cultivate leads with the greatest conditions and hand them off to sales. This is extremely important for any business because, according to research, only between 5% and 25% of most B2B new leads are sales-ready.

Lead scoring can help your company’s marketing and sales departments identify the leads they need to process, while putting in place a system for nurturing the rest. Lead scoring allows your sales team to focus their time where it counts – with qualified leads. In turn, this provides productivity and guarantees a better return for your business.

How to Make It Happen

You need to gather your sales and marketing people and come up with a robust marketing automation application and plan. It all comes down to knowing how to give scores to leads based on their activity, interest, and intent. These leads must then be passed to sales. The marketing should continue nurturing the remaining leads. Your two teams should work together very closely to function more efficiently with a lead scoring model as guidance. While simple, it’s not always easy, and top level management must make sure that all teams buy into this (new) process.

The BANTS Criteria

Your sales team cannot afford to waste time on unqualified leads. If you are going to begin a long sales cycle, better do it with a hot lead. The “hotness” of a lead depends on its sales readiness. Use these criteria to determine if a lead is hot.

  • Budget. Can the prospect pass your ideal customer profile when it comes to expenses?
  • Authority. Does it involve the key players in the purchasing decision process?
  • Need. Does the prospect initiate the deal and acknowledge your offer? Are they motivated?
  • Timeframe. Has it been determined when the deal will take place?
  • Sales Readiness. Is the prospect comfortable in talking to a sales representative?

Sometimes, a lead can be too hot. This might come off as an easy win that requires only a little effort to finish the deal, but that is not the case. Given the length of time required to complete a complex sale, hot leads may have already been working with a competitor for months and only finding other vendors to benchmark their chosen solution.

Therefore, it is crucial to identify opportunities as early as possible or your sales representatives will face an uphill battle trying to change a prospect’s mind. For this reason alone, it is essential to build a solid lead generation method and lead nurturing process to catch a good lead that fits the definition of an ideal customer.

Benefits of Lead Scoring

More Lead Information in the Buying Process

Your marketing team must have better knowledge when it comes to the customers you are dealing with. More lead information simply means better lead evaluation. If you know which leads are good and which are bad, you will know which ones to pursue and which ones to nurture.

Align Sales and Marketing Objectives

Marketing is responsible for finding sales-ready leads, while Sales is responsible for finalizing these deals. Lead scoring can be an advantage to both teams and help them understand each other better.

Build a More Accountable Marketing Organization

You can rely on your Marketing team because they will have a better system of catching good leads. Ranking leads and pursuing those on top of the list will make the work process more organized.

Minimize Leads Rejected by Sales

Leads forwarded to your Sales team are guaranteed hot and qualified because of the lead scoring system followed by Marketing. This means less stress and more time efficiency.

Increase Sales Opportunities

Since every lead is thoroughly evaluated, you can start processing the qualified ones and keep nurturing the unqualified ones. The sales opportunities are well-rounded and therefore have better chances for successful transaction.

Increase Overall Sales

A well-managed team is the most effective. Because you know that the leads you are working on are qualified, you can be more confident about the purchasing process.

Score More Deals Through Lead Scoring

Never waste another minute by knowing how to handle your leads. A powerful marketing automation solution enables you to automate the task of qualifying leads. It defines what makes a sales-ready lead and boosts the effectiveness of your business processes.

With lead scoring and the guidance of an efficient system, you can expect the best out of your Marketing and Sales teams while enhancing their often contentious relationship.

Lead scoring and marketing automation Tools & Systems

If you need help implementing or evaluating proper vendor, feel free to send us a note. 

Resources / References:

http://www.thewholebraingroup.com/lead-scoring-important/

http://www.leadlizard.com/services/lead-scoring/

http://www.leadformix.com/lead-scoring.html

http://theinnovativemarketer.blogs.com/ideas/2007/11/while-checking.html

http://www.marketingcharts.com/wp/direct/b2b-marketing-targets-and-lead-scoring-criteria-seen-not-fully-aligned-25454/

Jon Rognerud is well known as the most sought-after SEO, Digital Marketing Consultant and Online Advisor for Finance, Technology, Real-Estate and Health industries. He is famous for building business strategies, mobile websites and integrated marketing solutions that brings process, profits and brand loyalty…without wasting time. Jon Rognerud is the author of the best-selling book (Buy On Amazon), “The Ultimate Guide To Optimizing Your Website” (Entrepreneur Press) and is the Founder of Chaosmap. Get more information about the company here.

About the Author

Jon Rognerud is well known as the most sought-after SEO, Digital Marketing Consultant and Online Advisor for Finance, Technology, Real-Estate and Health industries. He is famous for building business strategies, mobile websites and integrated marketing solutions that brings process, profits and brand loyalty...without wasting time. Jon Rognerud is the author of the best-selling book (Buy On Amazon), "The Ultimate Guide To Optimizing Your Website" (Entrepreneur Press) and is the Founder of Chaosmap. Get more information about the company here.