If you’re ready to improve your sales process, lead scoring is a good place to start. Lead scoring is a sales and marketing methodology that assigns points to and ranks leads to determine their sales-readiness. Lead scoring is used to automate the ranking, grouping, routing and tracking of leads and is designed to ensure your company has a consistent process for lead management. This method of prioritizing leads can be based on interest in your product, demographic information, interaction with your content, and other factors. The higher the score, the more likely a lead is to buy from your company.
If your lead scoring model is set properly, your sales team will only interact with high-priority leads who are most likely to make a purchase and enable your marketing team to nurture prospects who aren’t moving through the funnel.
Here are a few ways to improve your process:
1. Listen to input from the sales team.
The purpose of lead scoring is to deliver to the sales team only leads that are qualified and close to making a purchase. If you deliver too many leads, your sales team will waste time trying to convert the ones that need nurturing. Let sales monitor the process and report back if they aren’t getting high-quality leads at the right time. The sales team can also be helpful in earlier stages to define scoring criteria and the weight of specific behaviors.
2. Analyze your results.
If your company is losing a lot of leads, carve out some time to gather your teams and figure out what’s going wrong. Are you catching people at the wrong time? Is their budget too small for your products and services? What can you change about your scoring system that will lead to more success? Apply this same analysis to your successes by examining leads that converted quickly into opportunities. Build on that information to make your scoring method more accurate.
3. Use marketing automation.
A 2014 report by the Aberdeen Group indicates that companies using marketing automation achieve 53 percent higher conversion rates than non-users. Marketing automation software; can serve as a link between your content, sales lists, and leads to craft the most targeted interactions with contacts by leveraging such intelligent tools like lead scoring, advanced segmentation, as well as, powerful features for building more effective marketing strategies. Marketing automation enables marketers to become less campaign-focused and more customer-focused about behaving as though they’re working alongside customers every day to craft the most personalized nurturing messages as well as deliver those messages to relevant audiences right at the needed time and in the most effective channels.
4. Track digital behavior.
With marketing automation software in place, you can learn a lot about your prospects by observing the way they interact with your content and digital properties. The following actions could give you more information about where a lead should fall in your sales funnel and how to score them appropriately:
- Links clicked
- Blog posts read
- Pages viewed
- Emails opened
- Forms completed
- Website behavior
If a lead is interacting with your site in several of these ways, they should probably receive a higher score. If you’re lucky to get someone to open an email, spend more time nurturing them through marketing before the sales team reaches out.
5. Create a detailed follow-up plan.
What do you do with your leads once they have been assigned a score, and once that score reaches the threshold for sales delivery? Your marketing and sales teams should have detailed plans and workflows for interacting with buyers during different phases of the sales cycle. This could include the following actions:
- Email campaigns offering specials or discounts
- Case studies or white papers that support the effectiveness of your product
- Phone calls or emails
- Face-to-face meetings
- Product demos or trials
It can take a lot of time to set up an effective lead scoring system, but once you have a process in place, you’ll see higher conversion rates and increased revenue. You might notice fewer leads being sent to sales and prospects spending more time interacting with your marketing team, but that means only the highest quality leads make it to sales.
By Megan Pacella
Megan Pacella is a contributor for TechnologyAdvice.com, with specializations in B2B marketing and sales. She has also written for USA Today, Bearings Guide, 10Best Nashville, and other publications.