If you’re lucky enough to have so many leads you don’t know where to focus your attention, then lead scoring is for you. In a nutshell, lead scoring allows you to assign points to leads based on certain criteria, allowing you to focus your efforts on leads that have higher scores.
So how do you come up with a system for scoring leads? First let’s brush up on our sales funnel basics, then we’ll dig in.
If you visualize the sales funnel, it basically represents a state of sales-readiness for all your leads. At the top of the funnel, you’ll tend to have a big pool of “cool” leads that have done something to indicate their interest in your product/service, but are not really close to buying. Towards the middle of the funnel are “warm” leads that have shown an ongoing interest in your product/service, but still aren’t quite there. And at the bottom of the funnel, you’ve got leads that are “marketing qualified leads”—aka “sales-ready”—aka hot, hot, hot and ripe for the taking!
Your goal is to focus your time and energy on those hot, marketing-qualified leads, and not waste your time on the leads at the top of the funnel. That’s where lead scoring comes in!
Many customer relationship management (CRM) systems have lead scoring capabilities or add-ins. For instance, PowerObjects uses the PowerPack add-on PowerScore to automatically dole out points to leads based on a wide range of criteria. You may have a different system. No matter what technology you are working with, the basic steps you take to determine how to score your leads should be pretty standard.
Step 1: Figure out what your goal is.
For most sales-type organizations/departments, the goals tend to be straight forward. Your main goal could be to identify which leads are “hot” by analyzing their behavior and/or characteristics to determine which are most likely to buy within a certain timeframe. For some organizations, the goal may be to sort out the leads who are most likely to be open to a phone discussion with a sales rep. For others, it may be just filling out a form on a website. The goal will be unique to every organization.
Step 2: Designate a score you want your leads to get to.
Step 3: Determine your scoring criteria based on lead behavior.
Step 3. Determine your scoring criteria based on lead behavior.
Scoring can be based on set characteristics of a leads, such as how big the lead’s organization is, whether they are in a target demographic, if they fit a certain geographic region, or have a history with your business.
Scoring can also be based on the leads behavior, so think about the types behavior that indicate positive action in your leads. These are some things you can use to give leads scores through the PowerScore add-on:
- Opening a page on your website
- Opening an email you sent
- Clicking on a link in an email you sent
- Filling out a web form
- Filling out a survey
- Lowering lead score through activity or inactivity
Step 4: Profit!
Kidding (sort of). But really, once you’ve put in place the scoring rules, these “hot” leads that have made it to your goal score should, in theory, be the most valuable, and reward you with a higher close rate and/or a faster time to close.
Further Reading: Using Nurture Campaigns to Coax Your Leads Down the Funnel
Okay, so you know the goal—getting those leads to “sales-ready”—and you know what behaviors you want to score your leads on. Next you’ll want to think about ways to help your leads down the funnel. That’s where nurture campaigns come in! Check out our blog on how to develop compelling content that nurtures your leads and gets them to the bottom of the funnel!