Every business has leads. It doesn’t matter what type of industry you’re in, whether you sell online or at a physical location, or whether your sales cycle is four months or a year… you have potential customers out there. What you do with those leads is another story, however.
You can identify improper usage of leads by asking yourself a few questions.
- Are you treating all your leads the same?
- Do you have a defined, documented strategy for scoring prospects?
- Does your sales team get frustrated with the leads that marketing provides?
- Are you spending too much time manually evaluating leads?
If so, you need a lead scoring strategy. Before we get into developing a strategy however, it’s helpful to know what lead scoring is in the first place. This video from HubSpot has you covered:
The Importance of Proper Lead Scoring Strategy Development
Yes, lead scoring sounds great… in theory. But many businesses struggle to actually implement it. That’s because it requires coordination from leadership, sales and marketing to pull off. You can’t just have one of them handle it because they have different mindsets and skills.
These three departments do each have a valuable part to play in a lead scoring strategy development session, however. Here’s what each brings to the table:
- Executive/leadership: provides a high-level view of company goals, what types of leads the company would like to go after and the realistic goals marketing and sales should have.
- Marketing: provides the messaging and automated tactics that would be involved in nurturing leads to higher scores; provides qualified leads to sales.
- Sales: provides the values for certain demographics and actions that best indicate a lead or prospect is a good fit with the company. Converts well-qualified leads into customers.
Example Lead Scoring Categories
The beauty of lead scoring is that each company’s strategy can be different. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach. As with any area of marketing, it’s helpful to see what has worked for other companies, what is considered best practice and what will actually work for you and your company. That being said, here are some good lead scoring categories and sub-categories that other businesses have used successfully:
- B2B or B2C
- Company Size
- Company Type
- Online actions:
- Website page visits
- Resource downloads
- Blog post views
- Form submissions
- Emails opened/clicked
- Social media posts liked/shared
What A Good Lead Scoring Strategy Process Looks Like
The two most important elements in a lead scoring strategy are fit and interest. You have control over the former; you likely know what clients are easy to work with and what clients are not. You also know what types of clients fit with the solutions you provide. For interest, however, that is up to the lead.
Your lead scoring strategy helps with both fit and interest, as the criteria you set up help determine the leads who are the best fit, while scores for other actions and engagement can signal a prospect is interested and ready to talk to sales.
There are a few steps required to accomplishing this and here’s an example of what a good lead scoring strategy development process looks like:
- Determine the most important fit characteristics of your ideal lead.
- Example: you may offer a high-end product and aren’t interested in people who make less than $100,000 per year.
- Determine the most important interest characteristics of your ideal lead.
- Example: you may only want to follow up on leads who fill out a contact form.
- Choose lead score thresholds.
- Example: you can qualify any lead with a score of 70 or more as an MQL.
- Document responsibilities.
- Example: marketing handles all communication with customer until they reach a score of 70, then sales takes over.
- Set goals.
- Example: marketing has a goal of providing 5 MQLs per month; sales has a goal of closing 1-2 customers per month.
- Reevaluate your strategy.
- Example: take a look at your processes and criteria every few months.
Contact vs. Company Scoring
One last thing to bring up for your lead scoring strategy is the difference between contact and company lead scoring. This could very well change your whole approach to lead scoring. Here are the differences between the two:
- Contact scoring: lead scores for individual contacts. Scores are adjusted on an individual level, not at a company level.
- Company scoring: the cumulative lead score for all contacts at a company. Scores are adjusted on a company level based on individual scores.
This is ideal for businesses targeting certain companies instead of individuals. For example, perhaps you think your product or service is a great fit for a particular local business, but you don’t have influence or contact information for any of the roles with decision-making responsibilities. You can start measuring the fit and interest of the other employees of the company and determine whether there is potential or not. Finally, company scoring can help with prioritizing your list of leads.
Partnering with An Agency for Your Lead Scoring Strategy
Implementing a lead scoring strategy requires a marketing team with the knowledge and experience required to develop the lead scoring strategy, as well as a way to calculate scores and empower the sales team for success. Calculating scores is where many companies get tripped up, as it requires powerful software or lots of data entry and evaluation by employees. Overall, lead scoring can be overwhelming if you don’t know what you’re doing.
Partnering with a marketing agency, however, is another option. Whether you need a lead-scoring strategy developed as part of an ongoing retainer or you’re interested in a one-off lead-scoring strategy consultation, an agency can give you the resources and talent needed to pull of an exceptional lead scoring for your business.
MARION can be that agency. If you’re interested in learning more about lead scoring or any other area of digital marketing, contact us today.
Tags: digital marketing, lead generation, lead scoring, lead scoring advice, lead scoring best practices, lead scoring strategy, lead scoring tips, lead strategy, marketing agency