What Is Lead Scoring
Lead scoring can be defined as the process of assigning numerical values to the leads that you’re generating. You score leads based on the information you have about them. You could also score leads based on the manner at which they’ve interacted with your website or brand.
Why Is Lead Scoring Important
The process of scoring leads is important because it helps you prioritise the leads that you generated. It also allows you to figure out how to respond to them more appropriately, and in the end, get to increase the rate at which you’re able to convert those leads into active customers.
Not every person on your radar qualifies as a prospect. While some may be interested in what you’re offering, a good number of them are just looking around.
You want to sort out your site’s visitors and find out who to pitch to and who to lay aside for a while. Failure to do this can lead you into losing a good chunk of your valuable time — the time you could have directed elsewhere for more guaranteed results.
Is There A System For Lead Scoring
Almost all the big companies you see floating around have a devised system that they use to assign numerical scores to their leads. The most common of these strategies is using the lead data that they’ve been accumulating in the past.
They simply revisit this data and use their intelligence to sort them out and find out which among them converted with so much ease. They then project this data to the leads coming in and make meaningful conclusions.
There’s nothing complicated about this process. The first thing you can do is revisit your contact list. Next, try sorting out all the leads that became customers and find out what they have in common.
The next thing you’d want to do after this is to look at the leads that didn’t take action and find out what attributes do they have in common. Go through the entire history of sales and find out which group responded immediately and which group only responded after being nudged for a while.
In the first group of contacts, those who became customers, find out who among them had already made up their mind. This is the group that took action within minutes of landing on your website. Now sort this group again based on the amount of time they took to take action and find out what’s common with each group.
All you have to do at this point is project the result you get to your current contact list. Use it to group the list, and assign them scores based on which group is more likely to take action first, and exponentially so, until you’re done with the entire list.
Explicit and Implicit Lead Scoring
There are so many ways to score your leads. Broadly, all the lead scoring methods can be grouped into two: explicit and implicit lead scoring.
Explicit scoring is the process of assigning values to your leads based on the information you’ve collected or the information they provided by filling up one of your forms. For instance, if your site’s users are from different industries, you can rank them differently depending on what strikes you to be more valuable or less valuable.
Again, if their job titles hint that they’re the decision-maker in the industry they’re in, that’s another element you’d want to factor into your lead scoring procedure.
Implicit scoring, on the other hand, is more about behaviour than gleaned information. It’s more concerned about how your leads are reacting to your website rather than the information they provided or what you’ve gathered about them.
For instance, if the first page a site’s visitor heads to after landing is your product page, that shows they have heightened interest in buying one of your products or services. If the past data backs this claim up, then that’s enough reason to rank this group of leads higher than the rest.
The point is to figure out how to differentiate casual interest and someone with real buying intention. The more you operate, the more you’re likely to develop a deeper understanding of your leads to be able to group them more appropriately.
Different Lead Scoring Models
By scoring leads, the first thing you’d want to know is if there’s any compatibility between your leads and products. The scores you assign to each lead can range anywhere from 0 to 100, and here are the attributes you can use in assigning values to these leads.
Are your products or services more suited for a certain demographic, or are they spread out? This should be among the first questions that you ask yourself. Find out if your products appeal more to adults, children, or teenagers.
Where you can’t come up with clear answers for this, don’t be afraid to ask your leads.
Find out if there’s a group that you don’t sell to. For instance, if your product is meant to be used by people within a certain region, you might want to remove any outlier lead that you’re certain won’t be purchasing your products or services.
Another trick would be to assign them a negative score. Assign this value to all the outlier groups hailing from another zip code, state or country, and which you’re certain, have absolutely no use for your products or services.
You may also consider including optional form fields (like an email address or phone number), and award extra points to any lead that fills any of these fields.
This applies to B2B marketers. There must be an organisation that you’re more interested in selling to. It could be due to size, the industry they’re in, or the organization they represent.
Or perhaps you’re more interested in selling to other B2B organisations more that you’re interested in selling to B2C organisations.
Find out more about the leads that snugly fit into your target audience and find out more about the organizations they represent. You might want to assign extra points to leads that are within that type of organisation and take points from leads that are completely different from what you’re looking for.
This has everything to do with how your leads interact with your website. Which pages are they visiting the most? Which page are they most likely to take action after visiting? Which page nudges them the most?
By observing your client’s behaviour, you should be able to gauge their level of interest in your products or services and appropriately assign them a score. Shift your focus to the leads that take action. What so common about their behaviour? Which character trait do they exhibit?
How many pages do they visit before taking action? Which offer are they interested in the most?
Also, look at the sources of your traffic. Where are the leads coming from? Compare the different platforms and find out which one among them is likely to generate leads with stronger intend to complete an order?
On your website, there should be pages that you perceive to be higher value. Any lead that opens any of these pages should be awarded a point.
Your leads behaviour is also bound to change over time. Some of your leads may even stop engaging with your site, and when this happens, that means you have to take some points away from them.
The same case applies to leads whose interest grows with time. Give them extra points that will see to it that their score improves with time.
Not everyone who opts into your email list qualifies as a hot lead. You have to gauge their level of interest first and group them afterwards.
Find out who among them are interested enough to consider going through with an action. Here’s the thing: consider sending all your email subscribers an email with a Call to Action, and find out how many of them will open the email and click through it.
Every lead than opens the email and clicks through it is somehow interested in what you’re offering, and must, therefore, be awarded some extra points.
Once done, you can go slowly on the other leads that are still playing shy with your emails and products, and direct more of your effort to the leads that have made an effort to engage with your business.
Leads that make an effort to engage you on social media should earn an extra point for it. Bonus point if they’re always engaging you.
Plus you can easily gauge their level of interest based on their interactions with you. How many times did they click on your Facebook posts? How often do they retweet or share your posts?
Find out how many of your followers are active on social media and award them points based on their Klout score or the number of followers that they have.
Look out for leads that appear to have filled your forms in a hurry or in a manner that communicates no interest. Reward them with a negative score that nullifies all their effort.
This could be other developers who are just testing out your site or some random bots that are up to no good.
For instance, where a lead didn’t bother to capitalise the first letter of their name; that alone is enough reason to raise eyebrows and question their level of interest.
Did the lead randomly type in letters that made no sense? Well, that’s a spam lead to award a negative score.
A Real-Time Analogy of How Lead Scoring Works
Let’s assume you run a boutique somewhere in the heart of the city. Two customers walk in. You approach them to offer them any necessary assistance, but the first one turns you away by telling you she’s just checking out what you have.
The other one walks in and heads straight to a blouse aisle. There’s a good chance the second customer is more likely to purchase your product. That’s because their approach is more specific and they’re not walking around your store with no purpose like the first lead.
Based on their behaviour, you should be able to tell that the second customer has the intention to buy. She has a purpose and specific goal in mind, and all she needs to make up her mind and go through with a purchase is some little bit of nudging or convincing from you.
As a salesperson, the bulk of your attention should be directed to the second customer and very little towards the first customer until she makes up their mind.
Lead Scoring Software
The good thing with lead scoring is that there’re tools that you could use to automate the whole process. All you have to do is set the parameters determining what qualifies as a good lead and let the software handle the rest.
Lead generation software can aggregate different elements, including engagement rate, browsing behaviour, and so on to determine the leads that are more likely to convert.
The software will then sort out the lead and place the hottest of these leads at the top of your follow-up list. The more your leads move through your sales funnel, the more their score increases.
Why You Should Consider Using Lead Generation Software
There are so many ways to generate leads. The good thing with lead scoring is that it’s flexible and can adjust to match any form of lead generation method.
It does this by providing a common anchor that will be tying all the leads in your sales funnel. Just find a lead scoring CRM, and you’d be surprised by how easy it is for you to automate everything.
Lead Scoring Implementation
Lead scoring sounds great to the ear. Implementing it is also so much easier than you think.
You can do it manually, but where you feel like automating everything you have CRM software such as Leadsquared to help you out. With this tool, you can assign scores to your leads based on the various attributes provided and group them accordingly. In so doing, you should know where to direct the bulk of your marketing effort.
The Final Thought
Hopefully, by now, you have a better idea of what lead scoring is and how to integrate it into your marketing strategy. There’s always more than we can cover in a single article. So why not make an effort to talk to the conversion rate optimisation (CRO) consultation team at MediaOne about leading scoring or anything else for that matter, and let’s see how we can combine our experiences to make your project a success.