For B2B Marketing, the Mad Men days never really existed. Marketing like all other business functions has become data-driven. All business decisions must be based on data, and marketing is no exception. One area of data based marketing analytics is lead scoring. Scoring leads is about ranking your prospects based on their perceived value to your company.
Scoring your leads will focus your marketing efforts and enable your sales teams to engage with the right leads and close opportunities. I want to share some easy tips to get you started so you can use the scores to your advantage.
Is It the Right Time for Lead Scoring?
You’ll want to have enough leads first. If you are not attracting enough leads to fill your sales pipeline, then you should first focus on generating more leads. In any case, it's a good idea to familiarize your marketing and sales reps with the concepts of lead scoring. Once you are generating a sufficient number of leads, it's time for get those leads qualified by marketing (MQL).
Choosing the Right Kind of Data
Choosing the data you want to base your leads scores on is the first step. This would be a great time to have your sales leaders meet with marketing. Together you’ll determine the values to assign to each data point. How do you start the conversation and where do you get your data?
There are 3 types of data you should be gathering and looking at; explicit; implicit, and social.
- Explicit Data: Information voluntarily shared with the company, whether through a form or other kind of interaction. These are generally demographic in nature, such as job title, or company size.
- Implicit Data: Information gathered by analyzing online behaviours. This type of data can be number of page views, or which content was downloaded.
- Social Data: How engaged the lead is in social media. Did they like your post? Are they a social media influencer?
With the data gathered, you can begin to assign value points to each “level” of information. For example you can use a 1- 10 scale for job titles giving the CEO a 10, and a summer intern 0 (ok a 1, I was an intern once). Which bring me to my next point which I think may be the most important.
Lead Scores Should Be Fluid and Customizable
There is no set in stone way to score leads. It all depends on your company’s products, industry, and buyer persona. Focus your points on who finds value in your products, and decision makers; it may not be the CEO. Also, look for behaviours that show genuine interest, such as movements along the buyer journey. Never forget that you are dealing with real people not just numbers. Your leads are individuals with emotions and personal influences.
Lead scoring is a guideline to help increase sales productivity and better target marketing campaigns. You’ll be able to narrow your marketing and sales funnel and guide your leads with the right content through the sales cycle. As ideas of the funnel go in and out of fashion, you can at least always use lead scoring to serve as a guide through the journey.