One of the things that sales and marketing teams in any business are regularly involved in is lead scoring. The purpose of scoring leads is to determine which customers and prospects are sales-ready.
Furthermore, by scoring leads, both sales and marketing teams are able to identify prospects that are most valuable to the business. This makes it easy to target them with the right messages at the right time in their purchase process.
To effectively score leads, marketers should have a clear strategy. In most instances, this strategy involves the use of lead scoring systems, which allow them to assign points to leads based on a wide range of attributes.
If you’re looking to develop a lead scoring strategy for your business, here are six tips to help you optimize it:
- Develop Clear Buyer Personas
The first thing you need to do to optimize your lead scoring strategy is to define your buyer personas. In very basic terms, a buyer persona is a detailed but fictional profile of your target audience. Hence, creating buyer personas means developing detailed profiles of your ideal customers.
By developing such profiles, businesses are able to identify leads that match the descriptions they have on their personas. The leads identified are then scored based on their alignment to the company’s buyer personas. When they start engaging with marketing content or campaigns, the prospects receive additional scores until they can be considered as hot leads for marketers or sales reps to pursue.
Scoring leads based on demographic data makes it possible for marketers to qualify leads. Demographic data, which marketing and sales teams use to score leads, include industry, company, title, or role that prospects hold. Other demographics that marketers or sales reps consider are annual revenue or income, as well as the location of the prospects.
- Integrate CRM And Automation Tools In Lead Scoring
The other highly effective way to optimize your lead scoring strategy is to use customer management relationship software. Often, companies use marketing automation tools to track the prospect’s behavior and then score them while the sales teams leverage CRM databases to identify sales-ready leads and target them for deal closure.
Integrating these two tools can go a long way in empowering sales teams to score leads by viewing a prospect’s actions during marketing campaigns. The data that’s shared between automation systems and CRMs enables sales reps to reach out to qualified leads.
This is because system administrators are able to set automation rules that send alerts on qualified leads and even assign those leads to specific sales reps.
- Ensure Your Sales And Marketing Teams Are Well Aligned
Another way to optimize your lead scoring strategy is to align your marketing and sales teams. As they work towards moving prospects down the sales pipeline, sales teams are quick at identifying conversational trends. These include determining who makes purchase decisions, the pain points that prospects are experiencing, and the problem that they’re seeking to resolve.
This knowledge of prospective customers allows the sales teams to have a better understanding of leads compared to the marketing teams. As such, the two teams should work together to agree on the definition of qualified leads and determine the criteria for scoring leads.
After agreeing on these two, the marketing teams can proceed to craft a lead scoring strategy that incorporates the historical purchase patterns of the company’s target audience.
- Agree On A Threshold For Lead Scoring
The main reason why businesses score leads is to identify qualified leads or leads that are ready to make a purchase. Target audiences are considered to have met the lead scoring threshold when they fit well in a company’s ideal customer profile and proceed to take actions that show they’re interested in a company’s product or service offerings.
The threshold for lead scoring may be any arbitrary number. However, it’s best to start with a qualified score of 100. During scoring, each activity that prospects engage in is weighted appropriately. Once marketers nurture the leads and their cumulative score gets to 100, sales reps get a notification informing them that the leads are sales-ready.
For instance, a company can distribute lead scores across actions such as matching the company’s ideal customer profile, completing lead caption forms on a landing page, and clicking email links. Still, businesses can assign lead scores when prospects register for webinars, attending the webinars, opening blog posts, and visiting the company website.
- Consider Negative Actions
In lead scoring, points are assigned to prospects who take positive actions. This pushes them closer to the qualified leads threshold. However, in determining which leads are good and sales-ready, it’s equally important that sales and marketing teams consider negative actions that prospects might take.
Recognizing negative scores enables sales and marketing teams to identify hot leads and determine what’s the best time to engage them. Some negative actions that businesses need to integrate into their lead scoring strategy include bouncing emails and unsubscribing from email communication.
Aspects that can negatively affect lead scores include prospects that don’t match a company’s ideal customer profile.
- Identify Points Of Decay For Leads
In developing lead scoring strategies, businesses need to establish the points where leads will be dropped off. Often, leads become cold when their engagement with a brand begins to fade off. This means that the leads are no longer interested in the brand’s services or products.
On the contrary, leads that frequently engage with a brand become qualified leads. A good lead scoring strategy should enable sales and marketing teams to start dropping scores when prospects stop taking positive actions.
For instance, if prospects don’t frequently visit the company website, stop participating in active campaigns, or open emails, their scores should drop off. Generally, companies set varying points of decay. The best practice is to reduce the assigned scores gradually over time.
Every day, businesses strive to generate leads. But not every lead that’s generated is worth pursuing. To determine which leads they need to pursue, businesses need a lead scoring strategy.
A lead scoring strategy defines the attributes of qualified leads and standardizing the process of scoring leads in a business. Use the six tips discussed above to optimize your lead scoring strategy.