Every business wants to convert as many leads as they can into buyers, right? It’s how you make your money. But it’s not all about that. It’s how you go about converting your leads that really matters.
Having a great sales team is a good start. Using marketing automation to help nurture your leads also helps a bunch. However, not all leads will be in the same stage of the sales funnel, so you shouldn’t treat them all the same.
You can spend all day generating leads, but they won’t all be ready to buy from you. To ensure you’re targeting each of your leads at the right time, you need to know how qualified they are.
That’s where lead scoring comes in.
Marketers who use lead scoring can improve the quality of leads that are passed to sales. Ultimately, it can increase revenue because more sales are being closed.
What is lead scoring and how does it work?
A lead score is a simple number that’s assigned to a contact. The number reflects how valuable the lead is to your brand and how engaged they are, which will indicate if the lead is ready to be passed on to your sales team or not.
An individual will be scored based on the information you know about them and the actions they take. Have they visited your site? Have they opened your email? Clicked on something in your email? Submitted your survey?
The more a contact interacts with your business and engages with your campaigns, the higher their lead score will be.
With a powerful marketing platform, lead scoring can be automated. Every time a lead interacts with your company, they will be given a point (or several). For this to work, though, you’ll first have to set up the lead scoring model so you can define the actions that matter the most to your brand.
Why is lead scoring important?
Lead scoring is fundamental for a few reasons. According to a survey by DemandGen Report, 43% of respondents said that lead scoring had helped them to discover qualified leads that might have otherwise been overlooked.
Lead scoring lets you score your leads based on their data and levels of engagement with your business. It lets you know which leads are hot and ready to convert, as well as which ones need further nurturing.
The more qualified your leads are, the more effective your sales team will be. Lead scoring is the best way to make sure your leads are at the right stage in the buyer’s journey.
People often talk about lead scoring and marketing automation like they’re not related, but they can actually complement each other really well.
7 Tips for Building an Effective Lead Scoring Strategy
Not sure where to start with implementing your lead scoring strategy? Take a look at our 7 tips to help you out.
1. Learn the difference between explicit and implicit scoring
There are two elements that will make up your lead scoring strategy: explicit and implicit. While explicit lead scoring will provide you with the data provided by the client, implicit scoring requires a bit more digging.
Explicit scoring is based on information that the prospect tells you. For example, information that they’ve submitted on a form on your website.
Implicit scoring is based on information that you observe about the prospect, such as their online behaviours. A few examples of tracked behaviours are visited pages on your website, email opens, and survey submissions.
When you combine these two different scoring elements, you gain a clear picture of who your most qualified leads are.
2. Align your marketing and your sales teams
Your sales and marketing teams need to work together to really enhance your lead scoring strategy. They need to communicate their needs and collaborate to make sure nothing gets lost in translation. Use lead scoring as an opportunity to gather the best marketing and sales resources that are available.
To score leads properly, your sales team will need to provide the qualifications that would make a prospect a hot lead. This will mean that your marketing team will know the point when a lead is sales-ready. As a result, your marketing team will only be passing over the most qualified leads to sales. This will streamline the entire process and result in a higher conversion rate.
3. Define your lead scoring thresholds
To get the best results from lead scoring, you need to determine the thresholds for your segments. These are the scores that separate your sales-ready leads from those that need more time. We recommend having three thresholds. In Wired Plus, leads are separated into ‘Cold leads’, ‘Prospects’, and ‘Hot leads’.
Having lead scoring thresholds in place ensures that leads are getting passed to sales at the right time. It also tells your marketing team which prospects need further nurturing. This makes it easy for sales to prioritise the leads that most qualified. It takes out the guesswork.
4. Score your leads based on their digital behaviours
This refers to the implicit scoring that we mentioned. Keeping track of digital behaviours is important when you can’t talk to your prospects face-to-face. Tracking your prospects’ engagement levels tells you how interested they are in your business.
Trackable digital behaviours can include:
- Email opens
- Landing page visits
- Surveys/forms completed
There’s a higher chance of converting leads that have already invested a significant amount of time and energy into researching your product. The more a contact engages, the higher their lead score will be.
You can define which digital behaviours are more important to your lead scoring strategy. For example, are there certain pages on your website that you consider more high value, such as a pricing page? You can assign higher point values to see which leads are taking the more “important” actions.
5. Score your leads who fit your buyer persona
This refers to the explicit scoring element of lead scoring. It includes the information you have recorded against your contacts, such as job title, industry, and location. This sort of profiling tells you how well a prospect fits into your target market. It helps you home in on the leads that are a good fit for your product.
Make sure that for a hot lead, their explicit lead score makes up no more than half of their total score. A prospect that is a perfect fit for your buyer persona but hasn’t engaged with any of your marketing campaigns probably isn’t sales-ready.
6. Reward your hot leads
When your contact becomes a hot lead, set up a series of trigger campaigns that pull out all the stops. The aim is to turn them into advocates of your brand.
Send them discounts codes, offers, or content – whatever you think will be valuable to them. You want to sell to them, but you want to help them tell others about you, too.
7. Don’t ignore your cold leads
Automate the process to make your campaigns personalised and relevant for them. This will help massively in your efforts to get them re-engaged.
Bonus tip: Use marketing automation to optimise your lead scoring strategy
A brilliant lead scoring strategy isn’t born overnight. Marketing automation can benefit businesses of all sizes who are looking to make their lead scoring strategy as effective as possible.
Marketing automation can score leads as soon as they’re added to your database, and you can set up workflows to follow up with them. You won’t have to spend so much time nurturing leads, and it can deliver a better experience for your audience. Everyone wins.
Go ahead. Your leads are waiting!
Ready to get started? Check out the Wired Plus platform to see how it can help.