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Lead Engagement

Lead Scoring Strategy: Fuel Your Sales Funnel with High-Quality Leads

Written By:

Stephanie Lanik;  Strategic Marketing Coordinator
Lead generation is an important part of growing your business—that’s a no-brainer. Being able to attract new leads gets you one step closer to obtaining new paying customers. However, not all leads are equally prepared to make a purchase.

In fact, MarketingSherpa has stated that around 73% of all B2B leads are not even sales-ready. Implying that leads will enter into the buyer’s journey at different stages. More specifically, they will require different information, content, and communication in order to successfully convert them.

Make your marketing efforts count!

It’s imperative that you don’t spend unnecessary time and money trying to market to people who aren’t going to convert. So, to make your marketing efforts count you need to be able to identify and classify each lead. The best way to achieve this is by creating and implementing an effective lead scoring strategy.

But, before you begin developing a lead scoring strategy, you must understand what it is and why it’s important.

What is Lead Scoring?

Lead scoring a shared sales and marketing methodology for ranking leads in order to determine their sales-readiness. Which means, no more wasting time chasing around low-quality leads. Typically, a successful lead scoring strategy will assign points to each lead based on specific criteria. Such as:

1. The actual level of interest and engagement they show in your business.
2. Their current place in the buying cycle.
3. And, their fit—in regards to your business.

This system is the most efficient way to categorize prospects by their level of commitment. It takes the subjectivity out of the process so you can truly understand which leads are your highest converters. Thus, improving lead quality.

Why is it Important?

Implementing a lead scoring strategy helps identify how close your leads are to making a purchase. It also helps identify whether prospects need to be fast-tracked to sales or developed with lead nurturing. No lead should be left behind.

All-in-all, lead scoring makes your entire business more dynamic and aligns the many different teams within your organization. Likewise, it helps streamline, simplify, and improve many processes that contribute to bottom-line results.

But wait, there's more!!

The benefits of lead scoring go much deeper than that. Here are some of the major advantages of a well-oiled lead scoring system.

Let’s take a look at these six steps to creating an optimal lead scoring strategy for your business!

6 Actionable Steps to Creating a Lead Scoring Strategy

Before you begin creating a lead scoring system, it’s imperative that your sales and marketing teams are aligned.

1. Develop Your Buyer Personas

Essentially, buyer personas are high-level groups of people—within your targeted audience—that represent your ideal customer.

To develop a buyer persona you must break down your audience into segments based on similar identifying attributes and features. By analyzing the demographics of your leads, you’ll generate a clear outline of what characteristics correspond with conversions.

Different demographics of a lead can include:

Location, age, company size, job titles, seniority, as well as patterns of behaviors, goals, and motivations, etc.
The more buyer personas you have, the more holistic your understanding of your customers will be. Hence, the more precise your lead scoring efforts will be.

ProTip:

Think of these people as your marketing qualified leads. Meaning, they’ve engaged with your brand, but they haven’t necessarily bought yet.

2. Determine Your Ideal Targets

Your ideal targets/customers are people who are most likely to make a purchase. To create a target profile, use all relevant information, including demographic and behavioral scoring. Ideally, this helps you visualize their needs, goals, pain points, decision-making process, and motivations to buy.

3. Create a Detailed Point System

Now that you know what your ideal buyers look like, it’s time to decide which attributes you’ll assign points to. This is based on a grading (or point) system. Typically, you’ll see companies working from a 0-100 scale, where the total number of points determines sales-readiness. However, it’s important to create a model that makes sense to your entire team.

Allocating the Right Points to the Right Actions

This grading system should outline which actions or behaviors customers may take—during the customer journey—and be assigned a specific score. Be sure to allocate more points to higher-commitment actions, and less (or negative) points to low-commitment actions. In other words, the more connected a certain feature is to conversion, the higher the point value should be.

Utilizing Your CRM System

[Using a CRM system is crucial. But keep in mind, the specific point system values may vary depending on what CRM you use.]

4. Assign Point Values and Responsibilities

Start by defining which traits and actions lead to conversion and assigning numerical values to each data point accordingly. Then, distribute the points to individual rules in each category. Make sure your ideal buyer and it’s behaviors and demographics tightly align.

When done correctly, you’ll end up with a well-balanced system that gives proper weight to various factors. Meaning the system won’t score leads higher solely because they match your target market or display higher engagement behaviors.

Assigning Responsibilities

Next, assign responsibilities to team members for the different lead scores and the actions required. This way, both teams can quickly determine which leads are committed and need to be followed-up with.

The purpose here is to establish a unified sales process that begins when a prospect enters the funnel.

ProTip:

Communicating directly with the customers provides a more clear response on why they chose your business, service, or product. They can also share their opinions on the sales process as well. By conducting customer experience surveys, they can contribute insight into their personal experience—namely, on what worked or what needs improvement.

5. Establish a Sales-Ready Threshold

Last, but not least, it’s time to assign a sales-ready threshold. This is a set number of points a lead will accumulate before they’re ready to make a purchase. Once a lead reaches this threshold, they’re likely ready to be contacted by a sales rep.

Setting thresholds is crucial. It helps determine whether or not a lead should be set aside for further nurturing or tossed altogether.

6. Assess and Evaluate

If this is your first time creating a lead scoring strategy, don’t worry if it’s not perfect right away. Continue making adjustments and your lead scoring system will improve in no time.

Don’t be surprised if you test your strategy multiple times before arriving at the most suitable model. For the most part, if more high-scoring leads than low-scoring leads are converting, then you are on the right path.

Lead Scoring is a Powerful Tool… Start Reaping the Benefits Today!

As we mentioned earlier, a successful lead scoring strategy has the potential to completely transform your marketing and sales efforts. It saves time and money as your marketing can create better leads and sales can convert more leads. That sounds like a win-win!

If you’re ready to leap into the world of lead scoring but you’re not sure where to start, let’s talk!

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[Contact us directly at (612) 455-7100 or toll-free at (888) 326-6118]

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