By Amber Kemmis
Lead scoring is a valuable tool that allows you to place value on a lead based on online behavior and demographics. It is especially valuable to companies who are generating more leads than they can manage manually. However, as marketers begin to use marketing automation software to assist with lead scoring, many are implementing lead scoring without considering whether or not they are ready to do so. In order to successfully implement lead scoring, your company should have the following foundations of inbound marketing established:
The first thing you need to be prepared is content because content helps you measure a website visitor’s behavior and level of interest in your company. However, I must caution on this because one or two ebooks is not nearly sufficient enough to begin lead scoring. In order to place a value on the content your visitors are consuming, you need at least one or more offers from each area of the buying cycle to differentiate their level of interest (Not sure what stage your offers fall into? Read How to Use The 5 Lead Stages to Map Your Lead Nurturing Content).
For example, a lead who downloads an ebook isn’t nearly as valuable as a lead that requests a demonstration. With lead scoring, the lead downloading the demo receives a higher value. You may be thinking that it would make more sense to just send all demonstration inquiries straight to sales rather than generate a lead score, but what if the person requesting the demo doesn't fit your buyer persona? A busy sales team will want to get to the lead who fits your buying criteria before those outside that criteria. By scoring the value of the lead based on the demo and combining that with what you've captured on a lead form, you can successfully score leads to numerically show the quality of the lead.
When a lead requests a demo and also fits your buyer persona, that lead is much more valuable than a lead who requests a demo and doesn't fit your buyer persona. Thus, lead-capture forms that help you segment leads are needed for lead scoring. You should know which form fields are important to score a lead and also make sure to use the appropriate number of form fields for your company and the type of offer on the landing page. While you may want to require a phone number on all of your forms, it may actually make a visitor less likely to fill out the form even if they do fit your buyer persona. Choose your form fields wisely for conversion purposes and for lead scoring.
The most important thing your company needs to be ready for lead scoring is data. If you set up lead scoring without the data to back up the values you place to leads, the lead score will only be a guess as to how valuable a lead is. You need to be able to show that your marketing analytics support the values you place for online behaviors or demographics. Having marketing analytics to help guide you makes lead scoring unbiased and accurate.
While the amount of data needed to start lead scoring varies for each company, the important thing to remember is that you need to be able to show that a behavior or demographic makes a lead more likely to make a purchase. The following are some metrics used to score leads:
- Contact properties or demographics (i.e. Role, Industry, Budget)
- Landing pages
- Page Views
- Email subscriptions
The metrics and variables that can be used to score a lead using Hubspot are numerous from those listed above to the source the lead came from, so you will want to make sure you know which are important to your company.
CRM & Marketing Software Integration
Taking a step backwards, in order to have the data you need to support values for your lead scores, you also need to have your CRM and marketing software integrated. Not only does this show marketing what happens before leads convert to sales, with some marketing software like Hubspot, sales people are able to access the lead’s website behavior and form information within their CRM. For example, a sales person can see that your lead’s main challenge is generating leads and might later use that as an anchor when following up.
Lead scoring is a great tool that can be beneficial to marketing and sales to help manage leads, but it needs to be implemented properly. If you have a successful inbound strategy in place and are already generating several leads, you are likely ready for lead scoring but keep the above information in mind when you establish lead scores.
Do you currently us lead scoring? If so, how is it going? Please let us know by tweeting at @smartbugmedia.