Getting Started with Lead Scoring: Pt. 1
Starting the Lead Scoring Conversation
Javi Calderon, Content Marketing Manager, Real Magnet
Once you’ve committed to taking a more data-driven and individualized approach to your marketing efforts, one of the first pieces of your new strategy that will need to be developed is the lead scoring model you will use to gauge the interest of your prospects and deliver high-quality leads to your sales team.
Implementing a lead scoring model will help you glean critical data about your prospects and your marketing efforts, including:
- Your prospects’ overall interest levels in your content and services.
- What types of content specific prospects are most interested in (useful in segmentation).
- Which prospects are ready to buy, and which prospects will require more nurturing.
- Which content pieces and pages on your site are effective, and which might need more refinement.
- Aligning your marketing and sales teams by establishing agreed-upon definitions for an ideal prospect and a sales-ready lead.
What is Lead Scoring?
A lead scoring model essentially assigns point values to actions or behaviors that a prospect can take with your content or on your site. As prospects complete these actions they accumulate points. In theory, a higher accumulated lead score suggests a higher level of interest.
This allows your sales and business development reps to prioritize those prospects that show the most interest and are theoretically most likely to buy.
Setting up your first Lead Scoring Model
Before you start assigning point values to actions/behaviors, it’s important to hone in on exactly what your best prospects look like. Once you have an idea of who your ideal prospect is, you can define what actions they would have to take in order to become your ideal buyer.
To build a lead scoring model that aligns with your business goals, the best way to start is simply to start at the end and work backwards. Ask yourself these questions (for simplicity, in this example we will be using a lead score of 100 points to define a prospect who we consider to be sales-ready):
- What is the most valuable action a prospect can take? If it’s submitting a demo request on your site, then that action should receive 100 points.
- What two lesser actions combined would amount to a sales-ready lead? If a prospect attends a webinar and downloads a document from your site, is that enough to give them a call? Give each action 50 points (or distribute the weight as you see fit).
- Are there specific pages on your site that merit sales followup? Visiting a pricing page can be a strong indicator that a prospect is at the very least shopping around. If they spend a lot of time on specific product pages, or revisit them, this may suggest serious interest. Consider giving visits to these pages higher point values.
- How do you weigh lesser pageviews? If a prospect clicks around your site long enough without hitting those critical pages we just defined, can they reach 100 points? If so, how many pages would it take? If you decide 10 pages would suffice, then you can give each page 10 points in your lead scoring model.
- Consider basic actions on your email marketing campaigns. Do you consider someone opening an email a sign of interest? If not, then don’t bother assigning points to opens. How many emails opened and clicked would it take for you to consider the recipient a viable prospect? Let’s say that you decide that 4 clicks is enough – then each unique click will get a weight of 25 points.
Congratulations! You’ve just set up a basic lead scoring model. There are many more actions and behaviors to consider for lead scoring purposes. As long as you keep the weight relative to other actions/behaviors that you define, then you will have a solid understanding of your prospects and leads as they interact with your content and site. Keep in mind that your threshold does not have to be 100 points — make it as high as you’d like as long as you keep your point weights for actions and behaviors relative. Again, what matters is how you and your organization value those actions/behaviors as they contribute to a sales-ready lead.
Not only does setting up a lead scoring model give you greater insight into your targets, but it’s a great way to start a healthy dialogue between marketing and sales on what’s working, what’s not, and who your organization is targeting.