What is Lead Scoring

For some businesses, there is a disconnect between sales and marketing. One of the many ways to get them to work together is getting the sales team “sales ready leads”, from the marketing team. How does both teams work together cohesively? the marketing team brings in leads, nurtures them, and when they are “sales-ready”, turns those leads over to get sold.

The Need for Lead Scoring

Knowing when a lead is ready to be sold helps the sales process. Knowing that a lead is primed and ready to be sold makes the sales process easier:

  • Figure out whether a lead is ready to be handed over to sales or requires more nurturing.
  • Improve alignment between marketing and sales over lead quality so that the leads get the right attention at the right time.
  • Enable your sales team to focus on qualified and sales-ready leads.

If you don’t get enough leads to pass on to your sales team, you should focus more on generating and nurturing new leads instead of lead scoring.

Getting Started With Lead Scoring

Assign a point value or score for the leads based on their interest with your business, how they interact with your current marketing emails, their activities on your website, and their position in the marketing funnel.

Define your criteria to score leads

Leads are usually scored based on two broad categories:

Explicit – Explicit lead scoring is based on the information directly available from the lead – such as job title, location, company size and revenue. If you have a CRM or marketing automation software, these would be available in the lead or contact record.

Implicit – Implicit lead scoring is based on the information obtained from the lead’s behavior or interaction with website and current marketing initiatives – such as email opens, link click activities, form submissions, etc. This would be available in your marketing automation software.

Combining both gives an accurate picture of the leads. It is easier to use the same software for CRM and marketing automation. Going through the criteria by the historical data and identify key indicators that define the “ideal customer” as well as what does a “sales ready” lead mean in your organization. This process needs to be done in collaboration between both your marketing and sales teams.

At the end of this stage is  where a populated list of criteria used to score leads.

Assign points to your scoring criteria

Now, it is the time to assign points to the criteria. Prioritize the criteria and mark the ones that matter the most. As an example, clicking a link in an email will be more important than viewing the email.

Next, step is determining the threshold for a sales ready lead – the point where the lead gets handed over to sales. These 1-2 steps should be able to be done directly in a marketing automation software.

Define the lead handover process from marketing to sales

Define the process to assign a lead to sales after it crosses the point that you identified as the threshold for being sales ready. Like the previous steps, this step is also best defined in the marketing automation software.

Define who is responsible for approving and assigning the leads. How is the actual lead data transferred to sales? This process will be seamless, by using the same software for CRM and marketing automation. Otherwise, this would involve an integration between your two systems.

Next, define what to do with the leads that are below the threshold. Most companies add these leads into a nurturing campaign that engages and eventually converts them into sales ready leads.

All the three steps can be automated if you use marketing automation software. It can be as simple as defining your scoring criteria and points. After that, your marketing automation software works behind the scenes to assign points to leads and hand them over to sales when they cross the threshold.