What is lead scoring?
Lead scoring is a technique for giving a score to potential customers based on their likelihood of making a purchase.
The score is normally assigned numerically between 0 (the lowest) and 100 (the highest). The higher the score, the more attractive the customer or lead will be, as it means that they are more likely to make a purchase. Each business can set a minimum lead scoring threshold to consider a customer an attractive prospect (for example, 50 points). From that point on, the sales team would contact them directly or more direct actions would be targeted to them.
Lead scoring is a very important strategy for marketing and sales teams, as it allows them to better analyze and classify leads based on the buyer persona profile and potential audience for a brand or vendor. This is in turn based on several attributes and actions that we will see below.
A lead scoring strategy is essential to optimize marketing and sales resources and actions, take more advantage of opportunities and current clientele, and improve the overall performance of the company or store.
Steps to apply lead scoring to customers and contacts
Review your database
Before you start scoring new customers, it is worth taking the time to evaluate your current customer base. You have probably accumulated a lot of data and emails over a long period of time, and you should know which ones are no longer attractive leads, and which ones can still be an opportunity.
During this screening, you should mainly focus on the list of leads that are viable options and that still meet several high lead scoring attributes. You may also identify them based on whether they are close to your buyer persona profile, or if they were occasional buyers far from any intention of loyalty to the product or brand.
To find out the overall status of your customer base, you can apply a simple lead-to-customer conversion rate calculation by dividing your total number of customers by the total number of leads during a given period of time. With this figure in hand, you will be able to clearly see if you are below or above your goals, and what a healthy lead scoring threshold should be for your company.
The most important thing when analyzing existing leads and all future leads is to determine your qualifying attributes or scoring values. The most common ones correspond to attributes (characteristics of the lead or customer, usually the same as those of your ideal buyer persona) and actions (the ideal customer's query, discovery and purchase journey, and their level of interest and engagement with your product or brand).
These are the lead's personal and professional characteristics: profession, geographic region, gender, age, income level, education...
This is an important attribute if you are a B2B business, as you need to assess lead scoring based on whether the lead fits into your target industry category.
These are the steps and actions that a lead performs when interacting with your website and other digital resources, such as which pages they visit, for how long, if they download something, and what type of download it is...
If the lead has already shown interest in your business and has signed up to a mailing list, you must continue to assess this lead’s score by means of the number of emails opened, their click-through rate, if they’ve unsubscribed from the list...
Nowadays, these are mainly limited to social media: how many and which of your social media accounts they follow, if they interact with your posts and participate in contests or online events, if they share your content on their own accounts...
Apply lead scoring strategy
Once you have a clear lead scoring system to evaluate your potential buyers, and you have applied it to your current database, it is time to share it with all the teams so that they can be in sync going forward.
Both the marketing and sales teams must be clear on who the priorities are as a result of your lead scoring and apply this to actions and workflows so that each lead is addressed at the right time and opportunities are not lost again (or resources allocated to 'dead' leads).
It’s also a good idea to review them from time to time, as certain attributes may become outdated and the audience for your product may change over time. There are specific software systems to support the lead scoring strategy, which use machine learning to evaluate leads automatically.
Advantages of applying lead scoring
Without a doubt, lead scoring is an essential strategy for any business, especially in the B2B sector, which receives a high volume of daily opportunities and aims to build customer loyalty with large volumes of regular purchases.
Using lead scoring on your leads helps you achieve:
- Higher conversion rates: The sales team always knows which leads to direct their efforts to, avoiding wasted time and actions.
- Savings on marketing costs: It makes it easier to identify through which channels and actions the highest quality leads are received and, therefore, allows you to invest resources and time in the necessary strategies.
- An improved sales process: It improves productivity by focusing the team on attractive leads and boosts the lead conversion rate, which generates more trust and agile work between departments.