The majority of B2B marketers are beginning to employ and integrate lead scoring into their overall marketing plans. The sad thing however is, not all of them are getting the most out of their current lead scoring systems.

In fact, between 66% to 81% of businesses still don’t practice lead scoring with even many of them being African. Worst of all, 73% of B2B leads are not sales-ready and this is one of the reasons many African marketers are not successfully converting their leads into potential buyers.

One thing is certain; they are doing it all the way wrong. They are using the wrong strategy to score their leads.

You’re certainly missing out on the enormous benefits that lead scoring can offer to you as a marketer or sales agent. That is if you’re not already incorporating lead scoring into your marketing strategy. Besides, according to a study, businesses that make use of a good lead scoring mechanism experience a 24% faster revenue growth.

The right lead scoring strategy promises to bridge the gap between your marketing endeavors and your sales outputs.

What is lead scoring by the way?

Many things go by the name lead but in marketing, it means just one thing – a prospective consumer of your product or service. Leads are created when a person or business shows interest in your product or service and provides their contact information.

Many marketers gain access to leads through advertising, direct mailings, business events, and other marketing efforts. Because a lead is not necessarily an already existing customer, there is need to qualify that lead and determine whether or not, the lead can become a prospect. This is where lead scoring comes into play.

Lead scoring is a very useful system for measuring a prospect’s likelihood of buying. It is a way of qualifying and determining potential clients. It is a qualification system that can as well be automated with automated lead scoring software.

Someone lands on your business website and signs up for your newsletter. That person just dropped you their email address, and probably other personal information you can use to contact them. This is a new lead you have but it does not guarantee his prospects of purchasing your new lead scoring software for instance.

Lead scoring is probably something you are already doing without even knowing. One of your daily activities as a marketer is prioritizing which leads to respond to first; which to follow up; which of them gets a certain promotional message? You’re already scoring your leads, trying to filter those that are closer to becoming customers from those who are just having fun with you.

So, how do you prevent prospects from falling through the cracks?

The solution lies in your lead scoring strategy and this is how you should build your lead scoring model that will help you know exactly which leads to attend to. Building a lead scoring strategy is easy but could be complicated if you don’t get your sales team involved in the show.

1. Define your ideal buyer’s profile and criteria

Before you can create an effective lead scoring strategy, you need to understand all of the criteria that comprise your ideal customer. You’ll want to ask questions like:

  • What types of companies usually buy your product?
  • Which types of people usually have decision-making authority and budget to purchase your product?
  • What fields does your sales team look at first when they receive a lead, and what profile characteristics make them confident that the lead has potential?
  • How often do your leads engage with your content?
  • Which web pages do they frequent the most?
  • What position level do they occupy within the company?
  • Which industry are they in and how big is the company they work for?

These are profile attributes for your potential customers. Answers to these questions will not only help you segment your audience, but also identify those leads that are highly qualified for your business.

Each lead accumulates points as they take actions (visit the website, open emails, attend events, form submissions, downloading content), and as additional details are filled in on their contact record (job title, company size, location). By defining how you qualify a lead as sales-ready, you are just one step from creating a workable strategy for scoring your leads.

2. Assign points to profile criteria

Your next logical step is to assign criteria and a point value to each profile attribute you selected. You can use whatever point values that fit your needs. But remember, these point values are relative. So, make sure the criteria that are most important and indicate a higher likelihood to buy, get a higher point value.

Assigning points in lead scoring

Once you have assigned points to your various leads, it is time to answer the question, “what actions would a lead have to take to be considered a qualified lead?” It is only after successfully answering this question that you can pass the lead to your sales team.

3. Identify behaviors that indicate interest

If you are promoting product demos or downloadable content, engaging with those types of assets indicate buying intent and should get high lead scores. During this stage, you will want to find out the type of content on your website potential buyers view before making a purchase.

Ask your sales team about content that they commonly send out to potential customers during the sales process. This is often a great starting point for pinpointing the types of behaviors that should get higher scores.

4. Assign points to behavioral criteria

Having identified lead behaviors and actions that indicate the likelihood of purchasing your product, the next step is to assign criteria and a point value to each behavior that you selected. You will have to assign higher scores to lead behaviors that require more time commitment or indicate buying intent.

For example, a form submission requesting a personalized product demo should be scored higher than a mere click on an email. This shows a higher level of commitment that lead has.

5. Build it and pass to sales

Now that you’ve built your lead scoring model, all you have to do is enter your lead scoring rules into your lead scoring software. Points will automatically accumulate on each contact record once you’ve added your scoring rules to the lead scoring software.

The tough part is over. This is now the easy part. After you’ve obtained these lead scores, you are probably wondering what you should do with them. It is a good time to create a system for determining when a lead is ready for sales. For this to happen, sales and marketing will have to agree on qualifying a lead score.

Lead scoring provides the perfect opportunity for the two departments to collaborate: marketing and sales.

Send only leads that meet the threshold to your sales team. Marketing can still continue to nurture leads that don’t yet qualify, while sales can focus on prospects that are truly ready for conversations.

Another thing you will want to do is to sync the lead score field to your CRM (customer relationship management) software so that your sales team can see the lead score of each contact. This allows sales team members to sort, prioritize, and engage with leads efficiently.

Lead scoring is an iterative process that should be continually revised with time. You should regularly consult with your sales team and ask them if the leads being captured by lead scoring are actually qualified and then make changes where necessary. You will definitely be able to find the sweet spot of what works for your business over time.

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