What Exactly Is Lead Scoring?

What Exactly Is Lead Scoring?

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Lead Scoring

For those that operate a small business, you do your best to put up a strong marketing attack. You understand what needs to be done, you just don't have the resources to do everything you want to do.

Many of our clients have had success using email marketing and have started marketing automation on a small scale.

This is to further engage with clients and promote products using triggered messages to nurture their audience. But how do they know what clients it is working on the best?

Simply put, are they lead scoring?

Despite being one of the most powerful features of marketing automation software, the lead scoring model is also one of the most difficult topics understand.

This is because your scoring model will ultimately depend on your product, industry, and buyer profile. That makes it a little different for each user, but the concept is the same regardless.

Lead scoring, or automatically scoring leads based on implicit buying signals such as form submissions, page views or email opens, allows you to evaluate a lead's level of interest before assigning them to a sales representative.

Lead scoring software can streamline your sales cycle and ensure that your leads are better qualified and properly nurtured before they ever reach the sales department.

Basically making life awesome for your hungry sales team.

According to a recent, study by Gartner, "up to 70% of sales leads are not properly leveraged or are completely ignored, thus wasting marketing program dollars." This could be fixed if the leads were qualified, prioritized and given scores. Sales can then focus on the leads with the highest scores. This can dramatically improve sales' effectiveness and success.

As every marketer knows, lead generation is a lot of work. So, the key to making all of the efforts worth your time is to identify leads that provide the best opportunities for the sales team.

So how do you start? Well, the first step is understanding the lead scoring.

Lead scoring can't truly begin until marketing and sales agree on the definition of a qualified lead. Every organization is a little different. Once this is worked out, in the simplest form, marketing can work to generate qualified leads and sales can work to close them.

So, regardless of how lead scoring fits into your business, a qualified lead needs to be looked at with two dimensions in mind.

1. Do they fit – Based on the information you have collected about a prospect's role, company, industry, and revenues, are they the ideal person to sell to. A salesperson can invest a lot of time into one person, so knowing if they fit from the start will help that.

2. Engagement factor – Based on the information we know about a prospect's activities, favorite topics, and level of interest helps determine whether they're ready to even begin a conversation with a sales rep.

From here, points or scores are assigned to the prospect based on their attributes and behavior towards the company's marketing efforts. For example, a prospect who is the part of the decision-making team in the interested company and has been a regular visitor of the seller's website and marketing materials, will score more and rank higher than a prospect who has shown minimal interest in the seller's website or emails.

Understand what counts

The first step is to determine the aspects based on which lead scores would be assigned. Examples include prospect attributes such as age, location, title, decision making authority or prospect behavior such as response towards your email marketing campaign, website visits or digital footprint.

When assessing prospect behavior, make sure you take into account all the touch-points that have been a source of prospect interaction. When using SimplyCast's 360 customer flow communication platform, this could include an SMS reminder, a whitepaper download, attending a demo, interaction via social media or a voicemail to interest repeat business.

Refining lead scoring over time

With each action, a qualified prospect takes, his or her lead score will change. That's why it is crucial to ensure that a re-scoring process will be triggered automatically by each action, and with each day that passes. Keep this requirement in mind as you look for marketing automation software. You don't want to have to worry about keeping score.

Lead scoring allows marketing and sales to agree on not just the definition of a qualified lead, but the appropriate next steps for any qualified lead in the pipeline. It's fair to say that good lead scoring forms the foundation of any successful B2B lead generation operation.

Lead scoring is just one of the many reasons to switch to marketing automation. All of the scoring or grading is done for you once you start collecting data and launching campaigns.

Think of the software as the nerve center or the brain of your communication plans. As data is collected, everything is rated, scored, assessed and pushed higher or lower on a sales persons hot or cold list.

Interested in getting started with either lead scoring or marketing automation? Sign up for a free 14-day trial of SimplyCast 360. Your sales team will love you, we promise.

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