Every business has a primary objective to attract and engage hot leads, convert them into customers, and skyrocket their ROI. Therefore, your approach to gaining new and high-quality leads determines the success of your business.
Keep in mind that not all leads are of equal potential or quality. You can generate a significant number of leads. Still, the quality of leads is highly instrumental in determining the ability of your marketing and sales team to convert them to paying customers.
Simply, more qualified leads mean more opportunities for your sales team to lock the deals. The most effective and practical way to ensure your leads are qualified enough to become a sale is to set up an effective lead scoring strategy.
In this blog, we will discuss lead scoring and how an effective lead scoring process helps you qualify your leads, along with some proven lead scoring tips.
What is Lead Scoring?
Lead scoring involves assigning a numerical attribute to different actions or salient features that your prospects reveal, using a score-based approach to evaluate any lead’s potential to become a sale. The Leads you pass through your lead scoring system can gain or lose points based on a range of aspects that you consider as the determinants for their qualification.
Every business or service has a particular type of prospect having high value & favorable digital footprints compared to others and is also more likely to convert into customers or clients. It allows your sales representatives to gear their efforts toward the right prospect more likely to become a paying customer.
Why Lead Scoring is Important for Your business?
If you have set up a lead generation strategy for your business, it’s absolute to consider a consistent flow of leads and an opportunity. But in most cases, the leads that enter your sales funnel leave their sales journey without becoming a sale.
Your sales team must be expert enough in determining which prospect can be considered a sales-qualified lead and which one requires further nurturing by the marketing team. There are demographic and behavioral aspects that turn leads into ideal clients or make them completely irrelevant to your business and its products, or services.
As we have discussed earlier, businesses that set up an effective lead generation funnel start gaining numerous leads, mostly with paid advertisement models. So it’s vital for your sales department to ensure a well-grounded and practical approach to evaluate which leads or prospects should be exposed to a sales pitch or still require further nurturing. It also helps your marketing team decide which type of content a particular lead requires for further nurturing depending upon their stage in your sales funnel.
By taking care of all the aforementioned aspects, a lead scoring model helps
- Optimize and improve your lead generation funnel
- Convert hot leads quickly
- Pass cold leads back to the marketing team for further nurturing
- Significantly increasing ROI for all your lead generation campaigns
- Reduce customer acquisition costs by improving the efficiency of your lead generation process.
While setting up your lead scoring model, you will acknowledge that some of your lead generation campaigns are targeted toward the wrong market segments and refrain from producing fruitful outcomes. Therefore, an impactful lead scoring strategy let you ensure improvement across different lead funnel stages and unlock opportunities to gain more hot leads instantly.
Example of Lead Scoring Models
There are different lead scoring model examples depending upon the buyer personas of business and their industry. Consider the following lead scoring model examples by Lead Pilot and Business2Communuty.
This inbound marketing tool offers its own built-in lead scoring utility.
It works simply by assigning each lead with a score from 1 to 100, and the score changes in real-time based on the lead’s action. A higher lead score means the lead has a high potential to become a customer.
The tool takes some inputs based on how the lead interacts with your content, such as the actions they’ve made on your business website, the amount of time they’ve invested in navigating your site, and a range of other factors. In addition, lead Pilot’s lead scoring tool incorporates AI to score and qualify the leads and allows you to change the score whenever necessary manually.
Business2Community also offers a very easy-to-use lead scoring model to score and qualify B2B leads. The algorithm considers the input that the prospect gives to 4 questions, including:
- Job Role (Eg: VP, Director, Manager, etc)
- Department (HR, Finance, Legal, Procurement, Logistics, etc)
- Company size (based on number of employees)
- Type of company (B2B, B2C, Non-profit)
It then assigns a score to the lead based on scoring criteria. Once you’ve set the scoring criteria, you just have to find the aggregate of different scores to obtain the overall score of each lead. For instance, according to the example above, a VP of Finance of a B2B organization with 700 workers would get a lead score of 50; i.e: 10 + 15 + 5 +10.
What is a good Lead Score?
Consider SAAS product website and a prospects makes the following interactions:
- Download an ebook in exchange for their contact info: +5 points
- Search to navigate your website: +2 points
- Attend a webinar session: +10 points
- Open an outreach email: +3 points
- Check the price, product, or plan page on your website: +20 points
In such a scenario case, the particular prospect would score 40 points.
Thus lead scoring benchmark can be a numeric value and each lead action or interaction with your website or email can be weighted according to the defined criteria. Then, after nurturing those leads and when their aggregate score surpasses the MQL score and reaches your SQL benchmark, an integrated process notifies your sales department that the particular lead has become an SQL.
10 Tips for Building Effective Lead Scoring Strategy
The following lead scoring tips and strategies are the must-adapt factors to ensure the success of any lead scoring system.
1. Building Buyer persona
A buyer persona is an ideal customer profile for any business. Investing time and effort in market research and analysis is necessary to build an effective buyer persona. The leads that match your buyer persona are the hottest leads for your business and are more likely to become paying customers.
2. Prospect’s Behavior
Not every lead that matches your buyer persona is there to purchase from your brand. There are several reasons, such as market saturation, tough competition, and prospects’ intent. Therefore, it is necessary to consider the weight of prospects’ behavior while scoring your leads to determine their true intention of interacting with your business site. For instance, are they casually browsing or actually up to buy any product or service your business is offering?
3. Know the difference between SQL & MQL
Market-qualified leads (MQLs) are the leads that require further nurturing by your marketing team. Whereas, Sales-qualified leads (SQLs) are the ones that are ready to hear from your sales representatives. If you fail to qualify leads as MQL or SQL you may distract or lose your leads by making an irrelevant and quick move by pushing a sales pitch to MQLs that are not yet ready for the sales conversion.
4. Build your own point scoring system
No one knows your business better than you. Therefore, it is recommended to design your own lead scoring model having unique lead scoring criteria based on your buyer persona, industry, products, and services.
5. The stage of the prospect’s journey in your lead generation funnel
The lead score for a particular lead improves as it moves down the sales funnel. Therefore, evaluating the stage of your prospect’s buyer journey in your sales funnel is necessary to assign the most relevant score. For instance, a prospect at the bottom of the funnel requires a much higher score compared to the one at the awareness stage. If you score vice versa, you end up focusing your sales team’s efforts on the prospect at the upper end of your sales funnel and face poor outcomes.
6. Use BANT Approach to increase conversions
BANT stands for:
A sales qualification approach enables the sales team to filter the SQLs by considering the aforementioned aspects. In addition, BANT Sales Process provides a benchmark for the B2B lead scoring process to decide whether the leads are worthy of lead nurturing & sales conversion efforts or not.
7. Reward your hot leads with offers
Offer your hot leads promotional offers, discount coupons, and reward points to keep them in the sales funnel and improve their lead score.
8. Nurture your cold leads
Nurture your MQLs until they become a sales-ready candidate to get the most out of your sales team’s efforts. If you pass the MQLs to the sales team without nurturing them into SQLs, they will more likely to abandon the sales process without converting.
9. Automate the Lead Generation process to improve the Lead Scoring Strategy
Automate your lead generation funnel and set up a process to directly score your leads as soon as they fill lead forms on your CRM or lead page. It will turn your overall lead generation process more efficient and fluent.
10. Improve Landing pages
Optimize your landing pages by using the right content, strategically placing the clear CTAs, and offering the relevant & informative gated content in the form of lead magnets. When you direct your leads to the CTA, and they cross the access point to your valuable lead magnets, they are more likely to buy from you and get a higher lead score.
Also, you can use these lead generation landing page examples to take Inspiration
To perfectly align your sales and marketing team, it is necessary to deploy an effective lead scoring strategy. It improves the efficiency of your marketing and sales team as they become more confident and fluent in dealing with the leads with the right and insightful lead score.
Score MQLs & SQLs separately and follow the suggested lead scoring tips to set up an efficient and optimized B2B lead generation funnel for your business.