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Unlocking the Power of Lead Scoring: How to Identify High-Quality Leads

When people first begin to implement inbound marketing, they’re typically concerned about how to get enough leads to fill the funnel.

Once you’ve accumulated many leads, you must figure out who’s really interested in your product, and those who are just beginning to investigate.

That’s the point where lead scoring comes in.

What Is Lead Scoring?

Lead scoring is the method of assigning a value, usually in the form of numbers or “points,” to each lead that you generate for your business. You can score your leads using a variety attributes such as the professional information that they’ve given you and how they’ve interacting with your brand and website throughout the internet. This method assists sales and marketing departments prioritize leads, react to them appropriately, and increase the rate at which those leads turn into customers.

Each company has its own method of assigning points to score their leads, but one of the most used ways is to use data from previous leads to create this value-based system.

How? In the beginning, examine your contacts who became customers to find out what they have in common. The next step is to look at the attributes of your contacts that didn’t become customers. Once you’ve examined the data from both sides you’ll be able to determine which of the attributes are worth weighing heavily depending on how likely they are to be a sign of a person’s suitability for your product.

Lead scoring is simple, right? Depending on your business model and the leads stored in your database, it can quickly turn into a complicated. To make the procedure a little simpler for us, we’ll explain the basics of calculating a lead score, focusing on what information you should look at for the most important characteristics, and the method for making a score.

Lead Scoring Models

Lead scoring models make sure that the scores the lead is assigned are based on the true compatibility of each lead for your service. The majority of lead scores are built on a points range of zero to 100, however each model you create will support the specific characteristics of your customer base.

Here are six different lead scoring models based on the type of information you collect from customers who interact with your company

1. Demographic Information

Are you selling to a narrow group of people, such as parents of young children or CIOs? Include questions on demographics in those forms that you have on your landing page and you can then utilize your leads’ responses to assess whether they are a part of the people you want to reach.

One aspect you can accomplish with this information is to remove the outliers in your sales team’s queue by subtracting points for those who fall in a category you don’t sell to. In the case of example, if you only sell to a certain geographic location it is possible to assign the lead a negative score if it’s a leads that aren’t within the correct city area, state or zip code, as well as the country or state, etc.

If any of your form fields are merely optional (like a phone number, for example), then you also could award points to leads who provide this information in the first place.

2. Company Information

If you’re a B2B organization, are you more than interested in selling to businesses of a certain size or type? Are you more interested in B2B organizations or B2C organisations? You can ask questions like these on your landing page forms, as well, to award points to leads who meet the criteria of your target audience and take points away from leads that aren’t all what you’re looking for.

3. Online Behavior

How a prospect interacts your site can reveal the extent to which they are in purchasing from you. Take a look at your leads that ultimately become customers: Which deals were downloaded by them? How many offers did they download? What pages — or how manydid they browse on your site before becoming a customer?

Both the amount and type of forms and pages are equally important. You could offer higher scores for lead people who visited high-value sites (like the pricing page) or filled out forms that are high-value (like an application for a demo). In the same way, you could give greater scores to leads who had 30 page views on your website instead of three.

What about leads that have changed their behavior in the past? If a lead has stopped visiting your site or downloading your offers and offers, they might not be in the market anymore. You may be able to remove points from leads who have stopped engaging with your website after certain amount of time. The amount of time -10-days 30-days, 90 days will vary based on your sales cycle.

4. Engagement through Email

If someone has signed up to receive email from your business however, you’re not certain the level of interest that person has in buying from you. Clickthrough and open rates, on the other hand can provide you with more of a picture of the level of interest. Your sales team would like to know who opened every email from your lead nurturing series or who reacted to your offer promotion emails. That way, they can concentrate on those who appear to be most active. It is also possible to give a higher lead score to prospects who respond to high-value emails, like demonstration offers.

5. Social Engagement

How active a lead with your brand on social media can give you insight into how interested they are. How often did they click through on your brand’s Facebook and Twitter posts? Do they often retweet or share those posts? If the people you want to target are active on social networks and you are interested in awarding points to leads with specific Klout scores or numbers of followers.

6. Spam Detection

Not least, you might consider giving negative points to those who filled out the forms on your landing page with a manner that might indicate they’re not legitimate. For instance, were the initials, names and last names and/or company name not capitalized? Did the lead fill in all of the fields of the form by typing at least four letters in the conventional “QWERTY” keywords side-by-side?

You might also want to take note of the kinds of email addresses people use compared to the addresses of your client base. If you’re selling to companies for instance it is possible to disengage those who have a Gmail or Yahoo! email address.

How Can You Determine What is Most Important?

There’s a lot of information to sort through — what do you do to determine the most important data? Should you find out from your sales staff? Should you interview your customers? Should you dig deeper into your analytics and run a couple of reports?

We suggest using a mix between all three. You sales force, customers and your analytics reports will assist you in identifying what content is most valuable to convert leads into customers, which will help you make sure you attach specific points to certain offers, emails, and so on.

Speak to your sales representative.

Sales reps are those on the ground, communicating directly with leads that have turned into customers as well as those who did not. They usually be pretty aware of what pieces of marketing material will help to increase conversion.

Which blog posts and special offers do your sales reps prefer to pass out leads? You might find some of them saying “Every every time I mail people this certain element of collateral it makes it more easy to close them.” This is an important fact. Learn what the pieces of collateral are, and assign points based on that.

Contact your customers.

While your salespeople may declare that certain content converts customers, you may find that the people who actually were involved in the sales process differ on the subject. That’s okay: You want to hear about it on both sides.

Conduct a few customer interviews to learn what they think is the main reason they chose to purchase from you. Make sure that you’re talking to customers with long and short sales cycles so you get different perspectives.

Look up the analytics.

You must also supplement the in-person studies with data from your marketing analytics.

Run an attribution report to find out which marketing actions can result in conversions through the funnel. Do not only focus on the content that converts leads to customers. What happens to the content they view prior to when they are a lead? You might award a certain amount of points to those who download content that’s historically turned people into leads and more points to people who download content that has historically turned people into customers.

Another method of helping you make sense of the valuable content on your site is to conduct a contacts report. The report will inform you the number of contactsand the amount of revenue has been generated by certain, specific marketing activities. Marketing activities may include offers downloads, emails campaign clickthroughs, and so on. Note which actions are typically first-touch conversions, last touch conversions and so on, and then assign points accordingly.

Does One Lead Score suffice?

If you’re dealing with a single core customer right now, a single score suffices. As your business grows it will expand its sales to new audiences. You may expand into new areas, product lines or create new personas. You may even concentrate more on cross-selling and up-selling to existing customers, instead of pursuing new ones. If your contacts aren’t “one size fits all,” your scoring system shouldn’t be either.

Through certain marketing platforms allow you to set up several lead scoring systems, giving you the option of evaluating different sets of contacts in different ways. Unsure of how to create several scores? Here are a few examples to inspire you:

Fit vs. Interest

Let’s say, for instance your sales team would like to assess customers based on fit (i.e. is a customer within the correct region? The appropriate industry? The right position?) and level of interest (e.g. how active have they been in your and content?). When both attributes are essential then you can build both an engagement score as well as an appropriate score, so that you can prioritize outreach to contacts who are high in both categories.

Multiple Personas

If you’re a company selling software that offers two distinct kinds of software through different sales teams to different kinds of buyers. It is possible to create two different lead scores, one for buyer’s fit and the other based on their interest in the tools. You’ll use these different scores to send leads to the correct sales teams.

New Business vs. Up-sell

As you expand as a business, you may begin to pay attention to up-sell or cross-sell in the same way as new businesses. However, keep in mind that the indicators that show the how well new prospects are doing and current customers can look different.

For prospects, you might look at demographics and website engagement, whereas for existing customers, you can take a look at the number of tickets for customer support they’ve made and their interaction with an onboarding specialist as well as how engaged they currently are with your services. If these purchasing signals look different for different types of sales, consider creating multiple lead scores.

There are many different methods to determine the lead score. The most straightforward way to do it is:

Manual Lead Scoring

1. Determine the conversion rate of lead-to-customer of all of your leads.

The conversion rate of your lead to customer is equal to your number of customers that you acquire divided by the number of leads you produce. Use this conversion rate as your benchmark.

2. Choose different attributes for customers that you believe to be better quality leads.

Attributes could be customers who asked for a free trial at some time, customers working in the finance sector, or clients with between 10 and 20 employees.

There’s a certain kind of art to selecting which characteristics to incorporate into your model. You’ll choose attributes that are based on the conversations you had in your team with sales, the analytics and the list goes on. But all in all, it’s a judgement call. There’s a possibility that five people do the same exercise and develop five different versions. It’s fine so you make sure that your score is based on the data you mentioned earlier.

3. Calculate the individual close rates of each of those attributes.

Calculating the close rates of every kind of action the user takes on your website or the kind of person taking that action — is vital because it influences the actions you’ll take in response.

So, figure out how many people become competent leads (and ultimately, customers) based on their actions or on their relation to your primary customer. Then, you can use these close rates to actually “score” their value in the next step.

4. Examine the close rates for each attribute with your overall close rate and assign points values in accordance with the results.

Look for the attributes with close rates that are substantially higher than your overall close rate. Choose the attributes you’ll give points to and, in the event that you do, how many points. The point value of each attribute on the magnitude of their close rates.

The actual point values will vary However, you must try to make it as consistent as you can. If, for instance, your overall close rate is one percent and you’re “requested demo” close rate is 20 percent, the close ratio of the “requested demo” attribute is 20X the overall rate of closing- so you could, for instance, award 20 points to leads who have those attributes.

Logistic Regression Lead Scoring

The simple method, above, to calculate a leading score, is a good start. However the most mathematically sound method is to use a data mining technique like logistic regression.

Data mining techniques are more complicated, and often more intuitive to the actual close rates because of it. Logistic regression involves constructing a formula in Excel that will give you the odds that a lead can turn to becoming a customer. It’s more precise than the approach we’ve discussed previously since it’s an integrated approach that will take into consideration how all of the characteristics of a customer — including industry, company size and whether someone requested a trial — interact with one another.

Predictive Lead Scoring

Creating a lead score can make a big difference to your company: it can Improve the lead-handoff process increase the rate of lead conversion and increase productivity of reps, and much more. But, as you can discern from the two strategies that were discussed above, developing a scoring system can be a time-consuming task when done by hand.

In addition, establishing the scoring guidelines isn’t “set to forget.” When you receive responses from your employees and be sure to stress-test your scores, it’s likely that you’ll have to adjust your lead-scoring process on a regularly basis to ensure that accuracy. What for technology to take the manual process of setting up and continuously altering, leaving your team with more time to build relationships with your customers?

That’s the reason predictive scoring is so important. Predictive scoring uses machine learning in order to sift through thousands of data points in order to determine your most promising prospects, so that you don’t need to. Predictive scoring examines the details your customers share and also the information that leads who didn’t close have in common and formulates a formula that sorts your contacts according to importance based on their potential to convert into customers. This allows your sales team and you to prioritize leads so you’re not inundating leads that aren’t (yet) at all interested in engaging people who might be.

The most appealing aspect of predictive scoring? Like any other application that uses machine learning techniques, your predictive score will become more accurate over time Therefore, your lead follow-up strategy will become more efficient.