Lead scoring and sales go together like peas and carrots
by Keira Koscumb, on Jun 25, 2020
Did you read the title in Forrest Gump’s voice? I hope so. I also hope my poor attempt at humor using a popular movie quote didn’t turn you off from what’s really important here, because understanding how the process of lead scoring helps drive sales is as healthy to your business as veggies at dinnertime. Creating an algorithm that identifies high value, ready-to-commit customers may seem like a gimmick to some or confusing to others, but done correctly, it’s a valuable and easy-to-execute tactic for companies using an inbound marketing methodology.
Defining lead scoring
Let’s first start with what lead scoring is before we get to why you need it in your prospecting plan. As defined by my favorite CRM resource, HubSpot, lead scoring is “the process of assigning values, often in the form of numerical ‘points,’ to each lead you generate for the business.” Basically, you distribute points for both positive (adding points) and negative (deducting points) actions, and once a contact reaches a certain threshold, you take action. Assigning a value based on a combination of actions provides an algorithm that can be automated for future contacts and acts as a catalyst in identifying higher quality leads for your sales team.
When implementing lead scoring at your company, think about the qualifying characteristics of your best customers. Are there any commonalities across current customers you can leverage? What about the contacts that your sales team wasted too much time on before realizing they’d never convert? These attributes should be taken into account when scoring. When helping our clients with lead scoring, I like to start with their target audience. Scoring your contacts based on certain demographics, company size, job title or even your buyer persona helps qualify the candidate for the sales team. I’ve linked an example scoring template with lead stages defined to help you get started here.
Once the basic foundation of your scoring model is in place, I recommend focusing on three areas to finalize your algorithm:
Weight actions and behavior
Once you have identified the factual elements of your scoring (i.e. how many points is a company size of 500+ worth), your next step is to assess the behaviors you’d like to reward. Measure the actions of your most valuable clients. How are they interacting with your website? When helping our clients at WordWrite, I love digging into 10 to 12 of our client’s top contacts in HubSpot and reviewing the subjects of the webinars they’ve attended, web pages viewed and emails they have opened. Actions like signing up for a company newsletter, following the company’s pages on social media and consistently opening/clicking your emails should all be rewarded. On the contrary, actions that suggest a contact is engaging with your content for competitive intel or is active in their job search should be deducted points, so as to not confuse them as a potential customer.
Another important element when scoring is accounting for in-person actions. Do not overlook steps taken by the sales team prior to closing a new customer. Roughly how many calls or consultations happened before a lead turned into a customer? Any face-to-face interaction at industry conferences or meetings should be accounted for in your scores as well.
Inform the process
The work doesn’t stop with developing your scoring model. A good lead scoring process involves customer feedback and analytics to ensure your hypotheses are in line with what will actually produce results for your company. Interview customers to understand why they chose your company and what information they find to be the most valuable. Customer testimonials or interviews can then pair with general website metrics from any reporting platform, such as Google Analytics, to ensure the data backs up customer feedback. All of these things combined can give you the confirmation you need to understand whether the scoring model you’ve drafted is in line with real world examples.
Take your pick
There are a lot of CRM tools out there that offer contact scoring organization and implementation. If you find that your company manages contact lists through a multitude of resources (Excel, Constant Contact, handwritten, etc.) then it might be worth looking into one resource that can manage this for you. Take the time to do your research and find what best works for your organization.
There are certainly a number of marketing automation software options out there but HubSpot is our favorite. It’s great for the small- to medium-sized businesses we work with to properly set up lead scoring models and effectively manage large contact lists. We help a lot of our clients choose the tool that’s right for their business, and we would be happy to help do the same for yours. In fact, if you think HubSpot might be right for you, a partnership with WordWrite can save on the fees normally assessed when an organization buys HubSpot directly from the company. Fill out the form below to learn more about waiving those fees.
In the meantime, I encourage every business to, at the very least, assess what content is working for your customers. At WordWrite, we believe all effective content begins and ends with your ability to develop an effective "Capital S Story” that describes why current and potential customers and clients would want to work with you, partner with you, buy from you, sell to you or invest in you. Researching what resonates with your customers and prospects can be eye-opening. After all, it’s like Forrest's mama always said, "Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.”