What is Lead Scoring?

What is Lead Scoring?: Using Data to Evaluate Potential Clients

When it comes to B2B marketing, there is really one main goal: optimize the sales journey to maximize sales opportunities. 

The best way to do this is through lead scoring. Without effective lead scoring, sales reps waste countless hours talking to unqualified leads, or many leads are simply skipped over completely if the salespeople don’t think they’re worth their time.

Lead scoring eliminates time wasted on unqualified leads and helps the sales department prioritize potential customers. 

But how do you implement lead scoring and how do you identify the best potential clients for your business?

This post will give you all you need to know about this all-important marketing strategy. 

Do you find prospecting time consuming? We’ve reviewed some of the best types of sales tools to help ease your workload.

What is Lead Scoring?

Leading scoring involves assigning a score to each lead brought into your business. Each business will score leads according to different attributes or a combination of several, but it usually includes the level of engagement and professional information they’ve submitted. 

Why is it important?

Lead scoring helps your sales team prioritize leads and give the best response. This optimizes the sales process and helps to turn more leads into paying customers. 

Without some form of lead scoring, sales representatives will waste valuable time and energy on low-quality leads that may never become customers. 

This process allows them to make your sales funnel more efficient and get a better conversion rate. 

Lead Scoring for Sales Management

Leading scoring is a crucial part of sales management. Each lead brought into your business will be assigned a score by your marketing team based on criteria such as:

  • Job title and/or company size
  • Attendance to a webinar or event
  • Visits to specific pages of your website
  • Downloads of free content
  • And more

Once your sales team knows the score of a lead, they can prioritize your prospect list, who they spend more time talking to, and how they approach each client. 

This sales management process is much easier when the sales team knows exactly which leads are the most likely to buy. 

Types of Lead Scoring

Types of Lead Scoring

The lead scoring process will look different depending on your industry and product or service. But overall, there are two types:

Rule-based Lead Scoring

This involves setting up rules which reward leads based on desired traits or actions. For each rule met, the lead is awarded a set amount of points which add up to their total lead score. 

Whenever a lead completes an action (e.g., signing up to your mailing list), or has a trait (e.g., having the job title you’re targeting), they are automatically awarded points. 

Predictive Lead Scoring

This is slightly different because it uses an algorithm to work on predictions. Rather than waiting for a lead to perform an action, the algorithm predicts which leads in a list are most likely to fulfill your scoring criteria. 

Predictive lead scoring is much more popular because it doesn’t involve setting your own rules or writing a formula by which to score leads. 

Instead, the algorithm uses information such as demographics, social information, behavioral data, and more to come up with a standard set of rules for you to help you qualify leads much quicker. 

Basic Lead Scoring Models

Let’s look at some of the most common lead scoring models businesses used across industries.

1. Demographic

If your product or service is tailored to a specific demographic, this scoring model is a must in lead scoring. For example, if you sell high-spec software that is aimed at CEOs of mid to large-sized businesses, you’ll need to score leads based on seniority and job title. 

This is also an important criterion for local businesses who want leads in their area. Your lead scoring should then assign more points the closer the lead is geographically. 

2. Company Information

If you are a B2B company that targets businesses of a certain size, company information will be a key factor in your lead scoring. 

This is also important if you specialize in a certain niche, for example, web design services for law firms. 

3. Online Behavior

Clickflow Lead Scoring Model Example

If someone has interacted with your online presence in some way, they are known as a sales qualified lead and are more likely to become a paying customer compared to those who have never interacted with your brand before. 

Many businesses score leads based on their online behavior and level of interaction. For example:

  • Downloading free content
  • Signing up to a mailing list
  • Attending a webinar
  • Visiting product pages

The level of engagement might also be a factor in determining the lead score, not just a blanket score for any level of interaction. 

Not only will this show you which leads to prioritize, but it will also allow your sales team to give a more tailored approach, depending on how they have interacted previously.

4. Email Engagement

You can no longer call a potential customer a lead just because they sign up to your email list. Instead, you need to focus on open and click-through rates when gauging the level of interest. 

You can score leads based on the number of emails they opened, the number of links they clicked, and whether they took up any promotional offers. 

5. Social Engagement

Social media engagement is another useful lead scoring opportunity but should be used alongside other models. Knowing how engaged your leads are on social media is a good indication they are interested, but it’s not as useful as a lead clicking through on email offers, for example. 

When scoring social media, your marketing department should focus on:

  • Click through rates
  • Shares and mentions
  • Level of engagement and follower count (if you’re interested in influencers)
Zendesk Followers - Engagement (Lead Scoring Models)

How to Build a Lead Scoring Plan

There are countless models you could potentially use to score your leads – so how do you know which will work best for your marketing?

  1. Talk to your sales team

Salespeople talk to ideal customers directly so they will have a pretty good idea of what determines if a lead becomes a customer. 

They should be able to tell you useful information about: 

  • What marketing material leads interact with most
  • What web pages are well received
  • Which marketing materials they like to send 

All of this will be useful when deciding how to begin scoring your leads and which factors to focus on. 

  1. Talk to existing customers

Customers who have already been through your sales process will have invaluable insights for you. 

Either put together a quick survey or set up an interview and ask them what they thought were the key drivers that helped them make a sale decision. 

You might find your email marketing is where your warm leads are, or perhaps social media is a better driver. You might also find key website pages are high converting. 

This will all help you narrow down how to assign your lead scoring strategy. 

The Best Lead Scoring Tools

Lead scoring might sound complicated but there are tools out there that use cross-channel lead generation strategies which generate warm leads. This means there’s no need for you to do lead scoring manually. 

Bant is an all-in-one marketing automation tool that uses email outreach, social outreach, chatbots, and more to automatically generate qualified leads. 

Bant.io B2B lead gen dashboard

When they are passed over to your sales team, they’ll be significantly easier to convert into paying customers in less time, eliminating the need for manual lead scoring or wasted time on cold leads. 

Conclusion 

The more you can do to shorten the sales cycle and give your potential customers a better experience, the faster your business will grow. 

If you don’t currently have any strategies in place to generate high-quality leads, your sales team will be wasting countless hours talking to the wrong people. 

Lead scoring – whether done yourself or with automation software – will make your content marketing effort significantly easier and produce higher conversion rates. 

Haven’t seen much progress with your outreach efforts? Maybe it’s time to rethink your sales strategy and put an effective sales process in place.