How to lead score like a boss

Lead scoring can help both marketing and sales immensely, but it can be tricky to master. At Ignite London, Mary Kleinsorgen, senior marketing and technology strategist, and Gifford Morley-Fletcher, senior marketing strategist at MarketOne, delivered a stellar presentation outlining the dos and don’ts when it comes to lead scoring. Kavita Singh reports.

What is lead scoring?

  • A means to help sales prioritise leads for follow-up.
  • An integrated process combined with data enrichment, data capture, nurture and CRM integration. 
  • Identifying companies and roles within your target market.
  • Measuring positive and negative lift in lead behaviour and profile completeness through a marketing campaign. 

What isn’t lead scoring?

  • Identifying leads ready to close.
  • Evaluating every marketing touch.
  • A means to increase the number of leads.
  • Successful without sales input.

Five tips for lead scoring like a boss (The do’s)

1. Evaluate the data before you build with regression analysis 

Before getting started, have a look at some of the trends in past closed-won deals, MQLs, and SQLs to understand what were the behaviours that led up to opportunities. They suggest looking at about one to two years’ worth of data to understand what those trends look like. Those are the types of patterns and trends that you’ll want to include in your model. 

2. Put less focus on the demographic

This is a huge one. Instead of trying to create one point for a very specific role and then four points for another role, try to focus less on the job titles. When it comes to target accounts and contacts, you’re either in or out of your target. 

“So instead of trying to create this gradient view of you know who is, is within my demographic and firmographic criteria, just give them a boost if they're in target, give them a single score boost. If they're not, then don't worry about scoring them so much and focus more on the behaviour side.”

3. Score on key actions 

So what should you be scoring? Try to avoid scoring based on a form submission or website visit. You’ll want to focus on the key actions you flagged in the first step. Look at those activities from the past year or two, and then focus your behaviour scoring on those ‘golden assets’.

4. Create multiple models 

Once you know what you’re scoring, it doesn’t hurt to test and reassess. After your launch is live, you might be hesitant to mess with it. However, you can create multiple tests or models to test our various combinations and yes, this can be done in parallel to a live mode. That way, you won’t be impacting the live scoring models that are already integrated within your CRM and you can make these adjustments without impacting that lead flow over to sales.

5. Omit the scoring threshold at first 

Gifford and Mary agree. This one is tough, but try to omit the scoring threshold at first. 

Mary says: “The reason why we suggest this is because we don't want to make assumptions here. We want to create this data driven approach to scoring. So instead of assuming what that handoff process is going to look like to sales, you should really work with sales and an easy way to do this is you can create a ratings field within your CRM for your sales reps.”

Give them the ability to rate their leads, and then you’ll be able to use that feedback to help inform what's going to be that sweet spot that you’re going to establish for the future state model. 

Some pitfalls to avoid (The don'ts)

1. Not aligning with sales to define what a lead actually is

Gifford says: “I may sound like a broken cassette tape, but sales are the ones who know who the ideal customer is. And therefore, you need to align with them, and then identify behaviours that this person or account.”

2. Building a model based on what you know 

Don’t be quick to make assumptions based on what you think. You’ll want to build based on data analysis and that means taking on a data driven approach. 

3. Inflating scores based on specific criteria 

Avoid inflating scores. Some companies might be tempted to bump up scores immediately but just because you raise the score threshold doesn’t mean anything in terms of the quality of your leads. In fact, it’ll end up skewing your results, so instead, just think about scoring them as you normally would within your model. You can always use your CRM integration to help control right when someone fills out a form or signs up for something on your website.

4. Cap your score appropriately

Instead of creating negative scores or infinite scores, use your marketing automation platform to establish an appropriate threshold. Programmes such as Pardot, Marketo and Eloqua have the ability to reset those scores, so if you need to tweak, you can do so without creating an outrageous range of scores. You won’t want ridiculous numbers to compare such as -50 or a 3000. 

To check out the full list of dos and don’ts, as well as all things lead scoring, check out their full session here!