Lead scoring best practice: Exact Software
Exact Software, a global developer of professional business software, was able to set up a detailed lead nurturing program in order to convert Marketing Qualified leads into Sales Qualified leads. Using Copernica Marketing Software, in less than four months time, Exact was able to convert over 40% of their Marketing Qualified leads to Sales Qualified leads.
The program is such a hit, that it is currently being rolled out in Germany, Belgium and the United Kingdom. Exact is looking at implementing the program in other countries throughout Europe and Asia as well. In this article you'll get a glimpse behind the scenes of Exact Software and hopefully you'll be inspired to implement your own successful lead nurturing program. You can also attend a free webinar about lead scoring on December 10th at 3:30 pm gmt.
Subdividing the different leads
All roads lead to Rome and several marketing channels make sure you generate enough traffic to your website. That's exactly the same for Exact Software:
As soon as a prospect lands on Exact.com, there are several possible next stages. Depending on these stages, Exact qualifies a lead as a Sales Qualified lead or as a Marketing Qualified lead. To determine these stages, Exact has different tools available:
As you can see, the channels marked in green will lead to a qualification to a Marketing Qualified lead and the other three; contact form, call me back and orders, lead to qualification as a Sales Qualified Lead.
What is lead scoring?
What exactly is lead scoring and how can it help you? Lead scoring means that you apply scores to predfined behavior, and use that score to trigger campaigns. It helps you stimulate the buying behavior of your relations and enrich their profiles with interesting data. That data helps you set up more relevant and targeted campaigns intended to help you increase your conversion. As you can see in the above images, Exact enriches prospects'profiles with extra data in several ways. For example via the contact form or through an application form requesting a download. During this entire process, email marketing plays a vital role for Exact.
To increase understanding, we'll explain the difference between a Marketing Qualified lead and a Sales Qualified lead. This difference is based on points. For each action/step you take on the website of Exact or in emails sent by Exact you're rewarded with points. These are added to (or deducted from) your profile (stored in Exact's Copernica account):
- Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL): Less than twelve points, these leads will receive relevant emails to increase their engagement for Exact and to eventually convert them to Sales Qualified leads
- Sales Qualified Lead (SQL): Lead with more than twelve points. These leads are contacted by the Sales department as soon as they reach a score of twelve points.
Points are added to a profile by using a simple math equation. In Copernica, the lead scoring model is included so that each time a prospect shows specific behavior, like visiting a web page or reacting on a call-to-action in an email, points are rewarded. For example, opening an email will trigger the addition of one point. A click-through entitles you to even more points, etcetera. Later in this case, you'll see how Exact applied this to their case.
Lead nurturing one-on-one
Exact applies lead nurturing on different areas. In this article we'll zoom in on one specific path a prospect can take. This will give you a good understanding of how the lead nurturing project works:
When you searching in Google for software systems that support SEPA, you're bound to come across Exact. By clicking to the special landing page of Exact Globe Next, you can choose to download Globe Next or request more information. If you choose to download Globe Next, you will be redirected to a subscription form. The data that is collected via this web form is synchronized with the database in Copernica Marketing Software using a Joomla-integration.
Emails are composed of segmented content based on your interest and industry, a mix of latest articles and various calls to action. Content is fetched using RSS feeds from http://www.the-biz-box.com/
Email marketing within the lead nurturing program
Exact sends their prospects relevant and personal emails based on their stored interests and preferences. These emails also play an important role in the entire lead nurturing program.
For every extra email Exact has to send to an MQL before it can be converted to an SQL, a point will be deducted. However, every other action triggers the addition of points. Opening an email adds one point and clicking on the call-to-action “Call back” within an email adds eight points to a profile.
As soon as someone reaches twelve points, that person becomes a Sales Qualified lead (SQL) and that triggers an automated email sent to the Sales department.
This mail contains a link to the profile data of the prospect. This way an account manager has all the data he needs to contact a prospect. If this contact leads to nothing, the prospect becomes a Marketing Qualified lead again.
Optimizing the lead nurturing process
Because this case using math equation was never applied before, Exact monitored the results closely. The marketing department also kept close contact with the Sales department enabling them to tweak the process if needed.
That worked well, because based on that interaction, Exact decided that existing clients had to be qualified as an SQL much faster. It also turned out that prospects who clicked through on specific content had to be rewarded with twelve points.
Lead nurturing is an ongoing process which needs to be optimized every step of the way. The buying behaviour of your clients is constantly changing and you probably won't be offering the same product forever. Keep optimizing the division of your leads into an MQL or SQL. Make smart use of lead nurturing and this will lead you to more business and better results!
Interested in learning more about lead scoring for your business? Attend a free webinar about lead scoring on December 10th at 3:30 pm gmt.