When it comes to sales, the two things companies care about is demographic data and behavioral data. Demographic data asks questions regarding age and how many family members a customer has. Behavioral data is about the context of interaction such as how many times customers have come back, what they purchased, how long they stay and what they look for.
Online interactions create tons of behavioral data. If you work in the world of sales and marketing, then you know exactly what a lead is. In fact, you understand how important leads are for every business. They ultimately drive the sales and relationships between your company and your customers.
The question is, how do you prioritize those leads? How can you tell which leads need immediate attention, and which ones can be nurtured slowly? The answers to these questions can be discovered through lead scoring. In fact, it is essential to use lead scoring for sales success.
What is lead scoring?
Essentially, lead scoring uses an algorithm to assign a ranking to sales prospects based on data about a prospect’s interests and buying intentions. It is a method for determining how interested prospects are in your product or service. The higher the score, the more intrigued they are.
Lead scoring helps you to identify where a prospect is in the buying cycle to tell you the exact time you should put your product or service in front of them. As a result, you increase the likelihood of a purchase when they’re ready to buy.
Predictive lead scoring
This takes lead scoring one step further by starting with leads you already have in your customer relationship management system. You should have at least some basic information on your prospects. You then use predictive lead scoring software to pull perhaps a lead’s email address and use that information to scrape the web for signals such as social presence, web presence and more. Predictive lead scoring can then create the ideal profile.
The software will also calculate a score based on how likely the lead will convert or contribute to an impact on revenue. The software pulls information from your CRM to identify historical data. Also, it analyzes varying combinations of buyer signals to formulate the perfect customer profile. The good news is predictive lead scoring software is designed to integrate with many CRM systems and marketing automation software.
Most of the time, the marketing department will pass leads on to the sales department, and the sales department would hate them. The leads were often scored incorrectly with cold leads labeled as hot leads and vice versa. Plus, this system was very difficult to manage.
Marketing needs to increase the number and percentage of leads that convert to opportunities. This means passing over a larger number better-qualified leads to sales. The marketing team also needs a better scoring system, which is where predictive lead scoring can help.
Benefits of lead scoring
Through lead scoring, you can better allocate your resources and attention to the leads that are most likely to become customers. You are also making sure your messages align with the right prospects. If you overwhelm your prospects with the same messages, you are wasting your time and theirs.
How to score big
- Understand exactly how lead scoring can help your business. Lead scoring will not solve all of your lead management issues. It will help you better prioritize your leads by removing human bias through predictive analytics.
- Take a tri-lateral approach. Three data categories should be considered: demographics, velocity, and intent. Putting these together answers questions such as:
- Do leads match up with target profiles?
- Are behaviors leading to future conversions?
- How far along are they on the purchase path?
Although, some factors are stronger than others. If a prospect downloads a whitepaper, that doesn’t necessarily mean they are going to make a purchase. So, this particular lead might not be ready to get passed on to sales.
Most marketers already understand the importance of setting up a lead scoring system. It not only improves alignment between sales and marketing, but it also makes the sales organization much more efficient. What matters is how and where you start. You can begin with predictive lead scoring software. Remember to align your messages based on lead scores, and leave no lead behind.