What is Lead Scoring and How Does it Work?

what is lead scoring?

Lead scoring comes into picture when you have a lot of leads in your sales funnel and your sales reps are not able to track them to measure their behavior. If your reps are tracking the leads’ position in your sales funnel randomly, there is a high probability to miss potential leads. Each lead is significant and it is essential to track his/her behavior. 

In order to practice this exercise, you need a lead scoring system in your organization.

What is lead scoring?

Lead scoring is the process of ranking qualified leads based on certain pre-set parameters. Generally, this is done by assigning a numeric value to each lead or by terming them as “hot, “cold” or “warm” based on how ready they are to purchase.

A lead is scored based on different attributes. The attributes include a lead’s engagement, the information s/he has submitted to you, looking for price, reviewing your product, reading your blog post, et cetera. 

Lead scoring is ranking leads based on purchase behaviour
source: giphy

For example, you have two prospects who are engaged with you. One has submitted the query asking about the features of your product and the price of it. Another one has just engaged in reading your blog post and reviewing your product. Now the lead score will be good for the lead who demonstrated his interest in product features and price. His query shows that he has a specific goal to buy this product. But the latter one’s interest is generic. S/he has engaged with your website to have the information about the product. Hence the score for the latter lead will be less.

Based on this score, your sales & marketing teams will have a clear idea of prioritizing the lead nurturing process. For the above scenario, more time & effort should be invested in the former one compared to the latter lead.

How do you score a lead?

There are multiple parameters to consider while scoring a lead.

How do you score leads?
  • Demographics
    Before selling the product, you should have certain questions in your mind. Which location does your prospect belong to and within which age group he should fall under? This type of question makes your lead scoring process easy. 

    For example, your prospect is within the age group that you are targeting but the geographical areas have negative points in your system. That is where assigning points to the prospects come into the picture. You can assign the negative points for this lead. If a prospect belongs to a place (geographical areas) you are targeting, then you assign some extra points for him/her.

  • Company Information
    Company information is a crucial part of scoring leads if you are from a B2B platform. Before scoring a lead, you need to know the company revenue, employee size, etc. If your prospect falls under the category that you are targeting, the score for that lead will be good. Based on the score, the sales and marketing teams can prioritize the lead.

  • Buyers’ Behaviour
    There are so many ways to monitor buyer’s behavior. It is significant to observe each channel to track the buyer’s behavior. 

    You need to see how many times a lead has spent on your website? Whether s/he has entered into the pricing page or how much time he spent on your product page. For each behavior, a lead can be scored to find if s/he is a likelihood customer or not.

    Apart from this, you can watch that lead’s movement on social media as well. Which kind of people are there in his/her network and what is his/her activity there. If he is connected to any client like you or he is visiting any other websites. 

    Email engagement is another efficient factor to score a lead. You need to check if he has opened your email, if so, how long did he spend to read it. Whether he has clicked the link or he has posted or sent any query to you. 

    All the above-mentioned behavior will provide you a clear picture to score each lead.

  • Arena of Interest
    The area of interest of a lead is another factor to consider while doing lead scoring. Close observation of your lead such as which product he is more interested in and how much time he is spending on other products or what type of query he is searching, etc. will provide a wide opportunity to score each lead perfectly.

  • Activities
    The activities of a lead is another factor to consider during lead scoring. You need to check if your lead is active enough in social media, opening your email, engaging in youtube, etc. Also, how many emails remained unopened and how many emails your lead saw and not responded are very significant in this case. 

    Observe his sales cycle and try to find out for how long he did not purchase any products, the number of web pages viewed and the number of forms he has filled and the number of downloads, etc.
    Different activities of a lead exhibit the interest level and you can score him perfectly.

How does lead scoring work?

Lead scoring is an integral part of the sales cycle. While scoring a lead, consider each factor mentioned above. There are two primary factors to consider while identifying hot leads. 

  1. Check if his/her requirements are matching your products. 
  2. Check his/her interest level through buyer’s behavior (explained above)

For example, your lead is looking for the products which you are offering, his past history on subscription is good, he has shown his interest through online, he has filled the forms. For each activity, you have assigned 20 and the total score of the particular lead is 80. Now the system will automatically mark him/her as a hot lead. 

Similarly, when a lead reaches a level where you have set a benchmark of a qualified lead, this is the time to nurture and convert him. 

Sometimes, a negative score also plays a vital role here. It signals you not to contact a lead earlier. Contacting a lead before the required time is a waste of time and most of the sales reps save time through the lead scoring process in this case.

As the era of AI and machine learning overpowering everything, the manual scoring process has become inefficient and the automated lead scoring system provides a good conversion rate. 

Why is lead scoring important?

According to Aberdeen Research, the companies that have a lead scoring system, close deals 192% higher than the companies that don’t have a scoring system.

Lead scoring has a huge significance in the lead generation process. Every organization has the ultimate goal of converting as many prospects as possible to paid customers. The lead scoring process not only helps in conversion but also helps in other ways. Those are:

  • Sales teams save a lot of time by focusing on the right leads.
  • Scoring helps sales teams to communicate effectively with the leads.
  • It helps determine which leads should be prioritized.
  • It helps in personalizing sales pitch.
  • Lead scoring increases work efficiency.
  • It helps implement a proper lead nurturing strategy.
  • It provides a better understanding of the customer.
  • Helps align an organization’s sales & marketing teams.

Lead scoring in B2B

According to Eloqua study of 10 B2B companies using lead scoring systems, close rates increased by 30%, company revenue increased by 18% and the revenue per deal increased by 17%.

Most of the B2B organizations have misalignments between their sales and marketing teams. By involving the lead scoring system, those organizations bring good rapport between both teams. 

Apart from this, the B2B lead scoring factors are a little different from the B2C. Above mentioned factors like demographics, company information, buyers’ behavior, an arena of interest and activities – should also be considered in a B2B lead scoring system.

Conclusion

It doesn’t matter if you are in a B2C or a B2B industry, implementing a proper lead scoring system can be quite beneficial. Scoring leads help sales & marketing teams in more ways than one. From lead prioritization to nurturing – lead scores should determine the amount of resources spent on each lead in each stage of the sales cycle.