Maximize Your Sales Efficiency: 10 Lead Scoring Best Practices You Need to Know

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Monday, October 24, 2022

Lead scoring enables sales and marketing teams to identify leads based on a points system. But what should you keep in mind when developing a lead scoring model?

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Maximize Your Sales Efficiency: 10 Lead Scoring Best Practices You Need to Know

To be successful, sales and marketing teams must come together and implement strategies to ensure leads are sales-ready. To do this, lead scoring models based on certain qualifying criteria should be used to identify prospects who are most likely to make a purchase.

Businesses must rely on multiple data sources and use trial and error to find the most effective lead scoring strategy that gets results. Here are some best practices to help ensure your lead scoring model is doing its job.

IFP visual on the 10 best lead scoring practices

1. Align sales and marketing

When rolling out a lead scoring model, one of the first things to do is to ensure your sales and marketing teams are aligned.

Sales teams are responsible for identifying trends in conversations that lead to opportunities, including who the decision makers are and what pain points they have.

From this point of view, sales teams have a close relationship with leads, which can be useful information in the hands of marketing teams as they incorporate these patterns when developing a lead scoring model.

2. Develop clear buyer personas

Buyer personas are detailed representations of a business’s target audience. Ensuring you have clear customer profiles allows marketing teams to identify leads that are most likely to convert.

In a lead scoring model, sales and marketing teams give scores to their target audience to validate which ones are hot leads. Additional scores are added once prospects start to engage with campaigns or content.

Assign scores based on demographic data to identify marketing qualified leads (MQLs). Consider using profile data such as title or role, department, industry, company, annual revenue and location to score against.

3. Determine the threshold value

The lead scoring threshold determines the point where target customers become MQLs and is based on demographic data or other actions they have taken in the past. It can be any number, but it’s recommended to start with a MQL score of 100.

Once those leads have reached the threshold value, an internal workflow should let the sales team know that they are sales-ready.

4. Assign positive scores

Once you’ve established buyer personas and a lead threshold, it’s time to assign points based on online behavior to help push prospects towards becoming MQLs.

Positive score actions can include the following:

  • Repeat website visits over a time period
  • Opened emails
  • Content downloads or registrations
  • Blog page views
  • Content form submissions or demo requests
  • Call-to-action clicks
  • Paid ads clicks

5. Include negative scoring

You should also assign negative scores to actions that push leads further away from becoming MQLs. This will allow sales and marketing teams to determine if a lead is a good fit and whether to engage with them. Negative score examples include:

  • Email bounces
  • Customer unsubscribes from a newsletter
  • Customer doesn’t align with the target audience

6. Monitor conversion rates

To determine the success of a lead scoring model, you need to monitor conversion rates, which refers to how many MQLs turn into sales-qualified leads.

Doing this will give sales and marketing a good idea of whether the lead scoring model needs to be reworked and points thresholds readjusted.

7. Disqualify disengaged leads

It may be tempting to hold onto leads for as long as possible, but this can often be a waste of time. Disqualify leads that aren’t showing interest and therefore are less likely to make a purchase to help you save time and resources spent on marketing to prospects who aren’t interested in buying your product.

8. Integrate marketing automation and CRM tools

Automating lead scoring can help you to save time and resources, as well as reach out to prospects in a timely manner. Use a lead scoring tool with automation so that leads are automatically routed to a sales representative when they meet the threshold.

Additionally, integrate your lead scoring model with your CRM so that administrators can see when a prospect becomes a MQL and assign them to members of the sales team to begin the sales-qualifying process.

Learn more: 30% of Your Company Data is Outdated. Here's How to Clean Up Your CRM

9. Revisit your lead scoring model often

Be sure to regularly revisit your lead scoring model to evaluate its performance and make any necessary improvements. Sales and marketing teams should regularly check in with each other to discuss whether lead scores need to be adjusted based on the success of the model.

10. Talk to your customers

To better gauge the success of your lead scoring model, talk to your customers. Do this by regularly sending out Net Promoter Score surveys and interviewing customers about their experiences. This will allow you to evaluate both sides of the coin, not just from a sales and marketing perspective.

When conversing with customers, ask them specifically about what drove them to make a purchase. Doing so will help you pinpoint which activities helped push them along in the decision-making process and which might have prevented them from going further. This will help you create content and develop campaigns with the customer experience in mind - which will ultimately lead to more sales.

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