Business to business lead scoring is the process of rating business leads according to the likelihood they will convert to sales. There are several different ways to score leads and it mostly depends on your organization's view of a marketing qualified lead (MQL), which is a likely customer. Certain parameters must remain consistent for all leads, but scoring usually comes down to judgements based on implicit and explicit observations and detections from marketing automation software.
Your highest scoring leads, or MQLs, should satisfy associations with the demographics and business size of your target market. Consider which level of business you are targeting, such as VPs, marketing directors or representatives. Activities and behaviors of these leads will also become factors that shape your scoring. Using MQLs as the basis of your scoring, you can compare them with the rest of the contacts you encounter.
Conversion/Lead Capture Forms
In order to track your lead scoring, you will need to create conversion/lead capture forms in your marketing automation software. Qualifications should include the job title the company size and the industry of the lead. You should also consider the behavior of the lead and the level of his or her interest in your product or service. Use conversations, along with website, email and social media data directly provided by the lead to formulate an analysis. Before any scoring takes place, determine the lead's various levels of interest and activity, such as information requests or questions asked through email or social media.
Constructing a Scale
Your scale can be set how you want as long as it yields consistency in your marketing automation software. Many businesses like to use a 0-100 point system while some businesses create alphanumeric systems. Whatever you decide, stick with it so that the scale makes sense over time. A consistent rating system will help you compile meaningful weekly, monthly, quarterly and annual statistics that track your conversion success rate.
In order for lead scoring to be meaningful for sales representatives, devise your scale so that the highest scores are given to them as leads most ready to talk about making a purchase. There should be a consistent pattern of top quality leads based on indicators such as the number of times they visited your website's landing pages, interacted with your personnel about specific products or even made purchases in the past. In other words, top leads should not be based on wishful thinking.
Set a Sales-Ready Threshold
Over time you should fine tune your scale so that it reflects a more predictable success rate for conversions. You can do this by determining a threshold for sales-ready leads. Scores below that threshold will need lead nurturing, whereas the scores at or above the threshold should be assigned to sales representatives through the marketing automation software.
The reason it's important to distinguish between lead nurturing and sales-ready leads is that leads can become easily annoyed when they are not yet ready to make a purchase. Every contact that shows interest is a potential long term business customer, but that doesn't mean every such contact should be treated as an MQL. Furthermore, lead scores are always subject to change due to constantly changing market conditions. A high scoring lead one day can fall several points once he or she finds out their marketing budget has been slashed.
One way to make your lead scoring more efficient is to use apps for auto-score, re-score and alerts triggered by specific lead scores in real time. Prioritizing leads through scoring reduces wasted time on unlikely conversions and results in better productivity.