In this blog, we’ll explore some of the best practices you can implement within your own lead scoring model, and what to avoid when constructing one.
What is lead scoring?
Put simply, lead scoring is an attribute that exists in every mainstream customer relationship management (CRM) platform, and it is used to calculate a contact score based on activities being carried out and tracked against records in your database.
Lead scoring is super helpful, as it can allow Marketing and Sales to establish the hot prospects from those records who don’t seem to be doing much! The idea is that over time, lead scoring is attributed to contacts after they engage and interact with your business – whether that be through website visits, downloading assets, or even through email engagement measures such as re-occurring opens and clicks.
Companies that employ lead scoring [..] can potentially benefit from up to a 70% increase in lead generation and return on investment compared to companies that do not use lead scoring.
So, it’s important you get it right!
What challenges can businesses face with lead scoring?
One of the most common mistakes we see, is that some businesses will create a basic lead scoring model based on what they’ve seen online. We all know that online articles and resources are useful, but when it comes to lead scoring, what may work for one business, may not work for yours!
There is no such thing as a “one model fits all” – in fact, your model(s) should be constructed carefully after consideration of how your business operates, and what data you have access to. Plan before you build – you wouldn’t just build a house before planning anything. If you did, then there would be problems later down the line! Work closely with your marketing technology team to ensure the correct integrations and infrastructure is in place to efficiently capture and track data, and then consider how you want to string everything together with your lead scoring.
The next thing you are about to hear is critical to the success of your lead scoring, and hear me out…
Looping your scoring model into online conversion tracking is what most people will do, but we’d recommend also looking at your offline conversion tracking before integrating that with your scoring model. E.g., you could incorporate a positive lead score addition for any contact who attends an offline event, or who attends a call with your Sales team.
There are various methods of incorporating offline conversion tracking within your CRM and lead scoring model. The best thing you can do is look at what options are natively available within your CRM platform, and if you find that you are lacking functionality, then perhaps explore third party solutions in the form of a plugin or app.
If you wanted to explore the benefits of setting up offline conversion tracking, we have a brilliant blog that covers all which I’d thoroughly recommend. (Please see the link above)
There are two sides to every model…no, really.
When people hear the words “lead scoring”, it can be easy to jump straight into thinking about positive scoring examples. However, what many forget is that a lead scoring model also holds negative scoring – at least it should, if done properly!
By implementing a negative lead scoring model, it allows for contacts to be scored more effectively, and this acts as a primary driver for balancing out the contact scores from their positive touchpoints, against criteria considered to be negative. In your CRM, you’ll mostly see the lifecycle stage being affected by lead score, which is why it is incredibly important to have the negative scores in place.
For example, a prospect enters your database after converting on your website through a download asset form. Let’s assume “John Doe” got 30 points for that, and later down the line, your marketing team sends John 4 emails. Being the incredibly busy (or not interested) man that John is, he fails to click on any of the emails that reach his inbox, and it is because of this he loses 30 points. (Ouch!)
There’s a chance that specific contact may interact and engage more in the future, but it’s important that points are deducted in the short term if that person isn’t ready to progress down the funnel. One of the worst mistakes you can make is not having any negative lead scoring in place, as at that point, the scores you see across your database may not truly be representative of their activity; risking the scenario where Sales could reach out to them prematurely.
What makes the perfect lead scoring model?
While there aren’t any official guidelines that interpret the success of a lead scoring model, we still need to ask ourselves – “what makes the perfect lead scoring model?”.
In our eyes, the perfect lead scoring model is one that is fully inclusive and aware of all the important data that lives within your CRM. Having a lead score attributed to your generic user touchpoints such as “downloaded a whitepaper” is fine, but before adding any of those scores, your business really needs to establish and understand their target audience. With that, you can then calculate what you consider to be the correct score, at which users continue to progress down the funnel (all things which should be integrated with your automation tools, typically through means of workflows).
Calculating these and mapping them to your lifecycle stages will take time, and we wouldn’t expect you to hit gold from the first revision of your model. Data should be analysed over time with lead scoring being mapped against how often people are entering lifecycle stages. If you’re noticing that lifecycle stages are changing for individuals, and by the time they get to Sales, they are not ready to buy – this would usually mean your lead scoring model is too generous. This is where tweaking the score values really comes into play, and over time, you can slowly build that perfect lead scoring model that effectively encapsulates how you want your user journeys and progressions to be.
Crafting the perfect lead scoring model requires a thoughtful and tailored approach that aligns with the unique dynamics and goals of your business. Remember to avoid the common pitfalls of adopting a generic model seen online and remind yourself that there is no “one-size fits all”.
With time, you will be able to achieve a lead scoring model that works effectively providing you have incorporated both positive and negative scoring, that is works in synergy with the marketing automation tools at your disposal to help push people down the funnel.
If you would like support implementing a successful lead scoring model for your business, please get in touch with our team of specialists. We would love to support you with your digital transformations.