It’s a ‘buzz-word’ that’s thrown around the B2B Marketing space willy nilly. Done right it can deliver seriously impressive results (like the nearly 2000% increase in pipeline you can read about in the example at the bottom of this blog).
And It may sound self-explanatory but when you dig beneath the surface it appears that it’s a strategy that’s employed with big differences in effectiveness, approach, and even definition by different companies.
To us, it’s the process of scoring a person – yes, a PERSON, remember – based on predetermined demographics and firmographics, as well as their behaviours across all of your marketing channels.
But it’s interesting when you speak to a company, and they mention they do lead scoring. Do they REALLY do lead scoring? Once you dig a bit deeper they’re either running it in the background alongside other lead engagement metrics or just scoring people on the number of emails they’ve opened or clicks they made.
Now I don’t know about you, but me opening and clicking on X number of emails doesn’t mean that I’m ready to spend £100,000+++ to buy a new product or solution.
Or does it?
(No. It doesn’t).
Marketers and Marketing teams need to understand that there is much more to lead scoring, but they may not have the know-how, capacity or patience to implement or change things… or they do and it just gets deprioritised.
But that lack of focus could cost you…
You spend time, effort, and money on driving digital engagement in other channels but if you don’t take a combined, holistic view of a lead’s engagement across all of them all you’re seriously missing a trick.
Making sure that every single touchpoint that you can score on is included in your lead scoring matrix is vital to understand true engagement.
What’s great about having this oversight of engagement across all channels, is you can start to understand where people are in their journey and target them more effectively. If they have a relatively low score, sending them content that is addressing a common challenge they face and positioning yourself as a thought leader is going to appeal to them more than a product brochure.
And likewise, if they are close to your threshold of becoming a ‘sales ready lead’, they are more than likely aware of who you are and what you do, so sending case studies or content discussing how your product/solution can solve their challenge may work better.
But I’m sure many of you are thinking “Come on! It’s all well and good you saying that but how do I know what to score and how much by?
Is there a list of correct scores to give for a click, impression etc?”.
Knowing what to score is a case of looking at each of your marketing channels to understand the insights you are getting. Here are a few of our top tips:
But when it comes to knowing what to score, that’s when it can get tricky. The only way to lead score effectively is by treating it like any other marketing you do…
You need to implement, test, review and adjust.
The 2 biggest pieces of advice we can give to anyone struggling with lead scoring is 1) to not be afraid and 2) to work closely with your sales team to understand how effective it is.
Of course, you still need to spend the time understanding everything you can score on and weighting each score based on what you and the rest of those involved believe is right, but you shouldn’t get too hung up on if something should be a little higher or little lower.
One idea could be to ring fence some of your data and pick a single salesperson to run a pilot with. You can then have regular catch ups with them to review each lead and your lead score report, so you understand how well its performing.
Once it’s running, you can analyse each score and see which ones are pushing people over the threshold most often and dial back if Sales say they aren’t ready.
Likewise, if you see lots of people with another behaviour who aren’t being pushed to sales, increase the score and test to see how it works.
In our experience it can take 6-12 months of tweaking and iteration to get lead scoring working right for you, but once you’ve nailed it, it can work wonders.
Take this example.
We were working with a client, let’s call them Bob, who wanted to drive more leads for their business, but they had a large average order value for their customers and a long sales cycle.
Bob historically pushed leads to sales by a “Contact Us” form and all their marketing activity across all channels pushed prospects to the website with an aim to convert on said form.
One of the suggestions we had was to implement lead scoring in their Marketing Automation platform to start tracking all the touch points their prospects were having in once place. Once we integrated their MarTech into the system, we ran a lead scoring workshop and then went about implementing the output and starting to monitor the success.
In all honestly, it didn’t work at first and we passed way too many leads over to Sales who 1) couldn’t handle it and 2) found them to be not ready to convert.
But, as mentioned before, lead scoring is a living, breathing animal that needs to be fed, watered, and cared for and after a few tactical iterations, we got there.
By finding the right balance of scores for each of the behaviours we were seeing, it led to a whopping 1,786% increase in pipeline from the previous year for them and goes to show, that with Marketing, Sales and MarTech all working in sync, great results are possible.
We’re big advocates for lead scoring done right, and the above results prove why. But ultimately it comes down to all parties involved having the patience to get the right formula.
Get this right, and you’re on to a winner!
Looking to get to grips with your own lead scoring? You know what to do…