Lead scoring is a process that enables sales and marketing departments to discover and pinpoint the prospects that are most important for the company and are most likely to convert to a real sale. This system will work perfectly if it is set up and used the right way, regularly. On the other hand, if misused, this model will only pose an unnecessary cost and a waste of time for both departments.
So, in order to avoid any mistakes, read through this important information that will keep you in the know. Let’s dive in.
The Basics: What is Lead Scoring?
The way most lead scoring systems work is they assign certain point values to various actions a lead (customer) can take while on his/her customer journey. Once the lead comes to a point where it reaches a satisfactory point total, it is considered and further treated as a hot lead. Or a lead that has a high potential of making a sale.
When the sales department is properly informed and knows when and where to work its magic, they will only focus on relevant leads, won’t waste precious time and resources, and will – as a result – be more productive.
If the company relies on lead scoring as a source of this type of information, customers can get undivided attention from the sales team. But, they need to know when to start their sales process. Namely, if a lead is in the beginning of the journey, still in the research phase – they may get put off if they are approached by a salesperson that early on. On the other hand, your sales team should make contact if they know that the lead has shown interest in prices (by downloading the price list, for instance).
So, what is lead scoring in marketing, and why is it that important? Well, we can all agree now that lead scoring shows marketing and sales agents where and when they should start acting, and on which leads, of course. A win-win situation for both the customers and your company. Customers will get all the information they need exactly when they need it, and your company will spend time and resources only on customers that have a higher chance of making a purchase and bring profits.
The Importance of Sales and Marketing Collaboration
As explained above, an effective lead scoring system helps the sales department to determine which leads are worth the trouble and time. While all that is good and extremely useful, it wouldn’t be possible without the marketing department’s job. Simply put, if the marketing department is doing its job properly – more top prospects will enter the sales funnel. Because of this, it is vital that both departments collaborate and make decisions together.
These are the two main issues both teams need to discuss and find the answers to:
- What makes a lead become a top prospect?
- What type of content or ad campaigns are most effective and will bring a large number of top prospects through the sales funnel?
So, how to make this whole decision-making process easier and simpler? Here are a few tips:
- Both departments should work in cycles – sales can suggest to market agents which potential customers close the deal most often. They should get this information based on experience and data gathered from previous customers.
- Sales can gather more useful information about potential prospects based on all the questions they hear from the customers. Besides their questions, the sales team should be interested in their hesitations as well. All this will provide extremely useful data for the marketing team.
The main goal here is to avoid any confusion customers may face by providing explanations and answers on time before they even get to the intent-to-buy stage. All this effort will surely be appreciated and worth at the end of the cycle – when the customer makes the purchase.
Lead Scoring Needs Regular Use to Be Effective
A lead scoring system will prove to be most effective if used on a regular basis. The sales agents will get more specific data if they rely on this technology daily. The risk here is making contact with customers who are still not ready to make a purchase, and thus waste resources, time, and have a negative effect on sales projections.
This applies to marketers as well. They need to communicate with the sales team daily in order to know how effective their advertisement strategies are – how big is the percent of leads that are more likely to transfer from the purchase to the intent phase of the entire customer journey. They will have a much clearer idea of whether their efforts are providing positive results for the company.
Lead Scoring Systems Need Regular Maintenance
Besides daily use, in order to be as effective as possible, this system needs regular maintenance too. This is usually scheduled, and both teams review the entire system. They most often focus on:
1. Form Fields
- Are lead generation forms simple enough to use?
- Are there any fields that can be removed in order to make the entire process faster and easier to complete?
2. Sales Funnel
- Has the sales funnel gone through any changes since the last scheduled maintenance?
- Is there any new part that should be added to the journey, like an online demonstration or any other action?
Author Bio: Hannah Derby is a digital marketer who is enthusiastic about trying out the newest trends and innovations in the digital marketing industry and helping businesses advance. She is also using her knowledge and expertise gained from a JTF Marketing training that raised her interest in the marketing automation industry.