Identifying Opportunities with Sales Lead Scoring

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Dmitry Chervonyi
Published
Jan 25, 2021
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8m
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Predicting your potential buyers’ behavior isn’t easy; nevertheless, it is possible to increase the odds of hitting the target. Indeed, lead scoring is essential since it helps businesses to identify the most promising prospects and detect the ones that aren’t prone to conversions at early stages. We’ve prepared a few tips for you to master the art of reading your leads’ minds using progressive strategies and state-of-the-art technologies. 

What is lead scoring?

It is an assessment process to define whether your potential clients are likely to move down your sales funnel. It includes providing each of them with numerical "points" to find out if they possess the necessary characteristics. Professionals use the metrics to set the right priorities and come up with customized offers to increase the likelihood of a purchase. 

Why is lead scoring important?

Lead scoring facilitates your sales reps’ efficiency by sorting out qualified leads. They do not waste precious time on the people who aren’t going to make a purchase. As a result, the company retains the revenue that would be otherwise lost due to useless efforts. According to Aberdeen Research, qualification rates among businesses that succeed in sales lead scoring are 192% higher than those neglecting it.

Getting Started with Lead Scoring

Pursuing great opportunities is crucial if a company is eager to grow and constantly increase the ROI. It allows for a significant revenue boost contributing to your business growth. As an Eloqua study suggests, such an approach helped ten B2B companies enhance their close rates by 30% and have an 18% increase in revenue. Follow a number of steps to learn how to determine whether your prospective clients are a good fit.

Getting-Started-with-Lead-Scoring

1. Create Buyer Personas

Come up with a few ideal customer profiles since your target audience might divide into subgroups. Each cluster has its own priorities and behaviors, so it’s essential to align its interests with your sales strategy without missing anything important.

Review Closed Deal Data

Examine closed deal data to find out what kinds of clients accepted your offer most willingly. Identify at least three buyer personas and note their conspicuous characteristics. These simple steps will show you who appreciates your offer most of all.

Consider Jobs to be Done

While doing research, you may come across several clients who refused to buy your product or service at the last minute. Companies tend to get denials when they fail to provide exactly what the user is looking for. Analyze what went wrong and what needs to be done to improve the situation. Creating a to-do list will help you do your homework and considerably improve your conversion rates.    

2. Align on Data Points to Use for Scoring

Although there exist widely accepted criteria for estimating the quality of your prospective clients, each company adds its own points to meet specific business needs. Thus, you should design your own metrics to define whether a particular person matches your expectations. 

We recommend you rate each criterion by value once you’ve made up a list. Furthermore, you should create a negative scoring system to avoid sugarcoating contacts that show a great deal of uncertainty. 

Although defining such data points might seem like a challenging task at first, it’s worth the effort. Things will become much more clear as soon as you start ticking boxes. You will be able to see the big picture using as little as 4-5 data categories

Investigate the examples provided below to come up with your own set of relevant indicators.

Explicit Scoring

This kind of scoring is closely associated with your buyer personas. It includes a set of objective parameters. For instance, if your ideal customer is a large biotech company’s CEO, you should include industry, company size, and job title in your checklist. 

Explore the most popular criteria below.

Explicit-Scoring

It is quite easy to find information about people and companies on their website or LinkedIn page.  

Implicit Scoring

Unlike the previous section, implicit scoring helps to assess people’s behavior. For instance, if they download your gated content (let it be an eBook), they show interest in your offer. 

Here are some common metrics that will assist you in qualification.

We suggest that you use a powerful CRM to track your leads’ activity and analyze their behavior. The fact is, in the long run, implicit criteria matter more than explicit ones. Of course, a person’s job title matters, but it doesn’t guarantee successful closure. At the same time, downloads and other interactions with your content are a positive sign.

Negative Scoring

Not all individuals are suitable for your business, so the earlier you part ways, the better. Use a negative scoring model to filter out the people whose behavior shows red flags. Indeed, a person can possess perfectly healthy explicit scores, but their actions might reveal a lack of interest in your offer. For instance, they might stop consuming your content or unsubscribe despite having excellent objective characteristics.

Investigate widespread negative scoring criteria that will help you to move on with your sales.

Using such metrics will help you get rid of weak contacts and direct your energy at nurturing more worthy prospects.   

Score Degradation and Refinement

Relationships change over time, so it’s important to track the direction where it goes and correct it. For instance, decreased interactions are a bad sign, so it is time to take action. It is possible to bring stagnant leads back to life. 

Stay aware of what’s going on in your sales funnel and reach out whenever you notice a decline in interest. Don’t forget to lower the score each time it happens and raise it when things change for the better. 

3. Assign Values to Each Data Point

Figuring out the exact score might be a challenging task, so we’ve prepared a sample table for you. Use it as a template to determine your own values based on your unique model for assigning the points. We suggest that you use the data from your CRM to see the most devoted clients and the least loyal ones.

Assign-Values-to-Each-Data-Point

As you can see, such estimations are key to understanding what relationships are worth investing in.

Put Lead Scoring into Regular Practice

Assessing the quality of a potential buyer is essential if you want to bring your business to the next level. Thus, you should review your crucial data on a regular basis to keep abreast of the slightest changes. 

To enhance the buyer’s journey, you should resort to an attribution report. Pay particular attention to the content that turns your leads into clients and the one they consume long before making a final decision

A contacts report is a great way to calculate how many leads your marketing activities brought and what revenue you’ve generated. Figure out the activities that motivate your audience to make an instant purchase and find out what drives last-touch conversions. 

Apart from reports, we recommend you to consult with your sales team and ask your existing customers for valuable feedback. 

Continually Refine Scoring Criteria

Any scoring system requires regular updates since it is difficult to provide accurate values on the first try. Moreover, the one associated with your prospects’ behavior needs special attention. Thus, make sure to add new metrics and fix those that didn’t match the reality. 

We recommend you revamp the criteria at least once per month and ask your team to join the discussion for more impressive results. Also, don’t forget to revise your thresholds to decide when a person is ready for purchase. Such an approach will help you to engage the whole team in creating more efficient pipelines.

Implement Predictive Lead Scoring

Make the most of artificial intelligence (AI) to foresee the behavior of your potential customers. Precise identification of quality leads is more than possible with predictive lead scoring as it applies a modern algorithm-based approach. 

AI calculates the possibility of a successful conversion using the data on past behavior. It analyzes different buying patterns and can automatically predict the time when a purchase will be made. 

As you can see, there are many ways to make accurate estimates. Try using all of them to develop a complex approach to revealing quality contacts and driving the ultimate results from your efforts.

Dmitry Chervonyi

Dmitry Chervonyi

Chief Growth Officer at Belkins
Since starting his career in sales & marketing 9 years ago, Dmitry never stopped searching for new opportunities that can turn the tables on sales development and the ways that shape B2B relationships. He is always eager to share his findings with the audience.
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