One of the most time consuming things your Sales and Marketing teams have to do is search through all of the leads that come their way and figure out which ones are most likely to buy, which need a bit more nurturing, and which are time wasters. But there is a way to make this whole process easier and it’s by implementing a Lead Scoring System.
Lead Scoring is a way to rank your prospects so that the best possible opportunities are being focused on. It’s based on a points system that you have devised that sees prospects scored on how likely they are to buy.
It’s an important way to keep your Sales team focused on the best leads without wasting time on those that will never convert. A good lead scoring system will shorten your sales cycle and increase your close-rates by making your teams more efficient.
How to devise and implement your lead scoring system
1. Decide if you’re ready
The first thing you need to do before you start coming up with your Lead Scoring System, is to figure out if you actually need one. There are two questions you should be asking yourself:
- Do you have enough leads? If you don’t have enough leads to score then there is no point. Focus on generating more leads before you look at lead scoring.
- Do you have enough data on your leads? If you’re not collecting the right kind of data on your leads then you won’t have the information necessary to come up with their score. You need both demographic and behavioural information before you can start scoring.
2. Establish criteria
Once you’ve decided that you’re ready to start scoring your leads, you need to identify the minimum criteria that your prospects must meet before they can be considered as leads. These are the things that are absolutely necessary for your prospect to become a qualified lead. For example, if they need to be in a specific region or industry.
This is a part of the process that both Sales and Marketing must agree on. Your Marketing team need to know exactly what to look for in a lead to turn them into a Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL) and turn them over to Sales. If your Sales team don’t think that the leads they are being sent are qualified yet, then both they and Marketing need to agree on what constitutes a qualified lead.
3. Establish demographics
The first type of information you need from your prospects you should be able to get from lead-capture or conversion forms on your website. This includes things such as the job title of the prospect, the size of the company, and the type of company.
Look at your current customers and see what demographics they have in common. If there is anything that all or most of your best customers have in common then you know that that particular demographic should be scored highly in your scoring system.
4. Establish behaviours
Now you have to look at the behaviours of your prospects and how much interest they have shown in you and your product. It’s best to start off by listing all of the possible ways that a prospect can engage with you, be it through email opens and click-throughs, social media shares, web page visits, downloads, form submissions, free trials, etc.
Once this is done you should, again, look at previous leads that have become customers. What types of engagement did they partake in before they became customers? How long between the first engagement and the final close? How many engagements did it take before they decided to buy? When you look at all of this information you will see patterns emerging and be able to see what types of engagement is the most successful in converting leads, and can therefore attach a higher value to it.
It’s easier than ever to gather this type of data nowadays, with so many data automation and analytical tools available for your company.
5. Set values
The next step is to come up with the best way to score your leads. There are different ways you can do this. A simple A, B, C or D scoring system is effective, but perhaps the best way is through a points system, giving each criterion a points value from 0-100.
A good tip is to look at the minimum criteria from step two and give those a points value of 100. So say if you have two minimum criteria that all leads must fit, then before a prospect can be considered a lead they must have at least 200 points. If they have less than that, then they don’t qualify as a good enough lead for Sales to contact.
You want to make sure that both the demographic and the behavioural criteria are given equal points so that a lead isn’t being qualified on the basis that they have looked at your website multiple times, but they don’t fit into the industry type that you are looking for, or vice versa. The points system will vary from business to business, so it’s up to you to figure out how best to score your criteria.
6. Update your scoring system
It’s important to remember that your lead’s scores will more than likely change over time as you find different criteria and different aspects that turn prospects to qualified leads. You need to keep updating your scoring system over time to keep up with any changes. This is all easily done through lead management software that can keep track of your leads and what is and isn’t working for them.
A Lead Scoring System is essential if you want your Sales teams to be focusing on the best leads rather than wasting time selling to people who are never going to buy. You want to make sure that your teams know who the right leads are and that they are being contacted at the right time. It will take some time to get a scoring system that works perfectly but keep at it and you will increase your efficiency and conversion rates.