Lead scoring is designed to give your organisation the best possible understanding of a business lead’s potential and ensure any positive engagements are handled in a timely and professional manner. Lead scoring takes into account factors such as email, social media and website engagement, along with other details such as job title, geography and demographics when evaluating the quality of your contacts. Lead scores can then be used to assign the type of content a subscriber receives or raise a flag to your sales team that the prospect is ready to be contacted about a specific product or service.
For example, a retailer specialising in women’s shoes might automatically give every woman who registers with their site an immediate score of 10 if she lives within 5 miles of a retail location. Proximity means there is a greater likelihood of an in-store visit, and that lead is worth a little extra effort. A man living 25 miles away and registering on the site would get no points, initially. Nothing against him. He’s just more of an unknown; he may be interested in making a purchase, perhaps for a wife or girlfriend, and may have serious buying intent, but he would have to demonstrate that with more positive online actions before he merits a designation as a “hot” lead.
Further, a lead qualification process is one of the basic features of a good marketing automation platform. By setting up an efficient lead qualification system, you can keep unqualified leads from clogging your sales funnel and give your marketing and sales teams a clear path to accurately identify the hottest leads and focus on prospects that need more information and attention to convert.
A lead scoring system allows a business or organization to better align the marketing and sales teams to work more efficiently together to achieve the ultimate goal: conversions Sales and marketing people may disagree about what exactly constitutes a “qualified” lead. Sales often wants a lead that is truly ready to buy. A Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL) is a lead that meets criteria set out by marketing, even if they are not actually pulling out their checkbook to make a purchase.
One common practice is to establish a lead score threshold to be considered an MQL. Once a lead reaches the MQL score threshold, it can be turned over to sales for direct outreach. Ideally, this is accomplished through bi-directional sync with your CRM that makes the process automated and efficient. The practice of handing over only the highest scoring leads ensures that sales representatives invest time in contacting the most highly qualified leads.
Finally, What to Look for in a Lead Management Tool?
Use this checklist to evaluate and compare different lead management tools in marketing automation platforms to make sure they have the features you need.
- Rules-based lead scoring
- Enables lead scoring based on social media activities
- Time-based lead score reduction
- Demographic/geographic scoring
- Bi-directional CRM integration
- List segmentation by score
- Part of a comprehensive marketing automation platform