Recently, I’ve been having more conversations with marketers about lead scoring and how they can use it as a part of the overall lead qualification and nurturing process.
The question “what is lead scoring?” also came up during the “Broad Reach + Intelligent Lead Nurturing = Increased Revenue” webinar I participated in yesterday with Scott Mersy of Genius.com, Andrew Gaffney of DemandGen Report, Ardath Albee of Marketing Interactions.
So, what is lead scoring anyway?
Here’s how I see it. Lead scoring helps quantify the value of a lead based on: the profile of the prospect, behavior (online and/offline), demographics and the likelihood to buy within a defined time frame. Often there is explicit User-Supplied Data (e.g., Registration Forms) and Implicit User-Tracked Behavior (e.g., what content have they engaged?) included in the scoring as well.
Lead scoring can be helpful, but when you have a complex sale, it’s just only part of what’s needed to qualify sales ready leads. It’s the human touch of conversation that provides the certainty that a lead is sales ready and that comes from the many nuances gleaned from a personal interaction.
I’ve noticed a lot of marketers with a complex sale are using lead scoring as the only means of lead qualification before they route leads to their sales team.
Lead scoring is not a substitute for human touch. Rather, it prioritizes where you need invest the human touch.
Still, the recipe for implementing a lead scoring program remains largely a mystery for most marketers. This subject deserves more attention than I am giving it in this post, but I will explore this in more detail in future posts.
To start, here are the main elements of lead scoring:
- Targeting/Messaging/Calls-to-Action (right people, right companies?)
- Explicit User-Supplied Data (e.g., Registration Forms)
- Implicit User-Tracked Behavior (e.g., what content have they engaged? online and offline)
- Phone Qualification & Discovery
- Sales Qualification & Discovery
Points 4 and 5 are areas that often get overlooked and may lead to the expectation that leads are sales ready, when they may not be. Lead scoring and automation support a process of lead qualification, but there are more fundamental aspects of lead management that often get overlooked.
Share your thoughts or questions on lead scoring in the comments.
B2B Lead management is far from an easy task