Lead scoring thoughts to share

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:

  1. Targeting/Messaging/Calls-to-Action (right people, right companies?)
  2. Explicit User-Supplied Data (e.g., Registration Forms)
  3. Implicit User-Tracked Behavior (e.g., what content have they engaged? online and offline)
  4. Phone Qualification & Discovery
  5. 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.

Related post:
Lead Gen Tactics from 4 MarketingSherpa Case Studies

Lead Generation Check list – Part 4: Clear and Universal Lead Definition

Intro to Lead Generation: How to determine if a lead is qualified

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