What if you put all your time into the pursuit of a person only to find out they’re already in a committed relationship? Now all of your time, effort, and resources have led to a dead end. You wouldn’t want that in a romantic relationship and you wouldn’t want that in a business relationship. That is where lead scoring comes in.
With lead scoring in marketing automation a company can finally take the guessing out of the relationship by identifying quantifiable data about leads so that they can be nurtured into a sustainable relationship. By tracking a person’s interest and collecting quantifiable data, lead scoring allows a business to assign a numerical value that’s determined by their digital interaction with your webpage. This lets your company know the likelihood of acquiring and develop a relationship before you send them off to your sales department.
Lead Rating Improves Internal Relationships
Lead scoring’s ability to automatically identify how people are engaging with your company helps break down the boundaries not only between your business and a potential client, but also the boundaries between your sales and marketing teams. Sales and marketing should essentially work as one but that is not always the case. Chip Burgard, Senior Vice President of Marketing with CitiMortgage recalls that “Sales would argue that we weren’t giving them enough leads—and we’d say that they weren’t closing enough of the leads that we passed them.”
In order to make sure that doesn’t happen, lead scoring creates a scoring framework and formula to determine when a lead is truly ready to be transferred to sales. The quantifiable data that’s acquired through lead scoring helps a company create better internal relationships by understanding when a lead is a Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL) or a Sales Qualified Lead (SQL).
The article, Marketing Automation: six case studies and an infographic on how it improves sales revenue, cites that “Marketing automation allowed McAfee to implement a ring system and create a segmented nurturing program that gave prospects the right information at the right time in the buying process.” Marketing automation with lead scoring creates better communication within a company and improves production and resource spending while having the potential to obtain a client that is primed to buy.
Create a Lead Rating Plan
1) The first step to lead scoring is creating a task force comprised of both the marketing and sales team to determine what an ideal lead will look like and what an undesirable lead will look like. This will help form a general understanding of your lead scoring formula.
2) The task force will then agree upon what specific actions will add to a lead’s score and what will take away from them. Which positive attributes lend to the lead being an SQL or MQL?
3) Next we construct the lead formula. It is now time to assign scores to what you have previously decided as the most important attributes and least important attributes. Having an action count negatively should be a part of the equation. For example, if a lead has not visited your website in the past few months, a decided numerical value can be subtracted.
4) Once that is confirmed it is time to agree upon how the lead’s transition between marketing and sales will take place. To work in sync marketing and sales must keep up communications so marketing doesn’t over promise and sales doesn’t disappoint. Sometimes marketing can come back into play after a lead has been transferred to sales, a plan of action should be agreed upon if this happens.
5) It is very important to test the program before it is implemented. An assortment of leads cycled through the program can show if the numeric values that have been assigned match the actions taking place.
What Does a Lead Rating Formula Look Like?
Lead scoring works by monitoring each action a person has with your company’s webpage and giving that action a numeric point value that increases with each further interaction. An example of a basic formula for lead scoring is shown in four steps:
- An anonymous person visits your webpage through an organic search and receives a specific amount of points, the points increase as the person looks at more pages.
- The same person comes back to the page and fills out a form which increases their points even more. They look through a few more pages and have an added numerical value combined with their previous score.
- Your company sends that person an email and they click on it to go to your home page and receive an added numerical value.
- You send this person a targeted email based on their previous interest in certain pages of your company’s website that asks if they would be interested in talking to a sales representative. If they contact a sales representative then they receive another added numerical value to their previous score.
Increased Leads Equals Increased ROI
Lead scoring in marketing automation increases lead to conversion ratio which intern converts to increased ROI. The key to this is that lead scoring identifies lead quality over quantity. With this, the quantity of your leads may decrease, but because you will be focusing on leads with far greater potential, your company will see a greater amount of leads converted and a greater ROI.
Since your company will no longer be following leads that have little to no potential, lead scoring lends to a decrease in wasted resources, time, and money. According to the case study cited by Marketing Automation: six case studies and an infographic on how it improves sales revenue, McAfee’s lead to prospect conversion rate increase by four fold and the company, Thompson Reuters, had a 175% increase in regards to revenue accredited to marketing leads.
So, the question you have to ask yourself is, are you done chasing down relationships that lead nowhere? If not, keep doing what you’re doing. But if you’re ready to establish sustainable relationships that have a prospect for growth and increased ROI, then lead scoring in marketing automation is what your company needs.