When you begin planning a digital marketing strategy, your first concern is probably getting as many leads as possible. After all, the more leads that enter your sales funnel, the more they will convert into customers, right?
Not always. You need to ensure that incoming leads are qualified, that is, they have the potential to become customers.
That's what lead scoring is for.
Lead scoring as part of your overall strategy
Lead scoring is basically the score you assign to each lead, indicating the likelihood that he will become a customer of your brand. The higher the points, the more qualified a lead is.
You can assign the score according to specific attributes, such as demographic data, professional position or how and how many times the lead interacted with your company. It all depends on what defines your ideal customer.
The goal of lead scoring is to help marketing and sales teams prioritize the right leads, directing resources to those most likely to bring results.
With well-defined lead scoring, your company can increase conversion rates, which is the number of leads that become customers, and efficiency.
How to define lead scoring?
It is fair to say that each company has its own strategy to define lead scoring. However, most are based on analyzing historical data to create an evaluation system.
The first step is to take a look at your customers and understand what they have in common. Then, analyze leads that have not become customers and understand, too, what connects them.
This information will show the attributes that make your customers, well, customers. These are the indicators that define your lead scoring and show who is or is not a good match for your product or service.
It sounds straightforward, right? Perhaps. Depending on your contact base (and the data you store with it), this can be a simple task. But if you're just starting out, let's go through the steps to define your lead scoring:
1. Demographic information
Whenever you request the contact of a lead through a landing page, remember to request some additional data as well. Demographics are the first questions you should ask.
Ask your leads about demographics and understand: are you selling only to people who live in your area? Are your customers mostly millennials? Or do only CTOs buy from your company?
By defining the demographic data of purchasing customers, you can use this to refine sales leads, taking points away from those who do not meet the requirements.
For example, if you only sell to a geographic region, all those who are not part of it lose points. It is also worth adding optional fields to your form, to guarantee extra points and make your lead scoring even more refined.
2. Company information
This is valid for the B2B market. If your audience is companies, are you more interested in small, medium or large ones? What type of industry does your company serve? Do you sell to companies that are also B2B or to organizations that serve the final customer?
This data will also be important in defining your lead scoring. Remember to understand the role and decision-making power of your customers - it will make a difference in finding the right people.
3. Online behavior
Another important point for your lead scoring is the form and the number of times that your leads interact with your company. The more a lead interacts with you (whether downloading rich material or buying), the more chances they have of becoming a customer - and a loyal one.
Take a look at the leads that have already turned into your customers: what and how many materials did they download? How many and what pages have they visited on your website?
You should give more points to those who have visited your site more often, or who have seen valuable pages (such as your ‘contact us’ page or ‘request a quote’). Likewise, take points from those who have not interacted with your brand in a while - the period (30, 60 or 90 days, for example) will depend on your sales cycle.
4. Engagement with Email Marketing
Choosing to receive emails from your company is a first step to indicate that a lead is interested in your product or service. But more needs to be analyzed to be sure.
Your clickthrough and open rates will give you a good idea of what you need. Your sales team wants to receive those leads that open the emails you send and usually click on the links given in them.
You should also give more points to leads who have engaged with high-value campaigns, such as a free demo offer. It is worth mentioning that, for your analysis to work, you need to have a clear list first. Check out the email checker options available.
5. Spam detection
Finally, just as it is important to keep your mailing list clean and up to date, you must identify those who filled out your form without much zeal.
Some people can put anything in the form fields just to get access to your offers. Certainly, they will not be qualified leads for your company.
It is also important to check what type of email they are using. For example, if you sell to companies, you can take points from those who use free provider accounts and not from a private domain. Likewise, role-based accounts may not represent a specific lead.
Defining your lead scoring activities require research and dedication. Because of it, your marketing team will have better results, while the sales will be happy to direct efforts towards leads that are more likely to produce successful deals.
What about at your company? Are opportunities segmented based on lead scoring activities?