When it comes to lead generation, producing a high volume of leads is not enough. While volume in itself is good, quantity is useless if you don’t know how to identify and separate the good, the bad, and everything in-between.
When it comes to sourcing new customers, you have to remember that not all leads are created equal. This is why B2B marketers should implement effective lead scoring to identify the leads with the biggest potential for conversion.
Simply put, lead scoring is a technique that marketers use to prioritize leads based on their behavior and other information gathered throughout the buying cycle. This way, marketers can spend more time nurturing high-quality leads and waste less time on those with little chance of converting. Lead scoring also allows marketers and salespeople to tailor their approach according to individual leads.
Types of Data Involved In Lead Scoring
Below are the most common data types involved in lead scoring:
Industry is an important factor in lead scoring. Department can also be a key determining factor as it can indicate buying power. For example, if you’re a B2B marketer for an IT consulting company, are you more interested in entertainment or pharmaceutical companies?
Every B2B company has an ideal target market, so knowing this information makes it easier to determine the potential for sales conversions.
Anyone can visit your website or watch your promotional videos and download your gated content. But, not all of these people belong in your target market.
Identifying demographic information will allow you to hone in on your target audience. Are you catering to millennials or baby boomers? Are you only focusing on a strict age bracket in a certain location or is location not a factor?
Being able to weed out any leads that don’t fit your demographic criteria will save you from going after irrelevant leads.
Level of Email Engagement
Anyone can sign up for your e-newsletter, even your competitors. People have varying reasons for signing up, but not everyone intends to buy.
If you have thousands of subscribers to your e-newsletter, it will take you forever to go after each one. It would be like looking for needles in a giant haystack, and that’s a big waste of time.
Instead of casting a wider net and praying for fish, focus on who opened the emails instead. The subscribers with the highest click-through rates are like prospects that have turned on spotlights in a very dark room. You need to harness these lights, focus in on them, and use lead nurturing tactics such as free product demos to convert them into loyal customers.
Level of Social Engagement
Similar to the scenario above, just because you have over 100,000 followers online doesn’t mean everyone’s a qualified lead. You need to identify the social media users who interact with your brand the most—the ones who always like, share, and comment on your posts.
High social engagement shows interest in your content, which means these users will have a higher propensity to be interested in your products and services. You can offer these highly engaged users free demos or gated content to help move them towards acquisition.
Why You Need to Develop a Scoring Criteria
Just as leads are not created equal, the same goes for the data you need to consider when scoring your leads. For instance, in some industries, age can be a major factor when scoring leads. The same can be said for company position and tenure.
You need to come up with criteria that will help you identify who your marketing qualified leads are or those who are most likely to become customers based on the data you gathered compared to other leads.
Think of them as your ideal soon-to-be customers. Who are they? Where can you find them? How do they interact on your website or social media accounts? What characteristics and behaviors do they exhibit? How long do they stay on a page on your site? What device do they use when they visit your site? How often do they leave a comment? Knowing these things will help you come up with criteria to score your leads effectively.
Coming up with an effective scoring criteria requires a team effort. You can accomplish this by talking to sales managers and getting their input on what makes a good lead. You can also speak to the sales teams—both office-based teams and those out in the field—to understand customer behavior.
Furthermore, you need to study your own customer data, especially successful sales, and find the best practices attached to each. This information, along with the data gathered from website analytics, will help you determine what makes a lead worth pursuing.
Upgrade Your Focus
Scoring leads allows marketers to sharpen their focus on the leads that matter. It helps companies save time, money, and resources, ensuring higher returns on investments because resources are spent on leads with the highest possibility of conversion.
In a way, it’s similar to account-based marketing where instead of casting a wide net and hoping for fish, you take aim at individual fish with a harpoon.
Both lead scoring and account-based marketing enable marketing and sales teams to align their efforts and reach the same goals. Both tactics ensure that marketing teams are providing sales teams with the best leads, and in turn, the sales teams are providing the marketers on-the-ground information that enhances lead generation capabilities.