When most SMEs start drawing customers to products and services via content marketing, social media marketing, search engine optimization, and branding, mostly they are worried about not getting enough leads into the funnel.
But once you get enough leads, then what? Well, then you need to figure out who is interested in your product or service and who is just starting to look around.
That’s where lead scoring comes around.
What is Lead Scoring?
Lead scoring is a methodology used to rank prospects against a scale that represents the perceived value each lead represents to the organization. The resulting score is used to determine which leads a receiving function will engage, in order of priority. The score leads based on the interest they show in your business, their current place in the buying cycle, and their fit regarding your business.
In 2020 there are already many sales challenges for SMEs. So, lead scoring could be one of the most vital methods for SMEs to implement. Lead Scoring allows a business to customize a prospect’s experience based on his or her buying stage and interest level and greatly improves the quality and readiness of leads that are delivered to sales organizations for follow up. A lead scoring system allows you to take the subjectivity out of the process and truly understand which leads have the best chance of converting.
The first goal of companies is to get sales leads or prospects into their pipeline, but once a substantial number of leads have been obtained, companies need to focus on the prospects that are most interested in buying, which is where lead scoring can play an important role.
Key Benefits of Lead Scoring
When a lead scoring model is effective, the key benefits are:
- Increased sales effectiveness and efficiency: Lead scoring focuses sales attention on leads that the organization deems most valuable, ensuring that leads that are unqualified or have low perceived value are not sent to sales for engagement.
- Increased marketing effectiveness: A lead scoring model quantifies for marketers, the type of leads or leads characteristics that matter the most. This helps the marketing team more effectively target its inbound and outbound programs and deliver more high-quality leads to sales.
- Tighter marketing and sales alignment: Lead scoring helps strengthen the relationship between marketing and sales by establishing a common language with which marketing and sales leaders can discuss the quality and quantity of leads generated.
- Increase in Revenue: Lead scoring also ensures that sales go first for leads that are qualified by their scores. The probability of a lead with higher scores closing is higher than one with a lower score. This indirectly contributes to the growth in revenue as well.
Lead scoring process
Sales and marketing departments agree on the definition of a qualified lead to start the lead scoring process. To score a lead, information is gathered about the lead’s occupation and role in that industry to determine whether they’re appropriate to sell to. Information about a lead’s activities, demographics, or areas of interest also comes into play when figuring out whether that lead would be interested in a company’s products. Even if your company is a service provider, you have to go through the same type of procedure, your leads i.e. your audience activities, areas of interest come to play.
Each action is assigned a value depending on how likely the software predicts that action will lead to a purchase or success. Leads who are a fit and who have expressed a high interest in a company are deemed marketing-qualified leads and are typically passed to sales departments, whereas those who are deemed a good fit but with minimal interaction are sent to marketing teams for lead nurturing.
Metrics that companies use to measure a lead’s interest include which email messages lead to responses; which pages they visit on the company website; and how long they visited, any forms they filled out or downloaded, or whether they clicked on a blog post or connected via social media. The importance of various metrics can change depending on whether the company is selling a product or service and what industry they are selling to.
Lead scoring ways
Companies use various ways to determine the success of lead scoring efforts, and the importance of those ways varies from company to company. Some companies use lead scoring software to manage their leads, it is a very efficient way of doing it. Some examples of lead scoring software are ActiveCampaign, Vanilla Soft, Velocity lead manager, etc. This software is rented from ₹600 a month to ₹6000, the price can also depend on how much you are using the software or how much it is providing you. This way is not so suitable for SMEs and is not suggested but it is surely advised. There are also many other ways to lead scoring, examples of lead scoring ways include the following:
- Unsubscribe rates on emails can measure the effectiveness of marketing campaigns and diagnose inaccurate targeting methods or flaws in the content itself. Conversely, response rates can measure the quality and effect of the produced content.
- Average engagement per lead is determined by comparing lead scores of nurtured leads against leads that haven’t been touched by any sort of materials. A drop in this shows a need to update content or explore a new way of bringing leads to the company. If companies focus on guiding prospects to perform a specific activity, the success of those efforts can show the effectiveness of certain types of content as well.
- Customer’s response If they find content on a third-party site and click on it or download it, the prospect may be just gathering information on the software market. If they exhibit buying signals by following or interacting with social media accounts, requesting trials or demos, or visiting pricing pages, they may gain a higher lead score.
- Sales time is the total time it takes for a lead to become a customer. The shorter the sales cycle, the better the lead and scoring process is because of the cost-benefit of gaining that new customer.
- Upsell and cross-sell opportunities help determine the revenue per customer. Companies aim for highly engaged leads that are well-versed in products that they might want to buy.
Now with all this information, your company can itself create a new lead scoring technique relevant to your sales and services. But to help you out here is a way how you can calculate a basic lead score
How to Calculate a Basic Lead Score
There are a lot of ways to calculate a lead score. The simplest way to do this is:
Manual Lead Scoring
- Calculate the lead-to-customer conversion rate of your leads.
Your lead-to-customer conversion rate is equal to the number of new customers you acquire, divided by the number of leads you generate. Use this conversion rate as your benchmark.
- Pick and choose different attributes customers who you believe were higher quality leads.
Attributes could be customers who requested a free trial at some point, or customers in the finance industry, or customers with 10-20 employees. You’ll choose attributes based on those conversations you had with your sales team, your analytics, and so on — but overall, it’s a judgment call. You could have five different people do the same exercise, and they could come up with five different models. But that’s okay as long as your scoring is based on the data we mentioned previously.
- Calculate the individual close rates of each of those attributes.
Calculating the close rates of each type of action a person takes on your website is important because it dictates the actions you’ll take in response. So, figure out how many people become qualified leads based on the actions they take or who they are about your core customer. You’ll use these close rates to score them.
- Compare the close rates of each attribute with your overall close rate, and assign point values accordingly.
Look for the attributes with close rates that are significantly higher than your overall close rate. Then, choose which attributes you’ll assign points to, and if so, how many points. Base the point values of each attribute on the magnitude of their close rates.
The actual point values will be a little random, but try to be as consistent as possible. For example, if your overall close rate is 1% and your requested demo close rate is 20%, then the close rate of the requested demo attribute is 20X your overall close rate — so you could, for example, award 20 points to leads with those attributes.
According to Sirius Decisions, 68 per cent of B2B companies have some form of lead scoring, but only 40 per cent of salespeople get value from it! For lead scoring technology to provide value, it has to be smarter. According to Gartner, 70 per cent of leads are lost from poor follow-up. Organizations need a full-time, intelligent system for monitoring successes and failures. One that automatically adjusts the scoring based on real-time data and results. There’s no doubting that lead scoring systems are often time-consuming to set up. Not only do you have to first come up with and implement scoring guidelines that both the marketing and sales departments are happy with but you also need to already have a database of quality leads to look at so you have a basic idea of what makes up a quality lead for your business.
But once you do get a system in place, there’s no end to the improvements it can bring. Any one of the five benefits of lead scoring I’ve outlined above will significantly improve your business efficiency and work to bring you better, higher-quality customers that are worth more in the long run.
The market is full of people trying to make it big in the game. And since there is a ton of competition out there you better want yourself to be ahead of others. And You can find such important information for SMEs, sales, and market-related strategies and a lot of such blogs which will help you to be ahead of others with us on Insellers. Log in for more.