Drive Revenue With Lead Scoring

Another popular session at Dreamforce 2007 was titled 21st Century Lead Cultivation. My favorite part was the presentation from Jason Hekl, Sr. Director of Marketing at InQuira, which focused on best practices in lead scoring.

Lead Scoring ROI

Before Jason spoke, Steve Gershik from Eloqua presented results from a study that demonstrated the ROI of implementing lead scoring. The study looked at 10 companies for the six months before and six months after implementing lead scoring, and reported on the average improvement in key marketing metrics:

Metric 6 months before 6 months after
Leads sent to sales 1,372 1,058
Opportunity win rate 31.3% 40.9%
Revenue per deal $39,100 $45,900
Total revenue $16.8MM $19.8MM

This shows that implementing lead scoring often means passing fewer leads to sales, but since the leads are higher quality, win rates and revenue can actually increase.

Lead Scoring: InQuira Case Study

When Jason started at InQuira, his CEO said “Marketing has only one objective: lead generation”. Given this, Jason knew he had two key lead management challenges:

  1. Reading demand. How to filter all the leads to focus on the ones that really matter.
  2. Preventing leakage. Find ways to get into the deal early and educate the buyer and set the agenda for the buying process.

Based on this, Jason implemented a lead scoring system that used three components: explicit information, implicit information, and time.

Explicit information is the information the prospect gives you when they fill out one of your online forms. It can include company size, buyer role, industry, and timeline. Based on this, a simple “A,B,C” score is easily computed based on how well the lead matches the ideal customer profile.

Implicit information is everything the company can collect by observing lead behavior. It can include form submissions, email clicks, visits to high value web content (HVWC), and searching for top keywords.

Time is broken into two periods: “all time” and “current period”. This lets InQuira focus on the opportunities with the highest current score.

For more on advanced ways to use lead scoring, especially as part of a B2B pay per click campaign, see the Marketo paper Four Steps to Better Business Leads from Search.

Two other additional notes about lead scoring:

  • Scores are computed for each contact in an account and the account score is the total of the contacts. This lets them focus on the right accounts as well as the right contacts in the account.
  • Scores can be used to sanity-check pipeline estimates. By correlating scores to win percentages, you can tell if a deal has an unrealistic likelihood to close simply by looking at the score.

How are you using lead scoring?

Related Resources

Jon (@jonmiller) is a VP and co-founder at Marketo. He is the author of multiple Definitive Guides including Marketing Automation, Engaging Email Marketing, and Marketing Metrics & Analytics. In 2010, The CMO Institute named Jon a Top 10 CMO for companies under $250 million revenue. Jon holds a bachelor’s degree in physics from Harvard College and has an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

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Drive Revenue With Lead Scoring

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