Sales is from Mars, Marketing is from Venus – Podcast Vol II – Lead Scoring

As part of our ongoing series about sales and marketing alignment, Paul Dunay of the Buzz Marketing for Technology podcast and I recently chatted about why B2B marketers should care about lead scoring and how they can get started qualifying and prioritizing leads.

Download the full MP3: Sales is from Mars, Marketing is From Venus — Vol II  —  Lead Scoring.

Podcast Summary:

Lead scoring is the process of determining a prospect’s level of interest in your solution (engagement), as well as your interest in a prospect (demographics targeting). Lead scoring matters because fewer than 25% of web inquiries are sales ready. Since sales reps don’t want to waste their time on leads that are not in an active buying cycle, passing these early stage inquiries to sales tends to hurt the relationship between sales and marketing.

Lead scoring matters because there will always be some leads that are truly “hot” so B2B marketers need a way to find the hot leads and pass them to sales before a competitor contacts them or they go cold. At the same time, the majority of inquiries require lead nurturing before they become sales ready, so marketers also need the ability to know when to try to nudge the prospect to the next stage and when to pull back and give the prospect some space.

When used effectively, lead scoring means you will pass fewer, but higher quality, leads to sales. By not wasting sales time on low quality leads, reps can focus on just the high quality leads—meaning wins rates and sales productivity go up. In fact, as little as a 10% increase in lead quality can generate a 40% increase in sales productivity. In a world where the sales department costs 20 or 30% of total revenue, this kind of improvement means a dramatic impact on the bottom line.

Related Resources

  • David Daniels

    For my marketing teams it started with an honest discussion with the sales team to define the characteristics of a “qualified lead” – one that is white hot and is in the buying cycle.
    Having a common definition of a qualified lead in many organizations is huge progress. From there a scoring system can be introduced to categorize and manage leads.

  • Troy Bingham

    it is tricky to balance sending too many leads through, and not enough. automating strategic nurturing campaigns can help prep more prospects for the sales process.

  • Sales leads

    Leads are typically obtained through the referral of an existing customer, or through a direct response to advertising/publicity.

  • Perry

    As for my team, it sure helps to practice lead scoring with a use of a special program, a web-based software. We can assign certain values to our leads and then sort them out, according to the worth of each value. We have the capability to place the most ideal ones on top, which will then be given out to our sales agents. Moreover, because the program is web-based, we have one centralized system, which then minimizes the error of adding the same lead twice or more than that and then ranking them differently. Of course, the priorities get to be nurtured. As they say, it’s easier to sell to people who are already your customers.

Jon (@jonmiller) leads Marketo's product marketing, strategy, and content marketing initiatives. 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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Sales is from Mars, Marketing is from Venus – Podcast Vol II – Lead Scoring

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