Long gone are the days where you acquire a lead and send it automatically to sales. Today, in B2B marketing, constructing a strong lead management system is vital to top line revenue growth, and lead scoring plays a significant role in this.
Many B2B sales and marketing teams already have basic lead scoring in place. But to take lead management to the next level, go beyond the foundation you built with your sales team when you determined your ideal target and which activities you’ll use for scoring. Consider these 6 components of a robust lead-scoring matrix:
1. Individual lead score. This is the sum of the various scores combined for each prospect. The higher the number, the hotter the lead. Scoring tallies should reflect lead demographics and behavior such as:
- Clicking on email links
- Completing web forms
- Visiting your website’s product pages
- Reading your blog or other company pages
2. Company score. A good indicator of corporate decisions is the number of prospects at that company that have indicated interest in your products. When you have multiple leads from one company, you can bump all those leads’ scores or you can establish a company score from the total of all the leads. Tracking buyer roles within the company will affect scores, too. For example, you may want to rate “influencers” differently than “decision makers”.
3. Product score. To get a more granular view of your leads’ interests, assign a specific score to each product line. This can help you understand buyer behavior better and manage campaigns for separate products more effectively. Some situations may call for multiple scoring when leads show an interest in more than one of your products.
4. Score decay. If your lead hasn’t been active within a certain time frame (such as two weeks), you may want to deduct from their score to indicate that lack of engagement. At this point, your lead nurturing should include targeted email marketing pieces that engage leads by asking if they are still interested or need more information.
5. Sales ready lead. After collaborating with sales and learning what type of behavior a sales ready lead displays, your marketing team should have an accurate view of what qualifies as a “hot” score. Leads with these numbers should automatically be routed to sales for follow up. However, if one lead carries a high score but still isn’t far along in the sales cycle, it may be time to revamp the criteria that you’ve applied. Perhaps you’ve assigned too great a score to certain behaviors.
6. Recycled. If a lead has matriculated through the cycle and received sales follow-up but still isn’t ready to buy, a strong lead nurturing campaign will keep them from dripping out. It may be the changes at a lead’s company (such as budget cuts or personnel shifts) have caused their progress in your cycle to stall. Sales and marketing alignment is key at this point. A smooth transition back to marketing for further nurturing shows both departments are collaborating effectively.
The better you understand your buyers’ profiles, the more quickly you’ll be able to move a prospect from pre-qualified to lead, to actual opportunity. At each step of the way, your marketing automation should integrate with sales automation for a seamless fit.
Finally, always be ready to review your “building plans”. Constant measurement and honest internal feedback will ensure that your lead scoring matrix remains relevant as a driver of future business.