When speaking to our customers, I often find that lead scoring has helped their organization considerably. But as I dig into the details of their business, I find that attributes critical to the success of their deal don’t fit into their current scoring model. Or alternatively, I find they have a scoring model that works, but later in the cycle than the sales rep would like: in other words, the prospects are identified late.
In these situations, there are often ways you can tweak lead scoring to make it work better for your organization. This may start with going beyond basic lead scoring to more advanced techniques like account scoring and score degradation. But it can go even further than that. Here are a few creative ways to score leads.
- Scoring based on social influence:
- Scoring the speed at which prospects consume information:
- Scoring the riskiness of an account:
It’s likely that when someone tweets about your company or comments on your blog, you race to see how influential the person is in your industry or the broader social sphere. Unfortunately, our scoring systems don’t often capture this information. You can capture B2B social media comments and interactions, and score off them in the same way you would score off other behaviors. You also can use tools like Klout to look up the influence the commenter has with regard to your product or industry, then create a separate “social influence” score.
As prospects get ready to buy, it’s likely that they will speed up the frequency with which they consume information about your product. Someone who has visited your website once a week in the past may now visit it every other day. Scoring on the urgency of the prospect (as opposed to just their behaviors) may be critical to understanding whether they are getting ready to purchase. Lead management software such as Marketo has this urgency scoring built in, but for those who don’t use Marketo, try to build this into your scoring model to identify when someone is about to buy.
I just talked to someone who was very selective about their customers – they ran prospective clients through credit and reference checks before taking them on. They used specific criteria to calculate risk, which made me think: Why not build these risk criteria into a scoring model? It could be hard to automate for prospects if the risk modeling requires references or credit checks, but it’s totally possible to automate if you’re looking for publicly available criteria, such as a customer’s references on their website, or whether they have a history of complaints to the BBB. It also can be feasible to use marketing automation to score your customers; you can calculate scores based on criteria such as on-time payment history, responsiveness to emails, frequency of online support tool use, etc.
My point here is that lead scoring does not have to be limited to a few out-of-the-box items or criteria. You should look at which key criteria are important for those who buy your product, then make sure your lead scoring system considers all these criteria.