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.
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.