Traditional and Predictive Lead Scoring: a Match Made in Data Heaven



By its very nature, lead scoring should be predictive – a potential customer’s score should predict whether that person is going to buy from you. Before I started working at Fliptop, a predictive lead scoring platform, I’d always tried to base scoring on customers we’d won, but I’m not a data scientist – the most I could determine was that certain industries or job titles were more likely than others to become customers.

But that kind of correlation hardly scratches the surface of what predictive lead scoring can do. And when combined with traditional lead scoring, the two strategies are a match made in data heaven.

How Does Predictive Lead Scoring Work?

A predictive lead scoring strategy helps marketers expedite the qualification process, and prioritize leads for your sales team – so that you can reach the right prospects first and fast. Here’s how it works:

  1. Start by analyzing all closed opportunities in your CRM – those you’ve won, and those you’ve lost.
  2. Using a predictive lead scoring platform, you can scan thousands of data signals across the public web and proprietary data sources to figure out the digital fingerprint of your ideal customer.
  3. Based on that fingerprint, your platform can create a scoring system in which all leads, contacts, accounts, and opportunities are scored based on how closely they match existing customers.

Imagine you asked your leads to fill out a 500-field registration form, giving you all the information you could ever use to qualify them. As useful as this information would be, you’d have little success convincing leads to fill out the whole form. Predictive lead scoring accomplishes the same thing, but speeds up the qualification process, letting you know immediately which leads are a fit and which are not.

This also prioritizes inbound leads for your sales and marketing teams. For companies that have their marketing really dialed, bringing in hundreds if not thousands of leads a month, prioritization is crucial to getting to the right leads quickly.

How Does Predictive Lead Scoring Work with Traditional Lead Scoring?

One of the most frequently asked question I hear is: How does predictive lead scoring work with your traditional, existing lead scoring? If you already have lead scoring built into your marketing automation, does predictive lead scoring negate it, or work side by side?

The answer is simple: predictive lead scoring enhances your demand generation funnel and works alongside your existing lead scoring. Traditional scoring is very good at highlighting a prospect’s interest level in your product and willingness to talk to sales, while predictive lead scoring is very good at identifying the ideal candidates for your product.

Think of your traditional lead score as the “activity” fit – the lead’s activities suggest a propensity to become a customer – and predictive score as their “demographic” fit – the lead’s fingerprint matches those of your existing customers. Leads that exhibit high levels of activity but have a low predictive score have a far lower propensity to purchase from you. Leads with a high predictive score, regardless of their activity score, still have a higher propensity to purchase from you.

To see this system in action, join Marketo’s LaunchPoint webinar on October 1st: The Quest for the Holy Grail: Driving Predictable Revenue. The webinar will highlight how TrackMaven is using Fliptop and Marketo together to better qualify marketing leads, improve MQL to SQL conversion rates, and drive predictable revenue. Register today!