Every business has a collection of leads; potential customers who they know are most likely to pull the trigger on a purchase. The problem is, in a pool of leads it’s hard to tell who is most interested. Fortunately, you can, if you make use of one technique: lead scoring.
Times aren’t getting any easier, and many Canadian customers believe a massive recession is on the horizon. As a result, businesses and customers alike are tightening their belts to weather the economic downturn. More than ever, your business needs to know who the most likely customers are to avoid wasting precious time and money.
Join us as we discuss what lead scoring is, how it works, and the benefits it brings to your business.
What Is Lead Scoring?
Remember when you were in college, when you were going on dates with someone new each week? In your mind, each person had a percentage of the possibility that they might become your boyfriend/girlfriend.
The more you got to know each person, the better you understood that percentage. You began to see certain people as more likely partners, and others as less likely.
Of course, you never wrote these numbers down, nor did data analysis. But in your mind, there was definitely a hierarchy of best to worst options for a partner.
The definition of scoring is a lot like that, albeit with you and your leads. Except this time, you are using a series of concrete factors and applying a hard number to them. Then, you can form a “top 10,” as it were, of your most likely leads.
Don’t confuse this with targeted advertising, whereby a specific demographic gets advertisements fed to them. Instead, lead scoring is where you develop your own weighted scoring model. You determine the criteria by which you will measure leads, and then allow the hierarchy to make itself manifest.
Plain and simple, lead scoring is intentional. You are making use of lead scoring tools in a calculated fashion. You’re not relying on an algorithm to feed your ads to a more specific audience.
Lead Scoring vs. Lead Qualification
It’s easy to confuse lead scoring with lead qualification. The latter is a step in the lead generation process and has to do with matching potential customers to an ideal profile. As the name implies, you are qualifying leads as worth your investment and time.
Think of lead scoring as the next step in the process. Now that you know certain leads fit a profile, you want to determine which of those leads is closest to customer conversion.
How Lead Scoring Works
Lead scoring works primarily by a point system. You take data–such as customer demographics and engagement stats–and assign values to them. You measure all of your leads by this system and form a basic lead score for each individual lead.
Typically, the score ranges from 0 to 100. It’s up to you what criteria to include and how much to weigh each criterion. The beauty of lead scoring is that you can make it as simple or complex as you would like.
Leads with the highest number of points rank at the top for potential conversion. Naturally, these are the leads that you give the most love and attention to. They demonstrate all indications of becoming long-term, happy customers.
Here are some of the criteria that you should consider for lead scoring:
- Demographic info
- Company-specific info
- Behaviour and engagement with online services
- Responsiveness with email correspondence
- Engagement on social networks
In some cases, you may want to assign negative points to certain leads. If they exhibit undesirable behaviours, lead scoring will subtract points as necessary to give them a more realistic potential.
For example, leads that trigger your spam detection filters. In rare cases, these may also be leads who demonstrate unprofessional or inappropriate behaviour when you liaison with them.
How to Determine Which Criteria Are Best
The criteria that matter most to you will depend upon your business. Demographics might be essential to one business, but less important than engagement for another. Here are a few tips on how to cobble up the right criteria.
Ask Your Sales Team
Your sales team is in the trenches with customers. They have seen with their own eyes which criteria are most indicative of interest, and which are not. It’s a good idea to ask them which points they would weigh the heaviest.
Ask Your Customers
The customer is always right, especially when it comes to what eventually got them on board. Conduct customer surveys or interviews, asking what it was that made them into your customer rather than another company’s. This will provide valuable insight into which criteria work best for your company.
Conduct Your Own Analytics
You can never go wrong with analytics. Take a deep dive into the data and do some analysis to see what is driving sales the most. The sales team may say one thing and the customers another, but the analytics may reveal something else entirely.
Benefits of Lead Scoring
This is a lot more work than lead qualification or standard targeted advertising. What is the benefit here for businesses if they invest in lead scoring?
- More effective sales: send your sales team to the people that are most likely to buy from you
- Better understanding: as you fine-tune your weighted scoring model, you improve your understanding of your business needs
- Less wasted time: time is money, and spending less of it on hunting down leads is always a good thing
- More effective sales training: as you learn what data points are most important, you can more effectively teach incoming employees
Start Lead Scoring With Accumulate
Lead scoring is essentially a rating system for your leads that identifies the strongest in your repertoire. It weighs points for specific criteria, then assigns a basic lead score to each. With that information, you have more effective sales and less wasted time.
Accumulate.ai offers a state-of-the-art platform for finding customers and accelerating growth. Book a demo and see how we can make your ROI soar.