In your office, is this scenario familiar?
It probably is familiar: this conversation takes place all over the world nearly every day. Sales and Marketing are fighting again; key staff members are at odds; no one is working together. The truth is that although they have the same ultimate objectives, Marketing and Sales are not speaking the same language. Marketing wonders, “Why does Sales want more leads if they are all terrible?” Sales wonders, “Why does Marketing think these are leads?” They need a translator!
What Sales means is that these are not “leads”: they are “responses.” Moreover, only some of them are qualified. And of those, only some have enough interest to be worth following up.
A solution to this problem is lead scoring.
This month, we’ll look at several topics around lead scoring, from a basic overview through some examples of success and how implementing this process can transform your organization.
What exactly is lead scoring?
Technically, lead scoring is the practice of systematically calculating a ranking for each sales prospect. But it’s not just about a formula—it’s much more than that. Today’s lead scoring systems leverage the ability to track and interpret a prospect’s online behavior.
DemandGen’s passion for lead scoring has been one of the key drivers of our success, because our clients need not rely on guesswork to determine how to score online behavior. Our best practice methodology is based on watching our clients’ prospects closely as they travel through the buying process, gathering vital behavioral information, linking it to the unique buying cycle of each client company, and assembling lead scores that drive quality leads to sales―dramatically improving conversion rates and sales efficiency.
A prospect’s lead score is determined by collecting data on two dimensions—qualification level and interest level—and using that data in an algorithm to calculate a score.
Two classes of information play into the data we need for proper lead scoring: explicit and implicit.
- Explicit attributes are provided by the prospect. Examples might include company size, industry, role, specific product/service interests, and the like. Explicit attributes are typically obtained through website forms when a lead first comes into the system.
- Implicit attributes are based on online behaviors, often called digital body language. Examples might include visiting a website (how many times, how recently), clicking through emails, registering for webinars, completing certain forms, and even viewing particular areas of the website that can indicate buyer interest.
The lead scoring model
When we start to build a lead scoring model, the first thing to do is sometimes the hardest: we have to get Sales and Marketing in the same room at the same time, and establish a new common language around lead taxonomy. Many of our clients have commented that this is not only the most difficult, but also the most rewarding part of the whole sales and marketing alignment process!
After you’re all talking the same language, the essential steps in building your model are:
- Establish the key qualification questions
- Weight each question and the answer
- Develop an interest model to quantify a prospect’s “digital body language”
- Build and test the lead scoring system
- Display the overall rating in the CRM (such as Salesforce.com) in a format that is immediately visible and understandable to Sales
- Train Sales on how to use the lead scoring system
- Audit adoption and refine the model as necessary
Making it happen
If this all sounds like a lot of work—that’s why DemandGen is here! DemandGen’s award-winning approach to building lead scoring systems is very detailed, yet streamlined, and has a tremendous impact in driving revenue for our clients.
Next week, we’ll take a look at how one DemandGen client implemented lead scoring with tremendous success.
For more on Lead Scoring, Check out the Lead Scoring Introduction eBrief…