Many B2B businesses have mastered the art of using lead scoring in their marketing and sales processes. It plays a massive role in achieving the much-needed conversions.
However, several businesses still struggle with utilising this technique. The result is that marketing and sales teams lose out on quality leads because they spend too much time with bad ones.
Picture a shepherd with a vast number of flock. But, this shepherd doesn't know how to group his herd and identify the best-performing ones to nurture them for better breeds.
The same applies to these B2B businesses. They don't know how to group their leads and single out quality ones that generate conversions. This is where lead scoring comes in.
So how do you use lead scoring to impact your marketing processes? What is it anyway?
What Is Lead Scoring?
Lead scoring is a process used by B2B businesses to rank prospects according to their indicative value. They assign a score to all their leads, usually 1-100, according to various criteria. The process helps marketing and sales teams to determine whether a lead is valuable or not.
Lead scoring also highlights the effectiveness of the marketing-sales processes. It helps rank the incoming leads and thus determine their priority levels.
The process is purely data-focused, such as implementation time, level of engagement, among others. You can see how far your leads are down the funnel.
Based on these factors, your teams can single out the leads to focus on and determine how to turn them into paying customers.
Note: Every business defines lead quality differently. So, there are no universal factors used in this process.
Why Lead Scoring is Important
Many businesses shy away from practising lead scoring because of its complex nature. However, those who do it gain an added advantage over their competitors and are more likely to succeed.
Such is the case because these businesses can better identify the highest quality leads. They can then communicate better with these leads to increase the chances of conversion.
This process, therefore, also saves precious time that would have been wasted chasing down unqualified leads.
Let us look at some main benefits of an effective lead scoring system.
Benefits of Lead Scoring
1. Increased Conversions
Lead scoring's primary purpose is to highlight quality leads after the generation process. The system is designed to filter out those that won't convert.
Thanks to these techniques, marketing teams can now spend time nurturing only these high-quality prospects. Doing this could mean more leads converting into actual sales quickly, which is the main business goal.
For instance, studies by Eloqua indicate a 30% increase in sales deals from using lead scoring.
2. Reduced Marketing and Acquisition Costs
Leads scoring processes help reduce marketing and acquisition costs. A lot of time and resources go into low-quality leads. However, with lead scoring, your business can quickly identify marketing channels that drive low-quality leads and cut them off.
3. Improved Cooperation between marketing and sales
In the current competitive online business environment, sales and marketing teams must work in sync. Marketing teams must create strategic content, while sales teams must focus on valuable leads.
With the lead scores in place, communication becomes easier between the two departments. It thus allows sales to single out the most valuable leads to nurture.
This, in turn, also helps the marketing team create compelling content for them and take actions that directly target those leads.
Effective communication between the two departments leaves no room for mistakes that could cost the business conversions and money.
4. Shortened Sales Cycle
In the B2B world, the sales cycle is getting longer every day as new forms of customer engagement crop up.
Thus, lead scoring becomes one of B2B businesses' best options because it reduces the prolonged wait time. It allows sales teams to zero in on the quality leads sooner and achieve conversions within the shortest time.
The faster your business can close sales, the better you will compete in the industry.
5. Higher return on investment
For many B2b businesses, generating and nurturing leads can be costly, from creating content to running ads, etc. The process requires heavy investment with the anticipation of future returns in terms of sales.
However, if very few of these leads are converting, it becomes a problem. So lead scoring becomes essential to ensure that you only invest in promising leads.
When should you score your leads?
The sooner you start scoring your leads, the better for your business revenue. A few factors shown below are a clear indicator that you need to start lead scoring.
1. A high number of leads
When your lead generation tactics start bringing in bigger numbers, you need to start lead scoring. Many leads require you to start making strategic contact since it will be expensive to nurture each of them.
So you must be able to filter low quality as fast as possible. That way, you don't waste too many resources on multiple leads that yield nothing.
2. Buyer persona
You are ready for lead scoring when you have figured out your ideal customer profile (ICP). Your ICP is determined after analysing your top-performing customers and establishing the things they have in common.
The details about these customers are essential. Learn things such as their location, the number of employees they have, the kind of tech stacks they use, and any other information that you consider relevant.
With a complete customer profile in your hands, you can then work on your lead scoring framework and develop the correct scores for your leads.
3. Many conversions
Often, it helps to prioritise specific lead sources to increase efficiency. So, If you are getting many conversions from leads from different sources, you might need lead scoring software.
These tools will help you identify where the most qualified leads are coming from. That way, you will know which channels to prioritise.
Applying Lead Scoring To Your Business
There is no generic approach to an effective lead scoring method for your business. You must therefore find the best scoring system for your particular business.
As a business, ensure that you have the required data to generate the right lead scores. You must have the capability to gather the demographic information of your prospects and how they relate to your business or content.
Common variants that could drive your lead scoring model include:
This data is critical to creating a buyer persona for your B2B business. You should get details about company size, number of employees, location, etc. These details are an indicator of decision-making processes. It helps you determine how valuable a lead could be.
Information on how different leads respond to emails is useful. Do they sign up? Click-through links you send? etc. These show how interested your leads are in your offering and communications.
How potential customers behave on your site or interact with your content is essential. Details like time on page, social media engagements, filling out surveys can all be helpful.
Based on this information, you may identify prospects with higher purchase intentions who would then warrant higher scores.
The level of social engagement is crucial to your lead scoring process. Like with B2C customers, leads that follow, like, comment on your social media messages may warrant relatively higher scores. This, of course, depends on your line of business.
However, it still shows that one is relatively interested in your business.
Pro tip: Automating your lead scoring process helps you gather such crucial information about your prospects fast. That way, you can engage them the right way.
Lead scoring tool by SharpSpring
SharpSpring offers CRM, marketing automation, sales team automation, etc., making it an ideal lead scoring software. It creates a model that clearly shows different signals from leads across their journey.
This tool utilises information and activity that is specific to you. So it is not just another generic system that bases on assumptions of what should be essential.
SharpSpring’s lead scoring software can help you identify sales-ready leads to boost your conversion rates.
Therefore, such software is ideal for businesses that have successfully used inbound marketing and need to filter out low-quality leads.
It is also ideal for businesses that want to nurture many leads at once and get notifications when they are sales-ready.
Sales teams relying on this lead scoring software can also focus on only the quality leads and subject the rest to automation. It makes the sales cycle easier and effective.
How SharpSpring Works
SharpSpring lead scoring tool shows information such as visited product pages, clicks on email links, read related articles, watched videos, etc. These metrics form the basis for different actions further down the process.
The lead scoring feature allows you to assign scores based on their individual activity. These scores fall under different ranges that indicate which scores qualify to be good leads and bad leads.
Based on your ideal customer’s buyer persona and other custom attributes, you can determine how well a lead’s activity fits the criteria set in any particular range.
The tool further allows you to gauge the level of engagement for every lead with your content.
With all these factors in place, SharpSpring’s lead scoring software can help make accurate calculations to measure your leads. And, you can always go back to the lead score story to see details of any lead's activity.
After gathering the relevant information and deciding which leads are worth nurturing, the software automatically triggers a personalised sales automation sequence. The sales team receives a notification to take over lead engagement for only the sales-ready ones.
Lead scoring techniques can be a game-changer for your business. It enables you to make the best use of your resources on the most qualified leads. You will have clear targets, and most of the prospects that your salespeople engage with will result in conversions.SharpSpring is one comprehensive tool you should probably try for your team. It accurately shows you who your prospects are and what criteria define them.