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Lead scoring best practices

11 Lead scoring best practices to get sales ready leads

Key Takeaways
  • 61% of marketers send all the generated leads directly to sales, resulting in only 27% getting qualified.
  • Lead scoring isn't a 'fit-for-all' strategy. Each industry, company, and product have different qualification criteria.
  • Behavioral patterns help identify buying intent of the prospect and lead quality to evaluate the most promising leads.

Lead generation is only the beginning.

The real challenge begins after you’ve collected the leads, and it’s time to find out which of them have a higher chance of converting into customers. 

But, unfortunately, 61% of marketers send all the generated leads directly to sales team, resulting in only 27% getting qualified.

And eventually, the sales reps end up wasting their time and energy.

So, this is where lead scoring comes into play!

Here are 11 top lead scoring best practices that you must implement to get qualified leads for your sales teams. 

11 lead scoring best practices to get high-quality leads to grow business 

Scoring leads can be daunting if you don’t know your ideal customer profiles or key qualifying attributes and not fully leveraging the right technology.

These lead-scoring best practices will help you modify your qualification system, making it more efficient. 

1. Understand your buyer’s persona  

Once you have a clear idea of how your buyer can benefit from your product/services, it will be easier to identify and define your ideal customer profile.

Moreover, it is also important to know your buyer’s journey to create an effective scoring process.

Consider all the possible actions your ideal customers can perform upon visiting your website, getting your emails, finding your social media post, etc.

Behaviors like website revisit, email opening rates, web forms filled, requests for a demo, etc., will help you build an outstanding lead scoring model.

For B2B lead scoring, consider the following information for qualification.

  • Job title of the prospect  
  • Industry  
  • Budget   
  • Geographical location    

The above information will help you define and assign the qualifying attributes with higher relevancy. 

2. Map out different stages of your customer journey 

Now that you’ve sorted out who your customers are, it’s time to map out their purchasing journey.

So, it means defining the stages/experiences the prospect will have to go through to be qualified as a lead.

Thus, you can start the lead qualification process by defining the stages from the first interaction with the prospect to becoming a customer.

And, just to help you kick-start your process of mapping out the customer journey, here are a few questions you should keep in mind: 

  • How do you generate leads for your business? 
  • What digital channels do you use for marketing and lead generation? 
  • From where and how do your prospective customers come to you? 
  • What is the first touchpoint?  
  • How much longer would it take for you to convert leads? 
  • What are the channels that drive maximum leads? 

Also, just a tip, the last question about channels is super important as it will be a major decision-maker for defining the qualification criteria of your lead scoring system. (More on this later) 

Additionally, the most likely actions are involved in each customer journey stage.

Customer Journey Map

3. Set a feasible lead scoring threshold 

Setting the right threshold for qualification is very important for lead scoring.

It must be ‘just’ right!

A threshold in the lead scoring process means the prospect must achieve a certain score to be identified as a lead.

And as mentioned earlier, the score must be just right!

Because if it’s high, then even a good prospect won’t meet that requirement.

And, if it’s too low, numerous prospects will be considered as leads, even if they aren’t qualified enough.

So, set a feasible lead scoring threshold!

4. Score leads based on demographic data 

When considering attributes for your lead scoring, remember that demographics are essential in identifying a good fit lead for your business.

For example, a recruitment company can set up various lead score criterias based on the applicant’s field, a position they are interested in, salary expectations, etc. 

Below are some demographic qualification criteria considered by marketers:

Common demographic attributes

5. Reward scores for actions that express high buying intent 

For lead scoring, the usual practice includes focusing on demographics to discover whether the prospect is an ideal fit for the business.

However, behavioral attributes are equally important.

Behavioral patterns help identify the buying intent of the prospect, making it even easier to determine if they are a suitable lead for the business.

You can set various behavior-qualifying criteria based on your target audience and customer journey to award a score.

Below are some of the most common behavioral attributes marketers consider: 

  • Repeated page visits to specific landing pages  
  • Content resource downloads  
  • Social media engagement 
  • Web Form submissions   
  • Chatbot/Live Chat interaction 
  • Webinars attended 
  • Free trials  
  • Product demos attended

6. Leverage negative scoring with a decay rate 

Negative scoring is quite important to have an efficient lead scoring.

Just as prospects perform positive actions and we award positive scores, they might even perform negative actions, so negative scoring is awarded.  

Setting up negative scoring in your process is good practice as it prevents inaccurate and inflated scores.

Here are a few factors that might make you assign negative scores: 

  • Unsubscribe from the email newsletter. 
  • The last email opened was 3 or 6 months ago. 
  • The email domain isn’t a professional email address or of any organization. 
Build, Change Score, and Automate Lead Scoring!

Build, Change Score, and Automate Lead Scoring!

With Salesmate, you can build tailored lead scoring models based on your qualification criteria. Plus, can automate the whole engine.

Explore Lead Scoring Software

7. Include the frequency of actions in your lead scoring model

There might be instances where a lead performs a certain task repeatedly. So, what to do? Shall you score them or not?

Short answer – Yes!

However, it depends upon which interaction the lead performed.

For instance, you will bump up the score if a prospect downloads a freebie.

But what if the lead downloaded ten more freebies? Would that make the prospect more likely to close?

Another scenario is if a prospect keeps revisiting your pricing webpage repeatedly.

For instance, if any web visitor visits the page more than 15 times, then there might be a chance that he is more likely to close compared to a prospect who has only opened the page twice.

So, ensure that you keep track of the right metric(s).

Because if a prospect downloads the same lead magnet again & again, then it wouldn’t be wise to increase the score.

8. Alignment of sales and marketing teams 

Here’s the golden question: what constitutes a qualified lead?

If you ask a marketer and a sales rep this question, then both answers will differ.

And that could lead to qualifying prospects that aren’t the most suitable leads for your business.

Therefore, the best idea would be to team up the sales and marketing teams.

Aligning your marketing and sales teams would bring some great insights regarding your potential buyers that will help you build an efficient lead scoring model.

So, ensure that the defined lead scoring model aligns with the thought process of both sales and marketing teams.

As a result, a much smoother lead scoring model is created, and thus boost sales opportunities by prioritizing qualified leads.

9. Don’t follow a common lead scoring model for all your products/services 

Lead scoring is a process that involves multiple factors. And it varies for each product, service, and industry.   

For instance, if you’re a software company that has two products. One is a virtual phone system, and another is a sales & marketing CRM.

Then the lead scoring criteria and qualification threshold will differ for each. 

So, setting up specific lead scoring models for specific products or services enhances sales effectiveness and enables businesses to qualify the ideal leads for the company. 

Did you know? According to NotifyVisitors, only 44% of companies actively use a lead scoring tool to segment their leads, and 56% don’t.

So, if you’re amongst the larger group, it’s time to start opting for a lead scoring model for each product line to improve your sales funnel. 

Read more: Lead scoring models you don’t want to miss out on!

10. Implement automated lead scoring 

Lead scoring is a time-consuming process.

Automating the process with efficient lead scoring software saves more time and resources by prioritizing leads and focusing on the most likely to convert. 

As you grow your business, the number of prospects will also increase. And if the lead scoring model isn’t automated, scaling it can become difficult.

However, with automated lead scoring, you can ensure that the quality and efficiency of the leads are maintained without sacrificing them. 

Moreover, as the time and resources are focused on high-quality leads, businesses can improve their ROI (return on investment).

Click here to learn the 6 Best lead scoring tools you must consider in 2024

Save time and set your lead scoring on auto-pilot!

Save time and set your lead scoring on auto-pilot!

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11. Constantly optimize your lead scoring strategy 

Creating a lead scoring system isn’t a one-time task but an ongoing process.

It requires constant monitoring and improvement to ensure that you are getting high-quality leads consistently.

Many factors can influence the lead scoring process, and it’s essential to review and update it as soon as you realize that the quality of the leads being processed isn’t up to par.

For instance, before the pandemic hit, customers had a different approach to purchasing decisions.

However, the post-Covid-19 era has transformed the way customers make buying decisions. As a result, customers nowadays have become more aware and conscious of their choices.

All in all, ensure that you’re optimizing your lead scoring strategy regularly.

Bottomline 

Lead scoring is essential to ensure that your sales team only focuses on qualified leads that are most likely to convert.

By utilizing these best practices, you can create or optimize your lead scoring models that help you identify sales-ready leads.

You need to assign criteria to qualify your leads. So based on your lead scoring model, the lead scoring tool will automatically award a score to qualifying leads.

Remember that lead scoring isn’t a ‘fit-for-all’ strategy, so build your own scoring model based on your qualification attributes, conditions, and goals.

You must adopt an effective lead scoring system that assigns lead scores based on your qualification criteria.

And to ensure the best and most consistent results, leverage a powerful CRM and marketing automation tool to make the scoring process even more seamless.

A lead scoring mechanism works best with an intelligent marketing automation platform as it boosts your marketing team efficiency.

Sonali Negi

Sonali is a writer born out of her utmost passion for writing. She is working with a passionate team of content creators at Salesmate. She enjoys learning about new ideas in marketing and sales. She is an optimistic girl and endeavors to bring the best out of every situation. In her free time, she loves to introspect and observe people.

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