Lead Scoring: A step-by-step framework to identify your best leads

Lead Scoring: A step-by-step framework to identify your best leads

Lead scoring is the process of assigning a “score” to your potential customers based on multiple parameters such as deal size, engagement, ideal persona - here's a step-by-step guide to understand lead scoring, why it is important and how you can go about implementing a lead scoring process for your sales teams.
Krishna Srinivas V
Krishna Srinivas V
Jun 25, 2021
What is Lead Scoring?

Finding leads can be a challenge - even more so when you are trying to qualify high-potential leads that will likely convert. In fact, generating hot leads is one of the top challenges marketers face today. 

More often than not, sales teams spend their time trying to nurture poor leads instead of leads that hold high-conversion capacity.

Maybe your lead qualifying cycle is too long or ambiguous, or perhaps you are getting conversions but don't know which sales prospects to prioritize - it all comes down to lead scoring

What Is Lead Scoring?

Lead scoring is a method to classify and qualify leads based on their probability of conversion. It is mainly performed by assigning numerical values to prospects, thereby helping marketers in identifying which leads are most likely to convert. 

Lead scoring can streamline and reduce the conversion timeline for sales teams. They can now pay attention to the right people, close more deals, and understand the hierarchy of leads they are receiving. 

The process takes several factors into account. For instance, some of the components that can affect a lead score are -

  • Deal Value
  • Engagement
  • Customer Persona Fit

Tracking user behavior on your website can be another key indicator in identifying a hot lead. A visitor who compares product prices is a stronger lead and will have a higher lead score than a visitor who browses reading resources on your site.

Understanding the different parameters that affect conversion is a focus determinant for effective lead scoring.

Why Is Lead Scoring Important?

Lead scoring aims to make the job easier for marketers and sales teams. Prior customer data can be used to form impactful lead scoring strategies that can accelerate the conversion cycle for sales teams. Let's understand why it is important:

1. Streamline Lead Evaluation Process

Manually processing leads is not only time-consuming, but it also opens up room for human error. Using an automated lead scoring system can simplify the evaluation as the leads are now ranked using a pre-determined criterion.

2. Understand Your Prospects Better

Lead scoring can help you assign your prospects according to different aspects like their past interactions with your brand. By understanding your user's pain points and how well you can cater to them, your sales teams can foster better professional relationships and accelerate the time to close.

3. Increase Your Sale Conversions

Not all visitors on your website are looking to make a purchase right away. It is important to know which stage of the sales cycle a prospect is on. For instance, you might lose out on revenue because you bombard a potential customer with sales pitches when they are just in the exploration stage. Lead scoring can help you avoid such a mismatch.

With the help of scored leads, you can find out which sales prospects are genuinely interested in converting at the earliest. With automated lead screening, sales teams can focus on primary opportunities first.

4. Align Your Sales and Marketing Teams

Marketers do their job so that salespersons can onboard more clients. With manual lead scavenging, the operational bridge between marketing and sales teams can widen. Lead scoring not only provides you with better leads but also ensures synergy between the two teams in a company.

5 Steps to Effective Lead Scoring

Lead scoring is often touted as a great way to make your cold calls more effective. How often does your sales team call a prospect, only to learn they were not ready to convert yet? 

Here are the lead scoring steps you can follow to build a powerful tool: 

1. Understanding Your Ideal Lead

The most important part of scoring leads is researching your target audience and identifying what makes the ideal lead.  

You must consider two primary factors that go into making the ideal lead:

  • Demographics
  • Behavioral patterns

First, identify key points such as age group, industry, location, and behavior on your website. Then, use this data to create a profile of your ideal lead to give you a picture of who is most likely to convert and become a customer. 

2. Defining Positive and Negative Criteria

Based on all the research you have compiled, you can choose a scale of 10 or 100. The goal is to make the scale as balanced as possible so that you get a realistic score for each lead, allowing your sales team to filter through them better.

There can be positive and negative criteria:

  • If a potential buyer fits into the demographic of the ideal lead in terms of age or industry, that would be a positive criterion.
  • However, if the visitor is a student and only wanted to apply for a job on your site or is from an unserviceable location, those would be negative criteria.

3. Assigning Points Based on Weightage 

Now that you know which factors make a good lead, you can distribute the points fairly among the criteria. For this, you can calculate your overall lead-to-customer conversion rate. Identify criteria that contributed the most and least to closing a deal and assign points to each of them accordingly.

Assigning scores to your leads based on type of engagement

For instance, you may find that leads who signed up for your newsletter are more likely to convert into customers than leads who looked through your Careers page.

4. The Line in The Sand: Setting the Threshold 

Having made a scale to score your leads, you can now set the threshold to determine which prospects should be called. Not every person will fit the bill of the ideal lead, so setting a threshold is important to make your scoring effective.

Note that this part of the process gets better with refinement. You could list circumstances that led to successful leads converting and add those points to figure out roughly how high your threshold to be. You can refine this with feedback from your sales team.

5. Evolution and Refinement to Improve Efficiency 

Your lead scoring tool is now ready for action, but it’s not perfect yet.

Your tool must be refined over time to be more efficient. Be flexible and open to changing scoring criteria and the weightage of points assigned. Make any changes that might be required and configure your tool to identify prospects on your website.

Conclusion

You have now come up with your own lead scoring tool to help you filter out the noise and only call prospective customers that are most likely to convert. This will help save your sales team precious time by prioritizing on the right group of leads.

Cut through the data clutter, today. Take Dataflo for a spin.