Building a Lead Scoring Model

Building a Lead Scoring ModelWe posted a few articles over the past week on lead scoring, prioritizing leads and lead scoring criteria. Today, we’ll put this information to use and explain 5 simple steps to building a lead scoring model.

1. Hold an alignment meeting between sales and marketing

2. Categorize lead scoring events into 3 buckets

3. Define a lead scoring threshold

4. Assign a weight to lead scores

5. Assign a point value and test

Building a lead scoring model in 5 steps

Step 1: Meet

First, begin building a lead scoring model by getting key sales and marketing folks into a meeting. As much as marketing may desire complete ownership of the lead scoring model, it’s vital to involve sales. As Mac McConnell points out:

“Sales is the client of a lead scoring model.” Mac McConnell, bluebirdstrat.com

By bringing sales into the process early on you’ll garner their buy-in. Mac further explains, once they buy-in, they’ll know the meaning behind a lead score and how marketing qualified the lead. More importantly, they know what a truly “qualified” lead is and can offer valuable input on Step 2.

Step 2: Categorize

As discussed in our article on lead scoring criteria, use 3 buckets when building a lead scoring model – demographics, behavior and qualification. Write down relevant criteria that contributes to your company’s definition of a “lead” within each category. For example, under demographics you might list vice president of engineering as an important title to assign a lead score to if your company recognizes this role as a key persona in the B2B buying process.

Step 3: Define

Select a lead scoring threshold. The lead scoring threshold is somewhat arbitrary; however, it’s important as it objectively defines when the lead is ready to be handed to sales, or becomes a marketing qualified lead (MQL). For example, pick 75, 100 or 1000. The actual number is immaterial. Use a scale that is easy to remember and to track while building a lead scoring model. See our write-up on sales pipeline stages for further clarity on MQL and other phases of the funnel.

Step 4: Weight

Use stars or symbols to assign a weight to each lead scoring criteria instead of using point values. Using symbols is important at this stage for sales and marketing to avoid contention. It’s easier to agree on assigning 4 stars or 5 stars to something rather than assign arbitrary numeric values. In Mac’s video below he doesn’t use a precise way to derive the lead score from the weight, we’ll address this in Step 5.

Step 5: Score (and Test)

Assign points to your weights and test your model. We suggest using a consistent method when assigning scores. For example, if the lead scoring threshold were 70 it makes sense to say each star is worth 10 points. If the total lead score meets or exceeds 70 points (7 stars) the lead is ready for sales (a MQL). After building a lead scoring model, test your model by running through a handful of theoretical scenarios. Take recent leads and/or opportunities and apply them to your lead scoring model. How did the score turn out? If your model were live would the lead score be realistic and accurate? Would sales agree to this lead scoring model? Remember, building a lead scoring model is not a “set it and forget it” kind of thing. Review your lead scoring model frequently (every 3 months at a minimum) and tune it as needed.

Finally, input your lead scoring rules into revenue generation software, such as that from Lead Liaison. For a free consultation on building a lead scoring model using Lead Liaison’s software contact us.

For more information watch Mac McConnell’s presentation below on building a lead scoring model.

We welcome your feedback, comments and suggestions. How are you building a lead scoring model?

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