How Lead Scoring Can Optimize the Marketing Funnel

Optimize Marketing FunnelLearn how lead scoring can optimize the marketing funnel. Every aspect of lead scoring has the ability to optimize the marketing funnel’s potential for converting leads into customers. Lead scoring is a proven method for assigning value to leads based on their demographic profile and their engagement behavior. Lead scoring helps the marketing team determine which leads need further nurturing and which are ready for the sales department.

The marketing funnel traditionally refers to the journey the marketing department creates for potential leads to guide them in a specific direction. In marketing automation, the marketing funnel is a conceptual system of obtaining customers through initial contact and offerings and then retaining them with value added offers or content, known as lead nurturing. The goal of the marketing funnel and lead nurturing is to retain lifelong customers.

Leads progress through different stages in their buying process. Lead scoring ranks these leads to determine their likelihood of purchasing and when they may be ready to commit. This scoring process is essential to the market funnel. Marketers need a method of understanding their leads, so they could be more effective at guiding them in the right direction. Lead scoring is that method.

The following are just a few of the ways lead scoring optimizes the marketing funnel:

1.      Understanding Lead Quality

Every business has different criteria they use to determine the quality of a lead. In all cases, it should reflect a combination of traits and actions that indicate a lead is both a good fit for your company and interested in your product or service. Lead scoring qualifies and quantifies the leads that are in the marketing funnel to determine their potential.

2.      Identifies Leads that are Ready to Buy

The criteria created for lead scoring will have indicators that clearly demonstrate if a lead is ready for the sales department. For example, registering and downloading several articles over a short period of time will boost a lead’s score, since it is a good sign that they are sincerely interested. The higher a lead ranks, the more likely they are ready to exit the marketing funnel and become a customer.

3.     Identifies Leads that will never buy

Lead score also captures demographic characteristics (budget, purchasing authority, company history etc.) that could provide ample evidence that a lead will never convert. For example, a competitor could be snooping on your site to compare prices or a student could be using your website for research. The marketing department can eliminate the time spent nurturing leads that have no reason to be in the marketing funnel.

4.      Indicators Leads that Need more Nurturing

Not every lead that is visiting your website is ready to exit the marketing funnel. Lead scoring identifies these indicators and provides marketing with valuable information on how they can personalize their nurturing to these undecided leads in an effort to persuade them to convert.

In today’s competitive marketplace, businesses need to do everything in their power to optimize their marketing funnel. Lead scoring will qualify leads, determine which ones are ready to buy and which ones will never buy, as well as which leads need more personalized information before they are ready to decide. This insight into a lead’s buying process is vital to improving efficiency and productivity of your marketing funnel.

Who Should Develop Your Lead Scoring Matrix?

Lead Scoring MatrixIs your lead scoring matrix for your lead management system built solely by the marketing department? Is your sales department responsible for providing the parameters that will be used in your lead scoring model? Who should be included when your company is developing a lead scoring matrix? Industry leaders will tell you: the best way to develop accurate criteria for a lead scoring matrix is to bring sales and marketing teams together.

Lead intelligence doesn’t reside in a bubble – there are online actions and offline engagements that contribute to a lead’s overall profile. Each department contributes intelligence to the revenue generation cycle, and revenue generation is more effective when the two departments are connected. By operating independently, each team is relying on lesser intelligence. By including both departments, customer intelligence is combined with lead intelligence to form a holistic approach to lead scoring.

Therefore, both marketing and sales should be involved in developing a lead scoring matrix.

Gathering input from both departments is often done best by meeting with both sides together. Requirements for the scoring matrix can be gathered independently, but the number and depth of contributions is enhanced through discussion with each other.

Sales managers can explain, for example, what type of research customers use to learn about a product, based on feedback gathered during  sales engagements. This can be important in applying weights to certain marketing activities. For example, if a sales agent learns from a prospect that watching product videos is a primary research tool in his position, that information can be applied to a scoring matrix by giving video views a relatively high score compared to other online behaviors for that position.

Sales agents can provide insight as to the level of product intelligence a lead should possess in order to be considered a high priority lead. The more time a prospect spends engaged in marketing engagements, the more likely she will be interested in speaking with a sales agent, which can affect the close ratio. This can translate to greater weight being placed on the score associated with total number of activities a lead engages in.

The marketing department can explain how certain behavioral characteristics can reveal the quality of a lead. For example, a lead that maintains a sustained but sporadic relationship throughout marketing engagements can indicate an indecisive prospect with a longer buying cycle. This type of information can help determine how recency should be weighed within the scoring matrix.

Marketing can also provide input about how certain marketing responses should affect a lead’s score. For instance, a lead captured through a Facebook “like” indicates that the prospect enjoys sharing his opinion through social networking, which can translate to a higher quality lead because the prospect could become a brand advocate.

Both sales and marketing have monthly goals to hit. So it’s critical to gather input from both departments while developing a lead scoring matrix. After all, the goal is increasing lead flow and improving conversions, right?

7 Successful Tips to Improving Lead Scoring

7 Tips to Improve Lead ScoringThe marketing team is working hard to collect an abundance of information on potential leads using demand generation activities like email, newsletter, website and event registrations. Every lead has a unique profile based on how the information was obtained, their demonstrated interest in a product or service, and their demographic characteristics. Lead scoring is a powerful sales tool that will dramatically increase a company’s chance of conversion.

Here are 7 Successful Tips to Improving Lead Scoring

1) Use lead scoring as an opportunity to gather the best marketing and sales resources available in a collaborative effort to qualify potential leads. The marketing and sales departments have the greatest insight into potential customers and combining their expertise and experience will ensure that the lead scoring criteria is as accurate and relevant as possible.

2) Develop lead scoring characteristics that define an ideal customer using your current client base. Gather the marketing and sales team together to analysis existing customers and pinpoint their behavioral and demographic attributes. Take this information and create a profile that covers all of the signs that a lead has the potential to be converted into a sale.

3) Come up with creative ways to extract data from visitors on your site. Develop demand generation activities that entice potential leads to volunteer their information in exchange for educational or entertainment value. A lead can choose what they are willing to share, so it helps if there is an incentive for doing it.

4) Keep track of each lead’s frequency and interest. How often a lead visits a site, the more pages they click on while on the site, and the more information they download for future reference are all factors into how they should be scored. There is a higher chance of converting leads that have already invested a significant amount of time or energy into researching a product or service.

5) Ensure that the demand generation activities being used to capture information coincide with the data needed for effective lead scoring. The questions that are being asked in surveys and forms should spark the answers that are needed to accurately rank and prioritize the lead.

6) Review lead scoring criteria regularly to make sure it is generating the right leads. Leads that rank high should be easily converted into a sale once given to the sales department. If generated leads are not creating the response you would expect thenit is time to re-evaluate the behavioral and demographic characteristics outlined in the lead scoring process.

7) Don’t toss out leads that are not ready to purchase. Leads that have strong demographic attributes that are not actively pursuing your business are still valid leads. These leads should remain in the marketing automation system for further nurturing.

These seven successful tips will improve your lead scoring campaign. Lead scoring however does take a significant amount of time, experience, and commitment. It is not something the average person can easily master, which is why most people turn to a marketing automation expert for advice and guidance. Let Lead Liaison’s experts help you!

Managing Time During B2B Lead Scoring Crusades

Lead Scoring Crusades

It’s important to start managing time during B2B lead scoring crusades. Numerous aspects involving bringing leads into sales departments, doling them out to proper salespeople while keeping these B2B prospects ‘hot’ revolve around properly managing time.  It’s rather rudimentary when sending new emails between departments after individuals fill out contact forms requesting more information or telephone contact; we do this daily. Lead scoring opportunities, however, easily become inundated when higher volumes of leads flow through offices, causing either perpetual traffic jams or accidentally dis-remembered leads.  Avoiding B2B lead scoring ebbs require pragmatic yet masterful time management techniques, put into better perspective below.

Actions Diminish Over Time

Since wasteful efforts mean diminished B2B lead closings, having well-orchestrated finesse during lead scoring initiatives will provide quicker pathways for sales personnel to receive leads, provide speedier correspondence to those seeking specific information about company products and services while allowing marketers pushing B2B campaigns to concentrate solely on lead scoring campaigns forthcoming.  Putting the ‘call’ back into ‘call to action’ shouldn’t take the greater part of your time; therefore, work on schedule, campaign and processing syncopation with all departments to avoid unneeded lagging between B2B lead initiatives.

Perfecting Your Model

B2B lead scoring models need intrinsically smooth detailing behind every step, perhaps even consistent refinement during downtime   Depth is also key when deciphering categorical inclusions for particular business customers; for example, going beyond your ‘Texas’ category to specifically define ‘Plano, Texas’ should be understood before shuffling piles of undecipherable gobbledygook onto desks of confused salesmen.  Perfecting your model of B2B lead scoring means precision, perhaps programmer assistance in altering lead capture forms and back-end databases yet will always take worthwhile effort if closing sales sounds plausible to your boss.  Again, however, time management during modeling ‘tweaks’ should be adhered to since quick transitions between departments will make or break lead closing.

Cut Down On ‘Steps’

Every B2B lead scoring campaign will begin with capturing and end with hopefully coveted relationships actively trusting your products and services.  The steps between, scoring included, mustn’t take several day’s effort to circumvent around your office.  Workers on vacation should be known beforehand so passing leads onto others’ desk happens much quicker while avoiding affront between sales employees dying to receive extra commission.

If reaching sales ready stage currently takes 5 steps, perhaps work towards cutting down a few so interested B2B customers don’t feel dizzy from speaking with numerous company representatives just for one purchase agreement.  Time management provides marketing lucidity unbeknownst to past campaign while providing avenues where unnecessary steps could be chopped without sacrificing quality.  One centralized ideology for new marketers entering your corporate realm begins with saving every minute possible without rushing B2B leads to make immediate decisions.

Invest Wisely In Lead Scoring Time-frames

Larger corporations aren’t playing from greener fields than your company is; they’re just investing wisely in time spent procuring each step of B2B lead scoring, nurturing and closing while synchronizing each department for implementing their roles.  Scoring B2B prospects into proper categories, niches, interests and even social media habits needs undisputed attentiveness yet without wasting too much effort.  Whether shaving extra minutes means cutting down on extra steps, programming databases to handle algorithms apart from human contact or incorporating fewer questions via online contact form, ameliorating processes which arbitrarily weigh down production should contribute heavily towards more affluent B2B lead scoring campaigns.




Predictive Analytics Fuel Operative B2B Lead Scoring Drives

Predictive Analytics Fuel Operative B2B Lead Scoring DrivesBusinesses primarily servicing B2B industries invariably find predictive modeling platforms particularly useful when futuristic campaign initiatives are considered.  Using strategically placed questions, algorithmic-ally calculating cause and effect while providing consistent updates to computerized modeling makes B2B lead scoring seamless on all levels. Many businesses question the effectiveness current analytical platforms programmed by Google or collegiate campuses since predicting actions businesses would take involves too many coefficients many individuals aren’t qualified to handle.  Simple predictive analytics, however, will fuel efficiency when lead scoring B2B prospects transpires.

How Cross-Selling To B2B Customers Happens

From programming ingenuity to marketing prowess, some process propels accurate up-selling suggestions while cross-selling compatible business services when shopping carts are filled.  This process, the direct result of predictive analysis, provides probability scores for various actions based on locality, visitor-ship along with other discovered information harvested from contact form submissions.  Suggestive marketing, your direct result of accurate B2B lead scoring initiatives, works seamlessly behind the scenes to provide answers before questions are asked, making proper nurturing of B2B leads much easier than without useful information.  Sounds pretty technical yet for businesses operating clockwork scoring campaigns, nobody catches the gist of behind-the-scenes computer programs.

Predictive Analytics In Business Today

Considering large entities are using big data when making enterprise-level marketing plans, predictive analyses have tied in perfectly, making pulling data for B2B lead scoring initiatives much easier. Sure, lead scoring does still entail visual acuity, heavy focus on demo-graphical and behavioral tangents along with quickly responding to changes in data per annum.  Predicting future trends in today’s economically handicapped B2B world happen much smoother, however, when some level of surety happens algorithmically.  This level of analytical referencing happens during transactions, billing cycles and widely gauges creditworthiness when B2B credit terms are reached, and its practicality goes without saying.

Lead scoring seems simple when viewed through articles, content or manuals written for informational purposes yet predictive analytics in B2B lead scoring becomes your business’ driving force when turning good campaigns into successful conversion ratios.  Depending on how upscale your sales management programs are, marketer input heavily determines where, when and how deep particular campaigns tally scores and assign proper point values.  Again, this is all predictive analytics working for your B2B scoring.

Increasing B2B Lead Scoring Dynamics

Given previously stated information without generating verbiage related to computational dynamics, leveraging your lead scoring using amped up computer programs doesn’t require programming finesse.  Outsourcing small programming algorithms capable of handling large projects such as this would prove more advantageous.  You’ll receive exponentially accurate B2B lead scoring analyses software, drop very little monetary infusion during the process and perhaps increase time spent with prospects instead of worrying about losing them.  Herein resides the true reason why predictive analytics works wonders with B2B lead propagation: scoring leads, considering it’s based off numerical calculations relevant to numerous data fields, provides an easier method for businesses to gather historical figures and reapplying them to future filters. Providing better marketing designs directed towards improving services and providing more nurturing time trumps spending hours on irreparably downtrodden marketing plans which render few leads and further impede ROI growth.  Operative B2B lead scoring campaigns work wonders when all cylinders are firing; predictive analytics is your B2B V-Twin force.

Lead Scoring vs. Lead Grading

Lead Scoring vs. Lead GradingWithin the B2B marketing niche, the term “lead score” often refers to the quantification of the behaviors and attributes of a marketing lead. But a lead’s score is typically just one component in a lead qualification matrix.  A lead’s total rating (hot, warm or cold) is actually a combination of a lead grade and a lead score. In this post we will compare lead scoring vs. lead grading to help you understand the differences.

Lead Grade

Marketing leads are graded in most scoring models according to attributes which define the individual and associated business that has responded to a marketing contact. For example, company size – as measured by number of employees – is used to rank the lead’s physical presence within its industry. Grades for attributes are used to determine the lead’s fit within an optimal lead profile. The ranking system used by many automated marketing programs assigns letters such as A, B, C, etc. to leads, usually giving an A for the highest grade attainable.

Lead qualification matrices typically calculate an average of several attribute grades into a composite grade for a sales opportunity. Categories such as location, revenues, title and industry are often included in the calculation. It’s important to keep in mind that a lead can achieve a high grade but a low score due to low level of interest, as measured by its marketing engagement activities.

Lead Score

Marketing leads are scored according to specific activities that indicate interest in a certain solution. Scoring values are typically represented by numbers. Many lead scoring matrices calculate the average score for all activities, which can then be used to determine if the interest level meets the minimum ranking needed to pursue a prospect.

The lead scoring matrix should include both the type of interest and activity level exhibited by your prospect. Examples of scoring criteria include:

Interest Type

  1. Product Demo Request
  2. Video View
  3. White Paper Download
  4. Email Click-through

Activity Level

  1. Number of Web Page Views
  2. Duration of Webinar Attendance
  3. Number of Emails Opened

Bear in mind that a level of interest in one solution may not translate to interest in other solutions offered by your company. To determine whether a lead would make a good cross-sell or up-sell customer may require a sales engagement or a separate marketing campaign.

Applying Weight and Default Values

Within a lead qualification matrix, some behaviors and attributes are weighted to account for the importance of certain factors. For instance, a prospect’s title may be weighted more heavily than company size. The weight for a certain behavior or attribute is typically represented by multiplying a grade or score by a factor of two through five.

Marketing automation users can assign default values that may differ from company to company. Determining appropriate default values for lead grading and lead scoring is a matter of preference. One company may use a default score of 10 for opening a marketing email, whereas another company may use a default score of 25. The key is to be consistent in assigning default values across all marketing campaigns.

Developing Behavioral and Demographic Lead Scoring (Part 2)

Demographic Lead ScoringIn a recent blog titled Developing Behavioral and Demographic Lead Scoring (Part 1) we talked about using behaviors to help score/qualify leads. In this blog post we’ll look at the other contributing factor to lead qualification,  demographic lead scoring.

Demographic Lead Scoring

A demographic lead score is used to identify if a lead has the same characteristics as a typical customer. Using data collected in registration forms and surveys, it compares the leads likelihood to purchase against pre-determined criteria that defines the company’s existing customer base.

The following are common examples of demographic-based lead scoring:

  • Company name
  • Annual revenue of the visitor’s company
  • Industry of the visitor’s company
  • Address, city, and state or business
  • Available budget for your product or service
  • First name and last name of potential buyer
  • Address, city, and state
  • Job title
  • Purchasing authority
  • Years of experience with the company

It makes sense that not everyone or every business has the need and the budget to purchase a particular product or service. Leads could be displaying behavioral characteristics for a variety of reasons that won’t necessary result in a sale. For example, a student could be researching a product or service for a school assignment. They may download numerous reports and heavily frequent a good resource website, but that doesn’t mean they have any chance of being converted into a customer.

Combining a lead’s behavioral and demographic information gives the marketing department a clear picture of each individual lead’s attributes, as well as the potential of them becoming a sale. Once a lead can be accurately depicted, marketing can then prioritize which leads are ready to be passed on to the sales team, which leads are not worth pursuing, and which leads need further nurturing.

An alternative approach to demographic lead scoring is lead grading, also supported by Lead Liaison. Instead of a point system Lead Grading uses a letter/grade system from A through F based on how well the prospect fits your company’s ideal buyer persona.

Lead Liaison Improves Sales Effectiveness

ALLEN, TX – Lead Liaison, an innovative marketing automation company, is making life easier for sales departments in small to medium-sized businesses. The company recently launched its highly anticipated Briefcase™ product, which provides a customizable lead prioritization program aimed at increasing sales effectiveness by ranking leads according to a proprietary formula. The new solutions prove Lead Liaison improves sales effectiveness.

Briefcase is a cloud-based dashboard that is embedded in Lead Liaison’s Lead Management Automation™ platform. The program assigns various parameters which each contribute to a priority rating that organizes leads according to their sales-readiness. The scoring matrix includes five parameters that, when combined, provide the user with a total lead score. Rankings are based upon demographic criteria, online engagement with marketing campaigns, buying signals produced through online behaviors, the recency of each engagement, and total inbound and outbound activity.

The purpose of the product is to improve sales effectiveness by sorting leads in a way that allows salespeople to be more efficient. Sales teams can focus on prospects who fit a buyer’s profile and are most likely to buy.

Briefcase addresses the challenges faced by salespeople who are given a “flat” lead database that is not organized for optimum efficiency. Existing databases can be imported into the program or new databases can be built using pre-configured parameters that exist in the Briefcase product.[/one_half][one_half_last] The granularity in the product allows users to modify scoring parameters and change which records may be viewed. For example, users can view leads per employee, total company leads, and a favorites category. In addition, the product allows salespeople to assign prospects to pre-configured lead nurturing programs that can be developed in the Lead Management Automation product.

Briefcase is included with any edition of the Lead Management Automation platforms. Lead Liaison will be adding additional features to the Briefcase product over the next few months. The company plans on developing more application exchange products that integrate with existing customer relationship management (CRM) programs, allowing those programs to maximize sales effectiveness by connecting marketing activities with sales funnel management.


Lead Liaison is an application development company that designs, develops, and sells cloud-based marketing and sales automation software. The company markets to small and medium-sized businesses worldwide, and focuses on creating the broadest and most user-friendly revenue generation software platform. Applications cover all phases of lead management automation including sales prospecting, lead generation, and marketing automation functions that directly influence revenue generation. It’s innovative and robust lead management platform combines unparalleled sales prospecting, lead capture, real-time lead tracking, lead qualification, lead distribution, database segmentation, lead nurturing and ROI reporting. The Software as a Service (SaaS) model delivers an effective user experience and integrated cloud computing capabilities.

Alex Brown
VP Corporate Communications
Phone: +1-888-895-3237

Developing Behavioral and Demographic Lead Scoring (Part 1)

Developing Behavioral Lead Scoring This is part 1 of a 2 part series on developing behavioral and demographic lead scoring. Lead scoring criteria can be categorized into two distinct types; behavioral and demographics. Every successful lead scoring campaign needs to weigh both sides of their lead’s profile to determine their individual potential for conversion. A lead could have all of the demographic characteristics of an ideal customer, but lack behavioral indicators that usually result in a sale. The same could be said for a lead that shows a genuine interest in a product or service, but doesn’t have the budget or authority to commit to a purchase. That is why both are necessary for effective lead scoring.

Developing Behavioral and Demographic Lead Scoring – Starting with Behavioral Lead Scoring

A behavioral lead score is when the lead is actively pursuing their purchase and researching their options. The more time a lead invests in researching a product or service, the higher the score for that particular activity.  The following are common examples of behavioral-based lead scoring:

  • Used specific keywords in a search engine to find your site
  • Participated in a website or phone chat
  • Opened an email message about a certain product or service
  • Completed online company survey
  • Read press releases
  • Clicked on multiple pages during a single visit
  • Visited a specific page multiple times
  • Visited your website on more than one occasion
  • Downloaded relevant ebooks, tutorials, or articles
  • Participated in free trials
  • Attended relevant trade shows
  • Viewed or shared videos from your website
  • Stayed on your website for a lengthy period of time

Based on the list given above, characteristics that require significant time and energy like “participating in a website or phone chat,” would describe someone who has demonstrated a greater interest than someone who has “used specific keywords in a search engine to find your site.” Each example needs to be ranked based on its relevance to a product or service, as well as the likelihood that the specific behavioral quality is a known indicator that the lead is ready to be converted into a sale.

Consistently Improve Your B2B Lead Scoring Models

Consistently Improve Your B2B Lead Scoring ModelsSalesmen find implicit data most viable when assigning new values after successful B2B lead scoring campaigns have commenced while marketing professionals remodeling new campaigns would find explicit information more plausible, especially when leads which previously were unsuccessfully nurtured need shifted towards different niche markets.  Whichever angle your current goals reside, consistent improvements to B2B lead score models should be wholly approached instead of individually planned.  A new business quarter is upon us, thereby providing the new window of opportunity necessary in getting B2B lead scoring perpetuated early.  Here’re several benefits of scoring early, and often.

New Year, New Information

Marketing competition, often seen as the ‘Scaramouche’ of social businesses, heightens when new quarters, and years, commence.  Previous years’ global data is available, various demographical trends change and economically induced changes in B2B buying shifts along with newly discovered data sets  Properly vetting your competition, scrubbing your own database and reiterating your B2B lead scoring plans before everyone jumps ahead of your makes the ensuing blogging ‘balderdash’ much easier to deal with.  Why bother discussing marketing blogs during lead scores? Quite simply, there’re surpluses of B2B information available which assist various departments in quantifying, and qualifying, their leads just off information found in blogs B2B customers actively engage in.

Scoring Models Will Change

Segmented leads from previous years’ campaigns will inevitably change, along with models used to determine sales readiness.  Because of inevitable changes forthcoming to marketing plans, B2B lead scoring models used to grade, file and seal various leads during stages of nurturing will need fed through new funnels for proper segmentation based off newly discovered information about business buyers.  Keeping current databases refreshed when year-end data becomes prevalent will allow for future scoring models to be introduced much more seamlessly while allowing new information to be found much easier.

Businesses May Lose Interest

Since we’ve recently found our government passing tax reform which affects business decision makers known to marketing professionals as ‘B2B leads’.  Many individuals will make their buying decisions earlier than normal so as to avert the potential fiscal cliffs expected to fall throughout January and February.  Collection of newly available information, scoring B2B leads while funneling them quickly through sales channels before others jump ahead will assure your business will receive their cut of the cake, per se, when B2B lead scoring results are expected to be higher than years previous.

Quickly Improve Your Modeling

As we’ve said, 2013 will be B2B lead ‘make or break’ for numerous smaller companies wishing to avoid undue hardship by nurturing B2B customers towards purchasing appeasement.  Therefore, revamping B2B lead scoring models previously used while comparing potentially better models for this new year of deeper economic uncertainty would make your campaigns potentially more fruitful than without planning newer initiatives.

Since many individuals reading this piece have some familiarity with lead scoring on B2B level, keep moving your leads from one funnel to another, always refresh information when made available while never forgetting information from previous years will help reassess your current database for plausibility purposes.  2013 could make or break B2B lead scoring models – make sure your current schema doesn’t falter.