Common Lead Scoring Mistakes – Part 2

Common Lead Scoring Mistakes As we mentioned in an earlier post, Common Lead Scoring Mistakes – Part 1, there is sometimes a lack of sales effectiveness when using a lead scoring system. Often this is a result of poor lead management. In this post, we discuss two issues: the first one concerns what sales agents do with leads that are distributed out of a lead scoring matrix, the other involves assigning scores and distribution thresholds to leads that pass from marketing to sales.

Ignoring Low Scores

Most sales agents only want leads that have a high lead score because those are likely to be the most sales-ready prospects. But not all quality leads are ready to buy, and not all cold leads represent long sales cycles. By ignoring a lead with a score of 50 (out of 100), the sales department may lose a great opportunity without knowing it.

Avoid these lead scoring mistakes by applying logic. For example, the lead with a 50 score might be a line supervisor who is the brother-in-law of the company president. He may be researching products (on his own) like the ones your company offers in order to improve line performance, but has no idea of the company’s purchasing capacity at the moment. The total lead score may be low because of his lack of buying authority and unknown budget.

However, his relationship with the president makes him a potential purchase influencer and a good connection to the buying authority. This lead should not be ignored because of a low composite score. Sales agents should be encouraged to focus on both total lead score and the scores in each parameter that contribute to the overall score in order to avoid missing possible sales opportunities that may be “disguised” as low quality leads.

Scoring Activities and Distributing Leads Improperly

Lead scoring is more of an art than a science. There are nuances in most scoring systems that don’t apply universally across industries or even across product lines. But in order to create the most effective scoring model, the grades or scores that leads receive because of marketing engagements should be appropriate for your company’s sales process. That means scoring marketing responses properly.

For instance, a lead that has recently downloaded a white paper may receive a high score for that activity due to recency, but what if the same lead has downloaded several documents over a six-month period? In this case, the frequency of the specific activity must also be considered in the lead score.

Also, if the scoring threshold for distribution is not properly aligned with the sales department’s experience with customers, it could skew results and lower sales production. For example, if the scoring threshold is too high, the sales department may perceive a stranglehold on the flow of leads. On the other hand, if scoring thresholds are too low, your lead management system may distribute leads to sales agents that are not adequately sales-qualified.

An effective lead scoring system can improve sales effectiveness by more than 50%, but the system must be built correctly and implemented properly. To learn more about lead scoring mistakes and tips to improve lead scoring, follow the Lead Liaison blog every week!