Why Do You Need Lead Scoring?

Why Do You Need Lead ScoringIf salespeople of the world know anything, they know one thing – persistence is key. When you make multiple efforts to contact and follow up with customers, you’re doing a few things in the process.

You’re showing them you want their business. Sales teams who make a few follow ups, then fall off the map lose sales that may have converted over time.

You’re showing them you care. If you care enough to follow up, customers expect the same level of persistence and service when you actually do serve them.

You’re showing them you want the sale. If you develop a rapport with customers, you’re more likely to make the connection that sells.

For many organizations, the problem is not in closing sales for qualified customers – the problem is drawing the fine line between customers who are qualified and those who you could lose if you continue to contact them. Sales tracking and lead scoring helps you make the determination as to who’s qualified and who could convert in the longer term. Let’s answer the question, why do you need lead scoring?

Deploying Lead Scoring

Many companies don’t bother to implement lead scoring because it would take time to actually come up with a system. It’s a catch 22 – you want to get your team scoring leads so you can save time and get better sales coming in, but to actually make the time to develop the system will cost time on the phones and time for you to implement.

This is why marketing automation is changing the game. With a small investment and the help of a qualified marketing automation company, lead scoring and qualification couldn’t be easier. It works like this: You explain your sales process and your thoughts on lead scoring to your marketing automation company. They’ll streamline everything, set it up with your guidance and assistance – then the system does everything for you.

Onboarding Employees

This is typically not a daunting process. With Lead Liaison, employees are typically getting the hang of new processes and managing leads better than ever in under a week. Plus, your marketing department will love the ease of accessing metrics and necessary info all in one place.

Here’s a scenario many companies face: Bob has developed a great rapport with a client, but leaves to go to another sales job. After he leaves, John (a new salesperson) is ready to take on that old client, but has little information that does him any good. The details Bob typed into the CRM are helpful, but aren’t really going to address what John needs to know at the organizational level to approach the client. He loses the sale.

With lead scoring, your sales people don’t just discuss the finer details but have a clear cut process about how likely the client is to purchase and where they’re at in the funnel. This means that regardless of who’s following up, the follow up is solid and conducted under organizational guidelines that meet what can be accurately offered to the client. This is a great way to streamline your sales team’s organizational efforts as well as better appeal to clients.

It’s time to take a look at how marketing automation can streamline your funnel. Take a look at Lead Liaison’s robust offerings today!

How to Use Lead Scoring to Land Qualified Leads

How to Use Lead Scoring to Land Qualified LeadsMarketing automation generates a significant amount of leads, but it is the lead scoring process that filters and prioritizes leads to determine which are most qualified. Not every lead has the same potential. Lead scoring determines who has the highest chance of conversion, so the sales team is only focusing their energy on landing qualified leads. We’ll show you how to use lead scoring to land qualified leads.

Compare Leads against Current Customers

A lead will have a greater chance of conversion if their behavioral and demographic characteristics are similar to existing clientele. This is usually a strong sign they will have the same needs. Marketing automation can land more qualified leads by basing their criteria on their current customers.

Uses the Sales Team to Understand Customer’s Needs

Marketers should always ask the sales team for their opinion when they are developing lead scoring criteria and lead nurturing content. The sales team works directly with the company’s existing clients and they understand what they truly want.

Rank Criteria based on Relevancy

Every characteristic of a potential leads should be weighed based on relevancy. For example, a lead that clicks on a DIY video could imply that they are just using the site as a resource for information versus a lead that clicks on a page that contains product pricing and specifications. Higher value should be put on behavior that demonstrates sincere interest, like if someone volunteers personal information in an online registry to gain access to information.

Test Different Lead Scoring Criteria

There are some criteria that will have obvious relevancy, like whether or not someone clicks on a company’s contact page while other characteristics like a person’s purchasing history may not matter as much as you originally estimated. It is important to test different lead scoring criteria by not only changing the criteria, but by also adjusting the value assigned to the criteria.

For example: Let’s say that right now lead scoring determines that leads between the age of 40 and 50 are less relevant and therefore are assigned one point and leads ranked between the age of 20 and 30 are given four points because the product appeals to a younger demographic. If marketers notice that the business is now attracting an older audience, they can test the lead scoring by boosting the age 40 to 50 criteria up to two or three points. If older clients are truly interested in the product, this change could help the business land more qualified leads.

Include Criteria to Measure Inactivity

If a lead was active for a significant period of time and then they suddenly stop visiting the site, that behavior should also be considered as part of lead scoring. It may be an indicator that the lead nurturing content is not answering their needs or that they have already chosen to go purchase elsewhere.

Marketing automation was created to capture and land more qualified leads. This will be easier to accomplish if marketers use the right lead scoring criteria by involving sales in the process, basing it on relevancy, testing various criteria, and including inactivity. Lead scoring can be a powerful tool for ranking and prioritizing leads, so sales professionals are always focused on the people who have the highest potential for conversion.

Building Your B2B Lead Scoring Profile

B2B Lead Scoring ProfileBuild a B2B lead scoring profile for your business to standardize lead qualification. The most effective strategy to use when you’re deploying a marketing automation platform for your B2B company is to establish an accurate lead scoring matrix. The scores that are assigned to leads as they proceed through the sales pipeline can be a critical difference between committing a sales agent too early or too late and contacting a marketing lead at the right time in the buying cycle. Building a high-yielding scoring matrix first requires marketing and sales managers to contemplate who is their best customer.

We recommend creating a scoring model that reflects the qualities of your customers. Who are they and what do they do when their company is considering a purchase? Optimally, both sales and marketing staff should be involved in the scoring model development process. There is a process of model development that has been successful for many of our clients (which we can talk with you about). However, there are a few mistakes that companies new to marketing automation should avoid when building a lead scoring model.

First, don’t build a scoring model without first developing an optimal B2B lead profile. Define the most common characteristics of your primary markets and create a profile from that information. If your company has multiple market segments (such as 6-8 year old males and their 35-45 year old parents), create a profile for each segment then build a lead scoring model specific to that profile.

Include an adequate number of parameters for your lead scoring model – but don’t include everything. B2B lead profiles can typically be refined into a dozen or so parameters which will include attributes and behaviors. Roughly half of the parameters should represent demographic and business-graphic details of each lead. The other half should represent online behaviors.

Do not assign the same weight to all scoring parameters. Sure, every activity and job or industry-related attribute is an important component to a good lead profile, but some factors are likely more important than others. We offer a free Lead Scoring Model Designer which helps managers build a suitable scoring profile. Users can test scoring models by applying different weights to the scoring parameters.

Do not score all online activity the same. Engagement levels vary within each activity and across all online activities. Your lead scoring profile should account for the variability in message impact and lead engagement associated with each digital marketing asset. For instance, a lead that visits a static web page multiple times is often less impacted each time the page is visited; however, some marketers consider multiple webpage views as a sign of sales-readiness, therefore, worthy of a higher score for that lead scoring parameter. But consumer behavior studies have shown that the impact the repeated message has on a lead is frequently lower each time the page is viewed. Be sure to consider the impact each activity has on your leads and score online behaviors appropriately.

Lastly, don’t create a rigid profile; allow for lead profile refinement as time goes by. Although the general makeup of your leads may not change substantially over time, new strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT) will likely emerge that may change certain aspects of your lead profile. So it’s important for you to be able to tweak your profile as situations develop.

If you’re building a lead profile to use in our Lead Management Automation™ platform, we can help you design an appropriate scoring model. Contact us with any questions you may have.

Lead Liaison Provides Another Lead Management Tool to Sales and Marketing Executives

Allen, TX (PRWEB) March 19, 2013 – Lead Liaison, a leader in marketing automation, has released another free lead management tool: the Lead Scoring Model Designer (LSMD). This time their implementation team has created a lead management asset that not only assists executives in building scoring rules for leads in their databases but also provides hypothetical testing capabilities and helps broker alignment between sales and marketing teams.

This lead scoring tool is built within a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet which allows users to adjust data. It is intended to be used by executives from sales and marketing, along with other relevant parties, when they meet to discuss lead management issues.

The Lead Scoring Model Designer employs a system of one to five stars that are used to represent the impact of each scoring parameter on a lead’s sales-readiness score. The layout organizes lead scoring parameters into three buckets that characterize demographic, behavioral, and qualification status. The 25 fields of predefined and user-entry parameters are adjustable to meet unique sales and marketing practices.

There are five facets in the Lead Scoring Model Designer that help guide sales and marketing through an alignment process which allows both teams to contribute to a lead scoring model. The first step in the alignment process is to bring both function silos to the table so the LSMD includes a meeting attendance verification mechanism. Attendance can be confirmed and the total meeting participants are calculated within the first section in the tool.

Following attendance verification, users then determine a star rating that reflects the importance of each scoring parameter. After each parameter is assigned one to five stars, users define thresholds that represent significant values for moving leads from one classification (for instance, warm lead) to another through the marketing pipeline and, eventually, into a customer relationship management (CRM) application such as the Sales Cloud.

Once threshold values have been determined, users assign weights to each bucket included in the scoring matrix. Weighting from 0% to 100% can be applied to indicate the impact of each bucket towards an overall lead score. Next a point value for each star is assigned. For example, a parameter that is assigned four stars with point values of 10 contributes 40 points towards the overall lead score.

Finally, users can test the validity of the scoring model by determining if each parameter appropriately represents its contribution to the overall score. Sales and marketing executives can see the total lead score then apply the total score to each threshold in the marketing pipeline in order to evaluate if each parameter is defined accurately.

The Lead Scoring Model Designer can be used to design models for specific marketing campaigns or as a comprehensive model for lead management practices.

Download the Lead Scoring Model Designer here. It is available at no charge for existing customers and other interested parties. For more information contact Lead Liaison at 888 895 3237.


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.

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Key Factors that Must Be Considered in B2B Lead Scoring

Key Factors that Must Be Considered in B2B Lead ScoringLead scoring can be an incredibly valuable tool that can produce more qualified sales-ready leads provided that you start with the right criteria. Start by combining both the marketing and sales department’s knowledge of existing customers and develop a profile that represents a typical buyer’s demographics and behavior.

When creating effective and informative B2B lead scoring criteria, be sure to consider the following key factors:

1) Ask strategic questions to determine demographic characteristics that will identify if they are a decision maker.

  • What is your job title?
  • How many years of experience do you have in the industry?
  • How many years of experience do you have with the company?

 2) Identify demographic indicators that will determine whether a company has the ability to make the purchase. Create questions that will answer the following questions.

  • Do they have the budget for that particular product or service?
  • Do they have a need for that particular product or service?
  • Have they ever purchased a similar product or service?

 3) Look for behavioral indicators that will show a lead’s current engagement level.

  • Has there been an increase in the frequency of visits?
  • Did they registering for a newsletter or sign up for a mailing list?
  • Has there been an increase in the amount of time they spend per visit?

 4) Record behavioral factors that demonstrate they have an interest in a specific product or service.

  • Did they download a specific article or tutorial related to a product?
  • Did they watch a demo video on a certain product or service?
  • Did they sign up for a free trial for a particular product or service?

 5) Watch for the key behavioral indicators that demonstrate that they are ready to make a purchase.

  • Visiting a company’s contact page is a great sign that they are close to making a decision in your favor.
  • A return visit after downloading relevant material is another sign that someone is ready to make a purchase.
  • Anytime a person or business willing offers their contact information, especially a cell phone number, is an obvious sign that they are ready for the sales department.

Once a complete list of all characteristics and triggers has been created, they will need to be ranked based on how closely that attribute signifies a sales-ready lead. For example, visiting a contact page should be weighted heavier than if their budget matches your price. Indicators that display a higher engagement level will be ranked higher, since it shows sincere interest in a product or service.

These key factors are essential for creating a B2B lead scoring model that will effectively rank and prioritize leads. Double check these against the list you have created to ensure that you are asking all the right questions, so you have all the right answers.

Using Lead Scoring to Build a Bridge between Marketing and Sales

Lead Scoring Bridges Sales and MarketingEvery company’s marketing and sales teams should share the same critical objective. Fortunately, lead scoring bridges sales and marketing teams. After all, both teams main purpose is to bring in new business and generate revenue. Despite having the same goal, they use drastically different strategies and methods of achieving it. The marketing department is usually focused on bringing in an abundance of potential leads through either large advertising campaigns or efficient marketing automation software programs. The sales department, on the other hand is striving to secure high-quality leads through real-time customer engagement and personalized communication.

Combine Marketing & Sales for Lead Scoring and Build a Bridge between Marketing and Sales

Lead scoring can take lead generation to the next level by making it a collaborative effort that combines the knowledge and experience of both the marketing and sales departments. Most marketing professionals have spent their time creating numerous broad stroke lead generation techniques that are strategically used to appeal to a multitude of potential customers at once. When they put together a list of possible lead scoring criteria, it is usually based on the characteristics of the leads who respond to their “open-call” for new customers. Some of these leads have a high chance of conversion while others may have no interest in ever making a purchase.

Salespeople converse directly with potential customers, as well as existing customers. They know how to make a connection and which techniques to use to turn an undecided lead into a loyal customer. A company’s sales department can use its front-line experience and expertise to validate marketing’s lead scoring assumptions. They knew what their customers are looking for and how to reach out to them. The sales team can fine-tune the list of criteria created by the marketing department and assign higher ratings for lead behaviour or demographics that demonstrate the actions or attributes of past sales.

Sales & Marketing are Meant to be Together

A combined effort builds a foundation for an effective lead scoring system and keeps both sales and marketing working together on the same team with the same goal. Lead scoring is not the only aspect of generating new business that works better when you tap into both your sales and marketing departments.

Marketers need to understand the strategies and tools the sales team is using, so they can help them accomplish their goals. The sales team has more direct contact with qualified leads and customers, which gives them a better insight into the type of content that marketing should be sending to potential leads. Sales can also advise marketing what triggers to look for in a lead, so they can more easily recognize leads that are ready-for-sales.

The marketing department can provide sales with an abundance of leads, as well as a profile on each lead, to assist with conversion. Marketing can also use lead scoring to eliminate leads that are not likely to ever convert. The more each department understands and assists the other, the better the end results. Start with lead scoring to build a bridge between marketing and sales and a powerful revenue generating force will grow from their union.

The Five Biggest Benefits of Quality Lead Scoring

The Five Biggest Benefits of Quality Lead ScoringLead scoring is a sales and marketing methodology used to rank prospects against a scale that represents high-quality leads. Savvy marketers are quickly discovering the impact quality lead scoring can have on generating leads with a higher potential for conversion, which is critical in today’s competitive global marketplace.

These are the five biggest benefits of quality lead scoring:

Quality Lead Scoring Simplifies the Lead Evaluation Process

Using an automated lead scoring system will make it easier to quickly qualify leads based on pre-determined criteria. Quality lead scoring is based on attributes and behavior of typical customers, so there is solid basis for comparison. By using an automated process to rank each lead, marketing can quickly determine which leads require additional information and which leads are ready to make a purchase.

Lead Scoring Provides a Detailed Profile of Potential Leads

Quality lead scoring defines leads based on both behavioral and demographic characteristics, which offers sales and marketing a clear and detailed picture of a lead’s needs and interests. This information is invaluable when nurturing and guiding a lead through the marketing funnel.

Good Lead Scoring Strengthens the Relationship with a Lead

The better insight into a lead’s needs and interests the better  marketers have the ability to personalize content that is shared with the lead, which creates a more meaningful connection. Providing leads with useful and relevant information prior to making a sale strengthens trust in the brand and creates loyalty.

Lead Scoring Processes Provide insight into the Lead’s Buying Process

Leads that marketing automation generates from a website will be at different stages within their buying process. Some could still be investigating the need for a product or service, while others may be on the verge of making a decision. Lead scoring helps decipher at what point the lead is at in their journey, so the right follow-up is done to convert them into a customer.

Lead Scoring Methods Produce Higher Quality Leads

Leads need to reach a certain ranking which shows they are not only interested in a product or service, but they are currently ready to make their decision, before they are given to the sales department. Due to this systematic screening process, the chances of the sales team converting a lead improves exponentially.

These five factors are the main reasons why so many business leaders are tapping into the world of marketing automation by using the benefits of lead scoring to their advantage. Every company wants the inside scoop on their potential customers and lead scoring does exactly that.

Checkout Lead Liaison if you’re interested in seeing how we use unparalleled lead qualification technology by combining lead scoring, lead grading, recency, buy signals and total activity to better qualify leads.

Four Simple Steps to Improving Lead Scoring

Improving Lead ScoringOne of the biggest advantages that come from using a marketing automation system is the ability to effectively score and prioritize leads based on their likelihood of conversion. It gives marketing and sales powerful insight into a leads behavior, as well as their demographic characteristics, so they can decide the best method for converting that particular lead into a customer.

There are four simple steps to improving lead scoring:

Identifying whether a lead has an interest or a need

There is a distinct difference between an interested lead and a lead that has a need for a product or service. Both are fundamental aspects of lead scoring, however they should be scored differently. A lead that shows sincere interest by frequenting a site often is more likely to convert that someone who only has characteristics that imply they would have a need for a product or service. The individual or business that has a need for that particular purchase may not necessarily have the budget or ability to make the decision anytime in the near future.

In also works the other way. A lead could be interested, but they have no need to purchase the product. Take for example a car enthusiast. They may already own a car that they love, but they enjoy checking out new models online on a regular basis. They could have high scores for frequency, but no real desire to make a purchase. Lead scoring needs to recognize these indicators and weight them accordingly. The best way to improve lead scoring is to measure both the interest and the need demonstrated by potential leads.

Keep your criteria simple and limited to only what matters

If the method that is being used to qualify leads has too many factors, it could be reducing the number of valuable leads that are generated. Focus on characteristics and behaviors that demonstrated the greatest interest and purchasing potential. Eliminate any that are not relevant or counterproductive.

Use lead nurturing to raise the score of potential leads

Lead scoring generates a profile of every lead, which should be used to create personalize content that is directed at what each individual requires. There could be specific content developed for leads that have the highest chance of conversion and separate content for leads that are still in the initial stages of their buying process. Lead nurturing content should be geared to each lead segment to increase its value, and hopefully increase their interest.

Take lead scoring past the sales cycle and into the customer cycle 

The process shouldn’t end the moment a lead becomes a customer. They still need contact and nurturing to keep them informed of everything a business has to offer. You can improve lead scoring by using it to strengthen customer relationships and continuing to nurture even once they have been converted.

Lead scoring is a powerful tool for qualifying leads, but it can be much more than that. By following these four simple steps, it can provide real insight into a lead’s behavior, generate higher quality leads, improve the chances of conversion, and strengthen relationships with leads who have already successfully been converted.

Scoring Leads from Marketing Qualified Lead to Sales Qualified Lead

Scoring Leads from Marketing Qualified Lead to Sales Qualified LeadEffective B2B lead management involves more than simply preventing viable leads from falling off the radar. The effectiveness of a lead management program is really measured by how well it moves suspects from marketing qualified leads (MQL) to sales qualified leads (SQL). The difference between the two statuses can represent tens of thousands of dollars in closed business.

A lead scoring system helps to differentiate between leads that are likely to buy now and those that require more nurturing. However, it is most effective if it is constructed properly.

There is often disagreement between sales and marketing departments about what constitutes a “qualified” lead. This makes some sense because the parameters are different among the two departments. A lead scoring system, used as part of a lead management program, provides an opportunity to put values on parameters used by each department.

The lead scoring model should have a threshold – a minimum score – that indicates that a suspect has met enough criteria, the right criteria, to be worthy of a sales engagement. Lead scoring provides a systematic way to transition leads from marketing to sales in a way that gives the sales team confidence that the lead is viable and prepared for a sales engagement.

The question is: at what point is a marketing-qualified lead ready to be transitioned to a sales qualified lead?

For example, take two suspects that have entered your marketing funnel. One is a VP of operations, the other a line supervisor. The VP has visited your website a few times and spent about 15 minutes on your product pages. The supervisor has visited your site fifteen times, downloaded two white papers and several fact sheets, and attended a recent webinar.

Which lead is considered a better sales qualified lead?

In many industries, a VP is a more sales-ready lead because of the likelihood that he has buying authority. However, there are companies that allow purchases by supervisory staff. The greater level of activity by the line supervisor might indicate better timing, but does she have buying authority? Which parameter means more?

This is where applying weight to scoring parameters is important for lead scoring to be effective. Some activities and/or attributes provide greater impact on sales-readiness than others, but which ones matter more could be night and day from one company to another. Examining which behaviors have led to sales in the past is a good way determine weights for certain qualities and behaviors. For example, if the evidence shows that your product sells well after being noticed by subordinates who influence the C-suite after conducting research through white papers, then recent white paper download activity, when combined with the subordinate’s title, should be weighted more heavily than a C-level executive who visited the website a couple of times.

According to marketing experts, a 10% increase in lead quality translates to a 40% increase in sales productivity. This should motivate executives to align sales and marketing departments through a lead scoring system, like the one in Lead Liaison’s Briefcase™ lead qualification dashboard.

Lead scoring can help most businesses improve sales conversions and shorten sales cycles. But it’s important to remember that the scoring model you use to move leads from marketing qualified lead to sales qualified lead status is dynamic (newly uncovered evidence affects existing scoring metrics) and comprehensive (incorporates parameters from both departments).

How does your company score its leads? Post a comment here or drop us a line.