Applying some Lead Scoring best practices can have a big impact on your business. More than ever before, your potential customers are going online to research products and services very early in their buying cycle. Well before they make a purchase, they’re checking out websites, downloading white papers and watching videos to educate themselves on the top offerings and vendors.
When you understand this phenomenon, you can grasp how important it is for you to be where they’re looking.
Clearly, you must engage prospects from the initial stages of interest. This means delivering the right content at the right time. Lead scoring is an effective way to develop a marketing strategy that nurtures potential customers down through the sales funnel.
It’s also an efficient approach, as you’re not spinning your wheels by providing content that your prospects aren’t ready to consume. If you’re new to the concept, you can probably use some guidance on how to score your leads and reap the benefits.
Lead scoring basics
You must understand the fundamentals of scoring leads before you can improve your conversion rates and implement best practices. The concept involves using certain demographics, like position, industry and company size to determine whether the data fits your target audience. You can then apply this information to identify a potential customer’s level of interest in your company and its offerings. The result is delivering acutely-targeted, relevant material at the time your prospect needs it.
How scoring leads can benefit your company
The proof is in the numbers
CMS Wire conducted a survey among companies that implemented scoring techniques to better target their marketing. Of the respondents, 38% experienced higher conversion rates of qualified leads into opportunities. 31% said that they saw boosts in productivity within their sales department. Sales cycles were also reduced.
Align your sales and marketing departments
In the same survey, companies reported that their marketing departments were more in tune with sales efforts. This resulted in increased efficiencies. Rather than operating as separate entities within the organisation, these two departments began to complement each other.
The result is being able to better pinpoint when to handle the hand-off from marketing to sales.
Finding the right approach to your lead scoring system
Unless you’ve already implemented some form of scoring leads, you’ll need to start by gathering essential details.
Talk to your sales and marketing teams to identify which data is the common denominator among the leads. Who are those ready to buy? Or, who has advanced down the sales funnel? This information is what you focus on when developing your lead scoring criteria.
You’ll find the data you need by looking at deals you’ve recently closed with customers. Also, consider the current opportunities within your pipeline.
You should also analyse your website metrics and online activity logs. Where are visitors spending time and clicking through to other pages on your site?
At the same time, look at the sources and referring pages to see where your prospects came from!
Identify Your Target
Once you’ve got the right data in front of you, it’s time to establish exactly who you want to reach through scoring your leads.
Use all relevant information, not just the commonalities among the highly qualified leads. Also, make sure to rate different characteristics. Some are more important than others, so you need to put proper weight on those that indicate a lead is more ready to buy.
When the process is complete, you’ll end up with a buyer persona you can use to map your content at the right time.
Team up your sales and marketing efforts
With the profile of a target customer in mind, you can get your sales and marketing departments to work together. These teams should use the criteria to define the characteristics of a lead who’s ready to buy. Also, would separate those just kicking tires for now. There will be a lead scoring threshold that will identify when marketing should turn the prospect over to sales to interact directly.
Your marketing approach won’t go anywhere if you’re not presenting the right content to properly qualified leads when they need it. That’s why a great Lead Scoring system will help you move your future clients into the next steps of their buying cycle.
Of course, this is not always easy to do. Many companies opt to hire experts to handle the job. Whether you decide to take on the challenge or get some help from the pros, make sure you’re scoring your leads! Make your marketing efforts worthwhile.