Wed, Feb 8, 2017

How to Optimize Your Sales Funnel with Lead Scoring


How to Optimize Your Sales Funnel with Lead Scoring After a long process that involved a digital marketing and lead generation strategy, you’ve finally acquired some leads. You know they’re interested in your product or service, but just passing them to sales isn’t enough.

Some of them might still have doubts or were just curious about your content offer, so treating them all equally isn’t the best solution. They have different needs and approaches that depend on which stage of the Buyer’s Journey they are currently in.

You need to prioritize them, and this is where lead scoring comes into action for you to have a better performing strategy, increase your ROI and net more sales.

Lead scoring, like the name suggests, is a way to evaluate leads by how close they are to being sales-ready, or the chances each lead has to become a customer. The better qualified they are, the higher the score, the higher the chances to close the deal.

To do this, you can qualify them in any way you might find useful. On a scale from 0 to 100, an ABC grading system or even a 50/50 option if the lead is sales-ready or not. This is done through a marketing automation platform, like HubSpot or any other software that enables you to perform lead intelligence programs to see what your visitors are doing on your website.

You can also do this manually by assigning positive or negative values to your leads in order to have more control, and do an AB test with other leads you've already scored to see if they are an actual fit, based on your success stories and previous experience.

To score them, you have to check their behavior on your website, emails and content offers. Did they open more than one blog post? Are they interested in the benefits of your product or just your top of the funnel content? How many eBooks have they downloaded? Is the lead a match for your demographic? Did they open the last few emails you sent them? The criteria for scoring varies on the step the lead is in, which has multiple factors such as:

Demographic Information

If your product or service is targeted to a specific group which can be divided by age, income, gender or position the better it fits, the better qualified the lead will be.

Company Information

Is the company a perfect fit for your product? 

Online Behavior

How engaged are they with your site? Do they browse a lot of content?

Email Engagement

Do they open the emails? Read them? Click the link and then the content? The more interactions they have the better the score

Social Engagement

Do they interact a lot in Social Media? Like the posts, read them or comment?

Spam Detection

Were they truly interested when they converted on the landing page? Is their information accurate? Did they use their business or personal account when registering?

It is important to talk with current customers and your sales department to know exactly which factors are more important than others, and which ones should be valued the most in order to properly score the different leads.

“But he is already a lead, I’ll just spam this generic email campaign until he becomes a customer”, you might think. And while yes, you could do that, the idea of lead scoring isn’t just to determine if they can buy or not, but to engage in a lead nurturing process to guide them through the whole journey, a strategy that, according to Demand Gen Report, causes 67% of B2B marketers to say they see at least a 10% increase in sales opportunities.

Each lead is different, and depending on how qualified they are, they need customized offers. If a lead is scored low, but we know they were looking for a specific piece of information, they would require a different approach than a different lead that is sales ready with a high score.

Passing the baton to sales

Ever heard Sales complaining that they never get good leads? Is a scoring system being implemented when you’ve received these complaints? The whole idea for lead scoring is for sales to improve their capacity and be able to customize their offerings to their leads.

Instead of sharing all leads with both departments, Marketing will identify those who Sales should invest more time into, sharing data and using feedback between both teams in order to maximize their efforts.

This way, Sales won’t have to wait to receive all the leads while marketing looks for other ones, but they will work simultaneously. While Sales is communicting with the higher scored leads, marketing will accompany the ones that are starting their journey, thus nurturing them to harvest highly qualified leads, enhancing the sales opportunities and making the most out of the leads your company has generated.

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Raimundo Estela
Raimundo Estela    

Raimundo Estela is a journalist from Universidad Andres Bello, with over three years working in mass media.