When pursuing new business, lead scoring is a pivotal step in creating a list of qualified leads. The difference between qualified and unqualified leads is comparable to the difference between customers and contacts. So what is it? Lead scoring is the ranking process by which businesses identify, rank, and aggregate the best leads for their sales people to pursue. Organization must determine the key factors that make someone qualified so they can focus upon delivering the right content through promotional channels.
Does lead scoring apply to your business?
Is Lead Scoring Right for You?
Lead scoring is a relevant filter through which to approach growth at your company. As your business develops and you generate more leads, reaching out to every lead will not longer make sense. You must be sure to prioritize the sales pipeline based upon qualified leads. If you’re wondering whether your business will benefit from lead scoring, ask yourself these three questions:
1) Do I have enough leads?
Lead scoring isn’t for everyone. If you’re just starting out and your business isn’t generating many leads, you’re likely still figuring out what makes a lead qualified. If this sounds like you, talk with your leads to figure out what the qualified ones have in common.
2) Does my sales team call the leads they’re sent?
Functionally implementing lead scoring can prove difficult. Figuring out what properties to include in you lead and how many points to assign them is a process. But first, determine whether or not your sales team is making good with the leads you’re delivering them. If they’re not, there could be an alignment issue between sales and marketing that needs to be solved before moving ahead.
3) Do I have enough data?
Before you start lead scoring, you must have a lot of data. You’ll need data about the leads that didn’t close, and you’ll need data about the leads you did close. These will help you figure out what properties serve to indicate someone is qualified – or not. This may take time, and that’s fine.
6 Data Types You Can Use for Lead Scoring
Once you know whether you can use lead scoring or not, there are 6 different types of data to use when you calculate the lead score:
1) Demographic Information
Are you only selling to a certain type of demographic, like retirees or CIOs? Ask demographic questions in the forms on your landing pages and you can use the leads’ answer to assess if they fall within your target audience. If some form fields are optional, you might award extra points to people who provide that option anyway. Remove outliers from your sales team’s queue by subtracting points for people who don’t arrive in a category you don’t sell to. For example, if you only sell to certain geographic regions, you might want to give a negative to any lead who falls outside the proper bounds of your defined state, zip, country, etc.
2) Company Information
Are you more interested in B2B or B2C organizations? If you’re B2B, are you more interested in selling to a certain industry, size, or type within that given industry? Asking questions like these on your landing pages will enable you to add points for those who fit your target audience with their questions and subtract from those who don’t satisfy what you’re looking for.
3) Online Behavior
The way in which a lead interacts with your website can tell you a lot about how interested they are in buying from you. Look at leads that eventually became customers:
- Which offers did they download?
- How many offers did they download?
- Which pages – and how many – did they visit before a purchase?
Both the number and types of forms and pages are relevant. Giving leads higher scores who visited high value pages (ie, pricing pages) or filled out high value forms (such as a demo request) provides a more accurate assessment of intent. Giving higher scores to leads who visited 30 pages, instead of three, will help you build a better sales funnel. Leads who’ve changed their behavior warrant a different score. Someone who’s stopped visiting your site may no longer be interested – and should have points deducted. How long – 10, 30, 90 days – depends upon your typical sales cycle.
4) Email Engagement
Opting-in to receive emails from your company doesn’t make someone a qualified lead. Open and clickthrough rates, however, will provide a more accurate idea of the individual interest level. Your sales team will appreciate knowing who opened every email in your lead nurturing series and who always clicked through the offer promotion emails. This way, they can stay focused upon who seems most engaged. Giving a higher lead score to someone who clicked through on high-value emails, such as demo offers, will further flesh out prospects.This is all about details.
5) Social Engagement
How much engagement a lead shows with your brand on social networks can also give you an idea of how interested they are. How many times did they click through on company Facebook posts or tweets. Did they share those posts? Retweet? Awarding those have engaged at different levels more points is a great idea.
6) Types of Emails
Thinking about and scoring off what types of email addresses your leads use might be very relevant. If you’re selling to businesses, you might take points away for leads who use a Gmail or Yahoo! email addresses.
Difference Between Predictive and Traditional Lead Scoring
Now that we understand some key elements involved in scoring leads, let’s get into the key differences between predictive and traditional lead scoring.
Lead scoring is simply the process of adding and subtracting point values (which you’ve set according to certain properties) that indicate the quality of a potential lead.
For example, if you only sell to technology businesses, someone with an “@gmail” might get five points deducted. And someone who is part of the software industry might get 10 points added because they’re more likely to close. As you add and deduct values you’ve collected from your leads, you will see some have higher score than others. Prioritize these leads with the highest scores. Predictive lead scoring removes the ambiguity from the scoring criterion you’ve established. You don’t have to figure out which properties should be included and how much to weight each property. Nailing down a consistent formula for this can induce serious headaches. A trial and error process is all that remains. Instead, predictive lead scoring uses an algorithm to predict and rank leads as qualified or not qualified.
IKO System predictive lead scoring takes into account these factors:
- Job position, rank in the hierarchy, and decision-making power in the company
- Company firmographics (size, industry, location)
- Quality of contact points (email, direct phone number – the feasibility to reach the lead)
- The lead’s buying signals for an offer similar to yours (public discussions, interviews, preliminary talks with your competitors)
- Buying signals at the corporate level (existing technology or service providers, recruitments, new product launches, investments…)
Even better, the algorithm looks at what your leads and customers have in common, as well as what they do not have in common, automatically shelving the leads that don’t seem to satisfy your criterion. So your sales force can stay focused upon only qualified leads. Furthermore, the sales leverage granted from information surrounding buying signals will translate into increases in sales close rates. Where the IKO System shines is breaking this mold of predictive lead scoring and taking it to the next level. Some businesses demand a more comprehensive set of lead scoring metrics than what’s available for capture on a landing page. A variety of properties may influence a positive or negative rating for your leads. Once you define your business territory in terms of firmographics and demographics, we’ll deliver the results from there. So go ahead: name your competitors and partners. Choose your buying signals. And prepare for instant, invigorating results. In tracking over 60,000 premium access and public sources of information, plus millions of corporate websites, the IKO System is able to detect key patterns and events that signal buying behavior in your company’s territory.
From this, hundreds of buying signals are detected on leads and companies:
- A lead has taken up a new position (likely to launch new projects)
- A new CEO has been appointed (likely new strategies and projects)
- A lead’s department has recruited new employees
- The company already works with a specific service provider (its customers fit your sweet spot)
- The company starts using a technology (complementary to your offer)
- The company launches a new product or service
- The company announces new customers and partnerships
- The company experiences hacking/security attempts or data leaks
This sort of proprietary, private, and massive data analysis is the power of IKO System’s predictive lead generation solution. Our machine learning algorithms are constantly customizing and improving the quality of your buying signals and lead scores. The more information you provide to the system, the better it gets.
IKO System leads convert 8x more than standard prospected leads
This makes our technology perfect for companies aiming to streamline and maximize their sales funnel. Our clients place a premium on having their sales team available to satisfy the demands of a sustainable and conversion-heavy sales pipeline. A productive sales machine simply does not accommodate the process of calculating, scoring, and chasing down leads which may prove to be worthless. Contacts do not count, only sales count. The number of emails in your list of prospects is a vanity metric. Predictive lead scoring can bring your sales reps in closer and more consistent engagement with qualified leads to trigger an inbound sales meeting. Without any install and a quick set-up, your sales reps and sales funnel will thank you for using the easy integrated SaaS interface. A one click install is all that’s required to bring your best leads to the forefront of your sales funnel.
Ultimately, lead scoring is about placing an emphasis on efficiency. Efficiency within the larger organization, and an individual efficiency when it comes down to the workload or individual sales reps. Whether you utilize standard or predictive lead scoring, realizing that you’re not subject to scattershot prospecting is most important. Certain companies will choose to shine a flashlight in the darkness to reliably achieve a full sales funnel and maximize their conversion rates on cold email outreach. At the very least, every company with sufficient data, and experience in the market, would do well to weigh their options. PS – IKO System is set to receive a serious upgrade. With a new automated response platform coming soon, our clients will be able to send valuable, personalized email scenarios to their best leads without the hassle of scheduling and customizing each outreach opportunity. With engagement metrics on both inbound and outbound leads, the IKO System lead generation solution is taking the process of prospecting its most efficient and productive level yet.Don’t forget to download our easy 4 Step PDF for calculating your own lead scores (without using a calculator).