It’s a great way to align your marketing and sales team around a common set of criteria and prioritize the inbound leads your team gets. The idea is simple: see how many of your criteria each lead fulfills. It’s like having a checklist for the perfect boyfriend. It’s calculated with data and by computers – sounds pretty damn scientific, right? Marketers are expected to tell the system – these are the criteria that the lead score should be based on. One point for visiting a page, two points if the lead is in IT…
The problem with scoring by a checklist of criteria, however, is that we’re never sure if that checklist is right for us. How do you know what criteria matter most? Well, the answer is, you don’t. Do we really need a boyfriend who’s tall, confident, and has a French accent to make us happy? Will a guy like that be likely to (want to) date, and marry us?
The problem with lead scoring is that setting criteria for the score has unfortunately painfully relied on guesswork, requiring marketers to deduce patterns and correlations that may have no scientific basis. The truth is, you may think you like tall, confident guys with a sexy French accent, but from your dating history, it’s clear that it has only ever worked out with nerdy, shy guys who love animals. So instead of dreaming about your checklist, you have a much higher chance for happiness if you look at historical data of past successes. (Ok, let’s forget about the part that you broke up with all your past lovers – the analogy doesn’t apply completely in business, but you get the idea.)
That’s why it is so exciting and super awesome that Hubspot has introduced at Inbound 2015 – predictive lead scoring as one of their new features. They understand that it’s best to leave hard-core computing and algorithms to computers.
What is awesome about the ‘predictive’ in predictive lead scoring is that it takes the guesswork out of scoring. It scans your data and automagically calculates a transparent lead scoring formula for calculating lead scores for your business, based on past sales successes. The best part is, predictive lead scoring often picks up hidden buying signals that would’ve been otherwise missed with traditional lead scoring. (e.g. When you’re focusing on the confidence and the French accent, it may really be the animal-loving quality that you need from your lover.)
The same goes for outbound lead generation. A lot of companies try to research and qualify leads with an ‘ideal client’ profile. But just how ideal is it really? While inbound technologies help score existing leads, outbound lead generation solutions (like IKO in Europe or Leadspace in the U.S.) attack the top of the funnel, applying predictive lead scoring to net new leads.
With predictive lead scoring for inbound and outbound lead generation, marketing is more data-driven and scientific than ever before, and predictable revenue is no longer marketing bullshit. 🙂