Lead Scoring is an important feature of any marketing automation solution available in the market today.
The advantages of lead scoring as professed by the marketing automation companies are mainly two -
1. The feature is considered important because it helps companies filter the good/warm leads from the good/cold leads. This selection is based on the behavior of the lead while browsing a company website, against the criteria set by the marketing and sales teams – on what they think would be their ideal lead.
2. The process also helps with prioritization of these leads. Depending on the scores earned by the lead, the marketing team can decide if the lead is sale ready and should be forwarded to the sales team or should it be put on hold for further observation and activity.
Two very important aspects of lead scoring that is often overlooked by most who use this process, is its role in defining the lead nurturing process and developing a more customized lead screening system.
Lead scoring for customized lead nurturing
Since the leads are scored basis their behavior on the website and the number of activities they undertake, like downloading a whitepaper, or viewing the product demo, responding to an email etc. the score gives a fair idea of the stage of decision making the lead is in. Once that is known it is very easy for those planning to nurture a lead to come up with a lead nurturing plan for the not so sale-ready leads.
Scoring records every activity performed by the lead on the company website – it gives a very detailed view of the kind of content the lead is looking for. As B2B marketers we are aware of the various lead nurturing materials like whitepapers, case studies, podcasts, webinars etc. but what we often find difficult to decide, is on when to send one or more of these materials to the lead, ensuring a positive response, while pushing the lead closer to conversion.
The scoring process can help the marketing teams in setting up a reach-out calendar for each lead, based on their last activity on the site.
For eg: If a lead has downloaded a whitepaper on a certain topic, the lead nurturing team can plan on calling the prospect for a Webinar on a similar topic as it might interest him. Similarly if a lead has opted for the newsletter, they can decide to send him an email on an ongoing discount offer on some of their products.
The bottom line is, if you see lead scoring as an information provider and future action indicator for your lead nurturing program, the scoring process becomes more useful and necessary.
Lead Scoring for better lead lifecycle management
Lead scores in the long run can be and should be used to derive some statistical data, which helps in setting up the right criteria for your leads.
If the year long data of all the leads captured, their different behavioral activities till they got converted into sales can be analyzed – it will help find a behavioral pattern. Some clear indicators on how a good prospect behaves and which nurturing activities work better than the rest. This insight is useful both to the marketing and sales teams in any company. It paves the road for more informed and tested lead lifecycle management.
It’s a whole lot of relevant data out there that is getting captured day in and day out.
Companies need to take into account the bigger picture when scoring their leads. The process should be geared towards improving sales conversions, using more tried and tested mechanisms which are customized to suit the needs of the company and its customers.
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