Prioritize with Lead Scoring

This is a brief intro to what lead scoring is and why you should do it. If you are already using lead scoring, I suggest you read 5 Reasons You Need a Lead Score Refresh.

If you are using Marketing Automation, you’ve probably heard the phrase ‘lead scoring’ tossed about. Sure, a good MA platform will allow you to score your leads, but what is lead scoring and why should you do it?

Understanding the customer life cycle is more critical to marketers today than ever before. Thankfully, it’s also easier than ever before and lead scoring is one of the tools you can use in your quest to align your marketing to the needs of your prospects.

At a foundational level, lead scoring helps you identify when a lead is ready to buy. It accomplishes this by allowing you to evaluate your prospects in two primary areas: behavioral and demographic. Within those two areas are any number of potential metrics. For example, some common behavioral measures include web site visits, email clicks, webinar attendance, etc. Demographic measures could include number of employees, revenue, job title and more. The beauty of MA is that it is up to you to decide what measures are important to you. You can also be very specific and nuanced in your definition of these measures. For example, you may assign many points to a lead who visits a ‘Pricing’ page, but a lesser value for someone who visits a different page. What is important here is identifying the kind of behavior that shows someone is ready to buy, as opposed to someone who just really likes your website. Someone could be doing a lot, but if it isn’t the right kind of activity, it isn’t worth counting!

While the open-endedness may seem daunting at first, it’s likely that your Sales and Marketing teams already have a pretty good idea of some of the criteria that make for a good lead. You may even have some of this information formally written up in buyer or user personas.

By applying a scoring framework to these measures, you enable yourself to, at a quick glance, get an idea of how ready to buy any given prospect may be. Further, you can set a score value at which point a lead is deemed Marketing Qualified. This sets you up for great success in your dealings with your sales team. Now, instead of passing to them any lead with a pulse, you can rely on a score to gauge their readiness and pass them to Sales only then.

I think of lead scoring as a quick win when it comes to making the most of your Marketing Automation platform. By making use of knowledge that likely already exists in your organization, you can quickly bring tangible benefit to both the Sales and Marketing teams. For some tips and considerations for setting up lead scoring the first time, check out Emily Salus’ blog post A Practical Guide to Starting with Marketo – Part 3. Or, if you’re ready to start right now, check out Marketo’s Definitive Guide to Lead Scoring, a great resource.