Optimize Get your lead generation funnel on Steroids!
If you have a lead generation funnel working for your business that is already performing well, kudos! Your following thoughts will lie in the general direction of fully optimizing this funnel and scaling it to the next level! Look no further than lead scoring – it has all the answers thy seeketh!
One Big Problem With Lead Generation Funnels
Generating leads that convert into customers is excellent. But you probably realize by now that “all leads are not created equal.”
Everyone does not share the same level of interest in purchasing your product. Some visitors come in with high intent to buy, while others are just there to look around. They will possibly buy too, but just not yet.
You have limited sales and marketing resources to nurture these prospects. So if you don’t find a way to quickly discover who needs attention and care now (“the high intent to buy” crowd) and who is okay with being served last, you are likely to get overwhelmed pretty quickly.
Long story short, you want to spend most of your time nurturing customers who’ve visited your pricing page rather than someone else who has merely commented on your Youtube video.
Can we do that?
What is Lead Scoring?
Lead scoring is the simple system of assigning points to ALL of your leads. Say on a scale between 0-100.
And you want to do this for several attributes so that each lead ends up having a numeric score. These attributes could be different for each business.
E.g., You want to assign more points to someone asking for a Free Trial of your product than someone who has not even opened your email newsletter.
The simple idea is that the higher the score, the more likely that lead is to end up buying your product.
Now, suppose you can spot these “valuable” gems from the sea of leads that you have been processing in First In First Out (FIFO) so far. In that case, you will quickly see how leads scoring solves a practical problem – that of optimizing your lead generation funnel performance.
Benefits of Implementing Lead Scoring For Your Funnel
Lead scoring helps you rank prospects in accordance with their buying intent, and in the process, identify higher quality leads.
Understanding which leads are more likely to convert will save you time and improve your bottom line.
Some of the significant benefits to using prospect scoring are as follows:
Measure ROI – You can measure the ROI of your marketing efforts using lead scoring. You can determine which channels and programs are producing better quality leads. It helps you make informed decisions about where to reinvest your marketing dollars.
Balance – Ensures optimal alignment between the Sales and Marketing divisions. Every lead is a number now. Leads with a score above a particular threshold need to be handed off to Sales. As simple as that.
Sales Efficiency – Increased Sales team productivity and efficiency by getting more conversions/ revenue for the same effort.
Increased Revenue – Your limited resources are now directed towards leads with the highest probability of converting. Without investing more, you are getting more juice out of your existing lead generation funnels.
You get to understand who’s ready to buy now. Those who are not yet prepared need some more lead nurturing.
When it comes to marketing automation lead scoring is an absolute must-have as it helps you get better results for the same efforts.
Common Lead Scoring Attributes
Visitors who provide essential contact information are often more interested in purchasing from your company, indicating that they have a high probability of completing a contract.
E.g., You might want to consider awarding extra points to leads that provide their phone number, even if the only required fields are first name, last name, and email address.
Based on Location
Is your business limited to a particular region? E.g., maybe you don’t cater to outside-of-state orders. If yes, mark such leads with a negative score as the probability of them converting is very bleak.
Depending upon how a visitor engages with your digital assets, you may classify them as valuable leads or not.
E.g., someone downloading a product manual or visiting your website’s pricing page multiple times needs immediate attention.
A massive chunk of your nurturing will likely happen in non-intrusive ways, e.g., email marketing. Now again, you will need to analyze Open Rates and Click through behavior patterns to understand who wants to hear from you more often.
Someone who has clicked on multiple links spread across an email sequence vs. someone else who has unsubscribed? The choice is clear.
Assign points and quantify the likelihood of them wanting to invest in your product.
Other Lead Scoring Factors
- By Job Title, e.g., A key decision-maker (CXO) in a major enterprise
- By Organization Type, e.g., B2B vs. B2C
- By Organization Budget, e.g., only those above a particular threshold since your product is a high ticket sell.
- By Event Specific Engagement, for e,.g. Someone who has attended your last webinar that spanned over 3 hours!
Essential attributes to your business will be the ones you will end up scoring your leads on.
Also read: Behavioral Segmentation Definition & Examples
How to Find Lead Scoring Attributes
Before starting your lead scoring journey (sometimes also called MQL scoring or Marketing Qualified Lead Scoring), the most crucial step you need to take is to determine which lead scoring attributes you need to score.
Two primary ways to discover lead scoring attributes relevant to your business are as follows:
Analyze the customers you have sold to so far. Compare this with the Buyer Persona document you started with initially. Fill up any gaps based on common characteristics and patterns you see across this data.
If you don’t know much about your existing customers, run interviews (top spending, loyal customers) and surveys (send an email blast to all paying customers) and input all data into a good CRM.
We recommend Sender. It does not only take care of your email marketing needs but also offers you a great way to manage all of your lead information inside of it using customized fields over an easy-to-use interface while offering user-friendly features like subscription form and popup builder.
Here’s a visual illustration of the popup built via Sender form feature:
Ask Your Sales Team
If there is anyone who understands your leads and customers, it is your sales team that is catalyzing their transformation from a casual visitor to a die-hard fan!
Quiz them on what helps them convert leads best.
Ask them about what type of lead converts best.
Trust us on this; the answers you will end up hearing will be worth their weight in gold!
Lead Scoring Practices
Whether you are looking for B2B lead scoring or a solution for B2C, many best practices and mechanisms exist.
Manual Lead Scoring
This is what most businesses do when they are starting out. The pen and paper method is painful, but it will give you tons of insights into eventually designing your lead scoring system.
Logistic Regression Lead Scoring
Using the logistic regression function on Excel, you can calculate the probability of someone wanting to buy from you.
Predictive Lead Scoring
Based on machine learning, this is where you completely automate lead scoring.
Automated lead scoring uses software that works on a predictive model parsing through multiple data points to see what customers have in common, and then it automatically assigns values.
The more and more your lead and customer lists grow, the more learning this model gets and the smarter it becomes, therefore self-optimizing itself
Implementing A Stellar Lead Scoring Models For Your Organization
- Research – Go through your entire customer list manually and list attributes that are common to them.
You can also use any analytics component inbuilt to your CRM to be able to do this.
- Determine Key Attributes – Comparing dominant attributes that many customers share in common with your leads list will tell you which properties indicate possible future conversion.
E.g., age, location, industry size, budget, source of the lead (from a specific social media platform), etc.
Leads from the leads list with these critical properties are possibly more valuable to you than the others.
- Assign Points – The whole point of this exercise is to remove any subjectivity out of the equation.
Depending on how ‘dominant’ or must-have each characteristic is, assign them points. To keep things simple, this could be a scale of 1-10.
- Add up – Now, if you are using your CRM’s in-built feature or external lead scoring plugins, by this point, all of your leads have already been
Design your points structure in a way that the lead with all the dominant properties could have a “perfect score” of 100. It helps keep things straight.
- Define a threshold for Sales handoff – In this step, we define at what score all leads will be handed over to sales since they’ve been nurtured enough or if they have engaged with us enough.
E.g., all lead scores of 60 and above could be called or emailed by the sales team with a great offer.
- Run this as a Living Mechanism – It does not end with this. As you convert more and more leads into paying customers, you will end up having more data that will give you even greater insights.
Change the lead scoring attributes you are looking at or their points allocation, and keep running it as your life depended on it.
Obviously, things can get complex pretty soon with tons of dynamics thrown in, which is why we recommend an AI or systems-driven methodology.
Still, the above is essentially what you need to get started with implementing a simple lead scoring system for your company.
Lead Scoring Keeps Your Funnel Healthy
When it comes to marketing lead scoring improves your focus on those leads, eventually promising better conversions. And when you focus on more of such opportunities, it comes into being that your revenue and profitability soars.