6 Ways You’re Doing Lead Scoring Wrong

6 Ways You’re Doing Lead Scoring Wrong

With lead scoring marketing, companies need to compile data into a series of rules that determine how valuable a lead is to your business. However, scoring leads isn’t always easy or straightforward, especially when you’re relying on behavioural data.

In order to create a successful lead scoring model, sales and marketing need to align their understanding of what a Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL) is. Communication between sales and marketing needs to come first, as their success is dependent on how the other treats their leads. For instance, 23% of salespeople said the thing they need most from their marketing team is “better quality leads”, while 15% ranked “more leads” as their top need from marketers. On the other hand, 30% of marketers ranked “consistent use of systems” as their top need from their sales teams, and 22% said “better lead follow-up.” When sales teams don’t trust the lead scoring metrics used by marketing, prospects will inevitably fall through the cracks.

To ensure that you don’t lose prospects and therefore, sales, here are 6 common lead scoring mistakes to avoid:

Using the same score for different lead sources

Where your lead comes from is valuable information that needs to be considered and scored accordingly. Leads can be sourced from web forums, email marketing, social media, referrals, direct marketing, etc. and depending on their level of engagement, should be rated differently. In order to rank lead sources differently, you’ll need to identify your highest performing areas and score them by creating a hierarchy. You can do this by segmenting your lead sources and assigning them individual scores for web activity.

Using simple actions to generate behavioural indicators

Your prospects will all interact and engage differently with your brand. Certain prospect interactions, however, should receive higher points than others. For example, measuring email open rates is one of the most effective ways to monitor lead activity. A lead who opens your email as opposed to a lead who downloads your free resources should not be scored the same. You can do this by segmenting behavioural interactions for your leads and determining which lead activities impact lead conversion rates the most.

Not utilising negative scores

If your leads become inactive for a sustained period of time, then you should assign them a negative point value to indicate their idleness. A negative lead score will encourage marketing to return to that lead and try to get them to engage. On the other hand, if a lead performs a positive action by attending your webinar, or subscribing to your newsletter, then you should increase their score but only temporarily. If you don’t frequently reassess your lead scores, it will result in lead score inflation and will therefore be an inaccurate gauge of purchasing intent. You can do this by setting expiration dates on all positive lead scores, to track the relevant short-term positive engagements.

Considering demographic and behaviour scores separately

Your leads’ demographic score will determine how qualified they are to enter your sales funnel, whereas their behaviour score estimates their sales-readiness. Marketers shouldn’t only focus on behaviour scores, because that pushes leads as MQL to the sales team, usually resulting in underqualified leads. You can fix this by creating a minimum MQL threshold for both the demographic and behavioural score. Or, you can add the demographic and behavioural scores together creating an aggregate score which can be used to determine MQL readiness.

Ignoring lead disposition

To save time and maximise resources, sales teams shouldn’t be spending a significant amount of time marking off bad leads. Leads that are considered bad shouldn’t be scored by marketing in the first place, to prevent them from reaching sales teams and clogging up your funnel. You can fix this by creating detailed dispositions in your CRM that distinguish between “bad” data. Based on your findings, regularly update the filters in your demographic scoring campaigns.

Focusing solely on hot leads

Sales teams need to focus on both the qualification of a lead and their interest level to properly gauge a lead’s probability of conversion. A lead might have a high score only because they hold a relevant position in a billion-dollar organisation, not because they have a history of engaging with your brand. Oftentimes, leads with an average score are more likely to convert than leads with a high score.

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