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Are you looking to better qualify your prospects? Set up a lead scoring process.
Do you want to send the right content at the right moment every time? Set up a lead scoring process.
Do you dream of minimizing friction points with your prospects and increasing your conversion rate? You know the drill.
Many of LaGrowthMachine’s clients have implemented customized lead scoring methodologies, allowing them to precisely optimize their workflow.
The result: more responsiveness for more efficiency.
What is lead scoring? How to measure and implement it? What are the right tools for a good lead scoring strategy?
Follow our guide to understand the process, learn how to implement it, and avoid missing out on potential deals.
What is lead scoring?
Lead scoring is a rating process, nowadays largely automated. It makes it easy for you to accurately measure the progress of your potential customers in a predefined buying cycle. Thus, you can see, at a glance, at what stage of the funnel (and at what level of maturity) your lead is.
How to qualify leads efficiently?
We’ve written an amazing post that explains a very detailed process to use lead scoring for your B2B routine to get great result with your lead gen!
In this post, you’ll learn:
- What are the best method to qualify lead;
- How and why to automate this process;
- Some use-case and example that are proven to work!
Its application allows you to determine the maturity of a prospect and its adequacy with your buyer personas, established during the implementation of your sales strategy.
Why do you need lead scoring?
If you are reading this article on lead scoring, we assume you are already familiar with the basics of inbound marketing and lead gen strategies.
If this is not the case, I invite you to check out our guide to everything you need to know about lead generation.
The best time to implement a lead scoring method is when your business has reached its maturity phase.
At this time, you are receiving several dozen leads per week. Without proper follow-up, you risk being overwhelmed and losing customers.
To optimize the conversion rate of your prospects, you must accompany them at each step of your sales funnel.
At each step, you must provide dedicated content. This content must be appropriate to renew your lead’s interest in your services. It can be a resource to consult, a follow-up email, etc…
You must catch their attention and keep them on your website until they are convinced that you are the right solution to their problems.
If you trigger the act of purchase too early, you will most likely lose the trust you have established with your prospect. If they are not yet ready to open their wallet or not fully convinced that they need your services, you risk scaring them away.
That’s why it is essential to identify the “warmth” of your leads. This is precisely what lead scoring is all about.
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Prioritizing your leads
The hotter a lead is, the more likely they are to become a customer.
This is what will differentiate your Marketing Qualified Lead from your Sales Qualified Lead. When a lead goes from MQL to SQL status, it’s the sales team’s turn to interact to make the sale.
To avoid wasting your team’s time, it is therefore essential to determine beforehand whether you are dealing with hot leads, cold leads or leads that are no longer workable.
This way you avoid frustrating your sales and marketing teams.
What are the objectives of lead scoring?
Awarding points is all well and good. But what’s the point? Simply to enrich your database and optimize your conversion rate.
3 main goals stand out:
- Create and refine your nurturing strategies to offer the right content at the right time
- Define precise call-to-actions that will move your prospect to the next step in your conversion funnel
- Improve lead keeping with an efficient end-to-end workflow
Now you are familiar with the concept of lead scoring. The theory is cool. But what about practice?
On what criteria should you base your lead scoring?
There’s no point in rushing, you have to map it out. First of all, map the user path and identify the actions that your prospects will perform on your website. For this, you can refer to our article on lead marketing.
Whether they are in the interest, engagement or exploration phase, they must interact at some point with the content you will provide them.
For each interaction, assign points. We will come back to this point below.
First of all, let’s see how to accurately define the maturity level of a lead, based on various criteria:
Behavioral lead scoring
This is simply the way your prospect consumes information on your website. For each action they take, your system will give them higher or lower points.
Here are some examples of behaviors to “reward”:
- Downloading a dedicated tool (white paper, infographic, template…)
- Subscribing to a newsletter
- Reading a blog article
- Opening the Linkedin message
- Opening the email
- Scheduling an appointment
Demographic lead scoring
More vague than behavioral lead scoring, it consists of assigning points according to the data collected on your prospect.
The more closely it matches your buyer persona, the higher its score will be. Here are some criteria to take into account
- Hierarchical level
- Seniority in the company
- Field of activity
- Geographical area
- Company size…
Social media engagement
Many companies do not take the time to analyze their social media results. Just looking at the number of likes or comments is not enough.
It is also wise to look at the so-called “dark social” data, that is to say, all the data that do not necessarily appear on the news feed.
The equation is simple, the more a user of a social media platform is interested and engaged with your content, the more likely they are to appreciate your brand universe.
Unless it’s a troll. In that case, run away.
Overall, take into account:
- The classic metrics (likes, comments, shares)
- Messages received in internal inboxes
- “Superfan” badges on certain platforms
- The frequency with which John Smith interacts with your content
Like social networks, online reviews are an excellent way to test and measure your prospects’ interest in your services.
To give you an idea of where to look for feedback on your business:
- Google Reviews, the most popular
- Trustpilot, to connect with your CRM
- Facebook reviews
- Verified Reviews
The idea is to give positive points to reviews that praise your business and to take some away from those that complain about it. It makes sense.
This is a little more precise than the previous points, but it is an excellent indicator of your email lead generation health, and in turn, your audience’s interest in a given subject.
Check the click rates and open rates of your emails to judge their relevance.
It’s up to you to rank the importance given to each type of content. In my opinion, an open prospection email will have more weight than a basic newsletter.
You can even go further by detailing email address by email address and the degree of activity of each lead.
Quite time-consuming, certainly, but effective.
Analysis of your database
To make sure you don’t waste time, clean your databases regularly.
We have all given in to the urge to fill in a form with:
- A junk email address
- A random date of birth
- A made-up first or last name
- A non-existent company
Take a look and cross off your lists the data that seems the most unlikely.
Elon Musk or Tim Cook are unlikely to be interested in your lead nurturing strategy, sorry.
How do you measure a lead’s score?
Once you have identified and analyzed all your data, you have a broad enough overview to assign points to them.
When faced with so much data, it’s normal to feel dizzy. The FOMO becomes persistent, you are afraid to miss the crucial information that would increase your company’s growth tenfold.
That said, if you are hesitant, it is better to set up a “basic” lead scoring process before trying to refine it. Assign points to the most common actions before dividing them into categories.
Still not getting it? Let’s take the example of an agency specializing in content marketing. We’ll call it Words.
Its goal is to conquer a new market of small and medium-sized businesses that do not pay enough attention to their content strategies.
Words uses several levers:
- A display campaign
- Facebook Ads
- A landing page offering a white paper on content 101
- An automated thank-you email (for downloading the white paper)
- A phone call proposal included with the email to discuss the client’s issues
- A prospection process on Linkedin
- A regular newsletter about tips on how to become a great email copywriter
- Blog articles on content marketing
For each lever and action performed by a lead, Words awards points. If a prospect:
- Clicks on a Google Ad: 10 points
- Clicks on a Facebook Ad: 10 points
- Goes to the landing page: 5 points
- Downloads the white paper and fills in their contact details: 20 points
- Prospect clicks on the Call To Action to get a phone appointment: 30 points
- Subscribes to the newsletter: 15 points
- Unsubscribes from the newsletter: – 25 points
- Reads a blog post: 3 points
- Clicks on a CTA redirecting to the product: 10 points
- Abandons their cart: – 15 points
- Uses Words’ services: 50 points
- Leaves a positive review: 15 points
- Leaves a negative review: – 30 points
Quick tip 💡
The frequency of sending a newsletter varies greatly depending on the type of content you offer. You will not apply the same frequency between a theme-based newsletter (“every week, a new tip on copywriting”) and a promotional newsletter (“our training is at a special 70% discount right now!”).
In your software, your leads are assigned a total of points, which allows you to categorize them.
It’s up to you to choose the most efficient solution. To simplify your task, I recommend that you separate them into two categories. Let’s go back to the Words example:
- From 0 to 100 points: your prospect is still an MQL. They are interested in your products, but still too cold to take action.
- 100 points and more: They are now an SQL. They are now in the hands of the sales department. The latter relies on all the data collected to finalize the sale.
You can also choose to distribute your leads according to score scales (from 0 to 30 points, from 30 points to 50 points, from 50 points to 70 points, etc.).
More precise, but less clear for the transmission of leads to sales.
What are the tools for lead scoring?
You now know almost everything about lead scoring. The last step; choose the right tool to help you.
Here are the ones we can recommend to you:
- Hubspot: Its low cost of use and its multiple facets make it one of the most popular tools of the moment. It allows the automation of many processes while offering an efficient CRM. It offers a free version, quite limited… and premium versions, expensive but very complete. You can plug it into LaGrowthMachine without any problem.
- PipeDrive: It allows you to set up excellent, customizable sales pipelines. It is an easy-to-use tool. Its packages are exclusively paid. It can also be integrated with LaGrowthMachine.
- SalesForce: This software is known for its ability to build complex sales cycles. Its functionalities can be customized at will, which makes it a very efficient and customized tool.
What you should remember:
If we had to summarize our lead scoring guide in one sentence, this is what we would say: lead scoring is an essential process in any good lead nurturing strategy.
Without lead scoring, you risk missing out on prospects who are ready to become customers… or you risk upsetting prospects who are not yet receptive to your product.
The advantage (or disadvantage, depending on your point of view) is that there is no methodology to learn by heart or laborious process to follow.
It’s up to you to build your own process and assign the points that seem most relevant to your goals.