Not all leads are equally valuable. Some are more likely to convert to paying customers if they are further along in the sales funnel, so they need less incentive to finally buy. Others are more likely to buy your most profitable items. The question for many businesses is how to determine which leads are their best leads so they know where to focus their time and effort. Let’s discuss how to use lead scoring to identify your best leads.
An Introduction To Lead Scoring:
Lead scoring assigns a score to each contact. That score reflects their level of interest and their conversion potential. It is a measure of the odds they’ll convert to a paying customer. A good lead scoring system will measure both how interested they are in your company and how good a fit they are for your product or service. For example, people who are interested but not likely to buy should have a low score, while those who are both interested and fit your customer demographic should have, on average, a higher score.
Those who fill in contact forms or download company white papers are among the highest scoring leads, since they’ve proven they want to be contacted. The best lead tracking systems will also capture information such as customer inquiries via phone calls or visits. Anything and everything that shows that a lead is aware of and interested in your brand should contribute to their lead score going up.
If your business serves a particular area, then local customers should score higher than those who are outside of your service area. If your product or service is expensive, then prospects who have an appropriate budget should receive a higher lead score. This could be the individual’s income or the small business’s revenue. There’s no point selling to people who would buy if they could but don’t have the money. This means that the lead scoring model for your particular situation will depend on your ideal customer profile and your industry.
It is recommended to use a simple lead scoring system with 100 as the top score. Everyone is already familiar with 100 being a high or perfect score. A scoring system of 100 allows sales teams to gauge moderately hot from very hot prospects without making the whole system too complicated. A score of 70 to 100 points would indicate someone as a hot lead. A score of 50 would be a warm lead. A lead score of less than 30 is obviously cold, and your team would know that it probably isn’t worth contacting them.
The Financial Benefits Of Lead Scoring:
Let’s be honest – your business does not have the time and money to chase people who almost certainly won’t buy something. On the flipside, investing time and effort with your best leads, those with the highest lead score, will maximize the return on investment of the effort.
You can use automated systems to maintain and update each client’s lead score. For example, the score should go up if they’re regularly reading your email marketing and clicking on the links in those messages. Their score would go up if they follow links to your business’s website. Automated systems can be set up so that they automatically send notifications to sales people when someone’s score becomes “hot”. Then your sales team will focus its effort on people who are progressing down the sales funnel before they could be lured by someone else, and they won’t waste time on unlikely prospects.
The Social Benefits Of Lead Scoring:
Customers and would-be customers don’t want to feel like they’re being sold to. You’ll alienate potential customers if you send them acquisition focused messages when they aren’t at that point. If you don’t take the time to implement lead scoring, nurturing or guiding those who are somewhat cold towards buying will kill those potential prospects and hurt your business’s reputation.
Another side benefit of lead scoring is that you’ll keep your sales team’s morale up. If they are only contacting qualified, hot leads, their conversion rate will be high. They won’t get worn down calling cold prospects who get angry or upset at being called.
Considerations When Setting Up A Lead Scoring System:
A lead scoring system may take time to get right. For example, you might put too much weight on opening emails versus calling the firm or showing up at a trade show. If the wrong factors are given too much weight, your team could invest time in calling hot leads that aren’t interested or never actually interacted with the business. You could adjust your scoring system by giving more weight to those who fill out surveys about themselves and prove they fit your ideal customer demographics. You should give more points to those who open a clearly promotional email over those who open a general newsletter. Give them extra points if they click a link inside an email.
Lead scoring systems provide a clear measure of the value of each potential contact. When combined with other data sources, they help you contact leads with personalized messages at the right time, maximizing the odds they’ll buy.