How To Create An Effective Lead Scoring Strategy

November 13, 2013 Aaliyah Madadi

You’re doing a good job funneling people onto your website through your inbound marketing efforts. They’re reading your content, checking out your pricing page, downloading your eBooks, and signing up for free trials. But wouldn’t it be great if you knew exactly which of these leads were highly qualified “Hot Leads”? You know — the type of leads that are so qualified they warrant being passed on to your sales team immediately? Luckily, that’s exactly where your marketing automation software’s lead scoring comes into play. In this post, I’m going to walk through my experience of creating and implementing Uberflip’s lead scoring strategy along with some of the best practices I’ve learned along the way. Let’s dive in!

Step 1: Identify Your “Hot Leads” Criteria

This step is definitely the most strategic and the most important – before you can create an effective lead scoring strategy, you need to understand all of the criteria that comprise your ideal customer. How frequently do they engage with your content? Which website pages do they frequent the most? Which industry are they in and how big is the company they work at? Do they have a junior, mid-level, or senior level position within the company? The answers to questions like these will help you segment your audience and identify those leads that are highly qualified.

Here’s a list of criteria you might segment your leads based on:

Lead profile

  • Job title
  • Industry
  • Company size
  • Budget size

Content-based

  • Number of times they read a blog piece
  • eBook downloads
  • Watched webinars/tutorials

Interest in your company

  • Viewed pricing page
  • Viewed features page
  • Signed up for free trial
  • Requested a demo
  • Opening/clicking links in your emails

It’s a good idea to sit down with your sales team and ask them to profile the characteristics of the last 10 leads they closed.

It’s also important to note however, that while your sales team is a good place to start for gaining intel on lead scoring, they may be getting a lot of their leads through outbound strategies that can’t be properly measured through your marketing automation software. As such, don’t get stuck on the processes your sales team used to acquire the lead, but rather on understanding the profile of their ideal lead.

Step 2: Time to Score

This is the stage where lead scoring can quickly become inefficient and messy. You might be tempted to pick arbitrary numbers for your different lead scoring criteria (i.e. someone with “Director” in their job title gets 20 points). But from my experience, it’s best to keep it simple.

I created a chart like this one:

And then based on discussions with our sales team, I ranked an action based on how it related to our ideal customer. For example, anyone who visits our blog or downloads an eBook gets 1 point whereas someone with a job title containing the words ‘marketing’, ‘content’, ‘director’, ‘VP’, ‘Founder’ (etc…) gets 3 points. See below for a breakdown of the criteria we used:

Once we had the actions broken down, I proceeded to answer the question: “how many of these actions would one person have to take in order to be deemed a ‘hot lead’?” I figured that if anyone took two of the actions in bucket ‘3’ for a total of 6 points, it’d be worthwhile to pass them along to sales. When I played with the criteria, it appeared that any combination of a lead accruing 6 points would be worthy of a follow-up by our sales team.

As such, we decided to go with a benchmark of 6 points as our “hot leads” criteria.

Step 3: Pass Along to Sales

In HubSpot, I created a Smart List that captures any contact with a HubSpot Lead Score of 6 or more. This list gets emailed to our sales team who can then pursue the contacts. HubSpot is also linked to Salesforce so our sales team can gain insight into lead scores on their own.

It’s important to note that lead scoring is an iterative process that should be continually monitored and adjusted over time. Touch base with your sales team, ask them if the leads being captured by lead scoring are actually qualified or if it needs to be more targeted, and then make changes where necessary. Over time, you’ll find the sweet spot of what works for your company.

What are your experiences with lead scoring? Got any more tips to share? Let us know in the comments!

Learn more about how to generate, nurture and convert leads by checking out this step-by-step post on using Uberflip and HubSpot together.

About the Author

After graduating from the HBA program at the Richard Ivey School of Business, Aaliyah launched her career as Marketing Coordinator at Uberflip! Prior to her HBA, Aaliyah also completed a Bachelor in English at Western University.

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