Before you develop a lead scoring program, you must first realize that not all leads are created equal. The best way to nurture leads is via buyer personas and by understanding where your leads fall on the buyers’ journey.
Once you have a better understanding of your ideal buyers, you can create steps to a successful lead scoring system. Buyer personas and leads not only increase your ROI, but they also help keep your content fresh and relevant.
1. System Setup
Creating a lead scoring system can seems daunting, but once you put the parameters in place it will make sense. The scoring system is based on your buyers, where they are in the decision-making stage, and what data you want to measure. From there, individuals are typically awarded points based on demographics and interactions with your business; like reading an email or responding to a CTA.
When determining the criteria for lead scoring it is really up to you and your marketing and sales teams. Once you decide what data you need, make sure you set up forms and procedures to properly collect it.
2. Common Characteristics
When setting up profiles, you want to group buyers together by common characteristics, such as size of business or industry. You can also look at your current customer database and look for similarities. For example, are most of your customers all from the same geographic region or size business? From there, you can further detail demographic information and score accordingly.
3. Persona Points
Here is where you drill down further and determine the actual points you want to award per criterion. Be sure to think about what you must have (classification) versus what you would like (qualification). Remember the point system does not have to be complicated, you can simply assign points in 5 or 10 point increments, such as 5, 10, 15 or 10, 20, 30 based on what works best for you. So if you are seeking high-level executives who own their own law firms and have direct purchase power you would assign them a higher number.
4. Buyers and Behaviors
When scoring behaviors, you want to base the numbers on importance and what the behavior indicates (prioritization). If a lead takes the time to fill out a 10-question form in return for a free e-book download, that is worth more than a lead who clicked through from an email. That doesn’t mean they aren’t both important, but it can indicated that one of them is a more serious buyer. This goes for site visits, email inquiries, and other lead potential behaviors as well.
HubSpot recommends scoring like this: classification = 1000 points, qualification = 100 points and prioritization = 1-99 points. Whereas others, such as Act-On, recommend scoring in 5 point increments. Remember, while these are both great recommendations, don’t balk if you have a different point scoring system—it is critical that you find a system that works for you.
5. Tallying it up
Once you have a model in place you can start scoring leads. If you are using an automated marketing platform, you can integrate your point scoring system into it so that the point accrue is automatically based on your criteria. Be flexible when you embark on a lead scoring system as you may need to make adjustments once you start using it.
Remember the intent is to measure a prospects readiness to buy and customize your marketing and sales approach based on this information—determined through demographics, behavior, and prioritization. And, the best way to increase behavior and prioritization is through high-quality content.
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