Many marketers are still evaluated based on the number of leads provided to sales. Most of the time, the leads are handed off to sales with the expectation that all the leads will be called.
However, after a few lead follow up calls, sales often determines that many of the leads are "junk" (i.e. not ideal prospects who were ready to buy).
That's when the counter-productive finger pointing starts between marketing and sales. And it puts an enormous strain on sales as they spend a lot of time with bad leads and not enough time with good leads.
Lead scoring is beginning to change all that.
In an Eloqua eBook, lead scoring is defined:
"...an objective ranking of one sales lead against another. This not only helps align the right follow-up to the corresponding inquiry, it also helps marketing and sales professionals identify where each prospect is in the buying process."
One of the many benefits of lead scoring is that it improves the alignment and collaboration between marketing and sales. For lead scoring to work, both teams must jointly establish an objective definition of a quality lead. Additionally, in lead scoring, sales feedback on the lead quality is systematically provided to marketing so that adjustments can be made on lead acquisition and scoring.
Lead Scoring Works:
The ascent of lead scoring parallels the evolving way that B2B customers buy. In the past, buyers had to interact with sales early in the product research process. Consequently, sales could exert more influence over a longer portion of the buying cycle.
Now, buyers start their information-gathering long before they first contact the prospective seller. Buyers are turning to the web to download whitepapers and case studies, reading company reviews, and reaching out via social media to gague the opinions and experiences of others. Several studies have indicated that buyers can be two-thirds of the way through their research before they first engage with a seller.
To keep up with the new buying process, lead scoring systems consider two types of data: 1) explicit data like job title, company revenue, industry, etc. and 2) engagement data like how frequently a prospect interacts with your company and what areas of your website they are visiting and what content they are downloading.
To get started, Eloqua suggests a few steps to define lead scores:
To determine the engagement scores, measure behavioral data or "digital body language":
Lead scoring best practices:
Click here to download a copy of "The Grande Guide to Lead Scoring" or view the SlideShare presentation below.