With inbound marketing driving more leads than ever to marketing departments, finding the best leads can be a huge challenge. Automatically qualifying leads with scoring and grading can save time and resources while increasing close rates and improving sales and marketing alignment. Let’s take a look at how it works.
Grading your inbound leads ensures that the leads being passed from marketing to sales match your company’s ideal customer profile. Leads are automatically evaluated based on a number of implicit factors and assigned a letter grade (A - F). Let's look at a few of the criteria that marketers can use to set up their lead grading system:
If you prioritize leads based on their geography, you can score each lead based on where they are located.
Ensure that you are only marketing and selling to companies that are in one of your targeted industries.
Make sure you are selling to the right person, and that that person is in a position to influence decisions.
Don’t waste time pursuing leads at companies that are too large or too small to use your product.
Lead scoring, when used in tandem with lead grading, can ensure that only the most qualified leads get passed from marketing to sales. A lead score, displayed as a numerical value, indicates how interested leads are in your product or service. By assigning points to the prospect actions you deem the most valuable, like visiting the pricing page or requesting a demo, you can create a score for your leads that will show how active they have been and how high their interest level is. Let’s take a look at a few actions that might affect a lead’s score:
Page Views. Add to a lead's score based on how much engagement they are showing with your website.
Site Searches. Your lead's searches on your site are telling of their priorities and interests.
Downloads. Specific downloads are good indications of the current stage of the buying cycle.
Email Clicks. Email click-throughs can be a good indication of interest from your leads.
Ready to start qualifying your own leads? It's as easy as selecting the criteria that matter to you, and letting automation do the rest. Try it out with the example lead below.
Using a blended scoring and grading model gives you a full picture of your prospects. Take a look at the leads below to see exactly what their score and grade says about them. Also, notice the stars on Emily and Sam? That's how easy lead qualification makes it to pick out the best leads.
Emily is a great fit for your product or service, but either hasn't had time to do any research, or doesn’t know that your product exists yet. This lack of activity is why she has a high grade, but a low score.
Recommended Action: Call her or place her on a nurturing campaign.
Sarah is a student interested in an internship with your company. All of her activity on your site (like browsing your careers page) has given her a great score, but since she is not going to purchase, she receives a low grade.
Recommended Action: Do not assign Sarah to a sales rep.
Chris is enthusiastic about your company, but may not be the best fit for your product. This gives him a decent score, but moderate grade.
Recommended Action: Nurture Chris with a drip campaign to conserve resources.
Sam is a great lead who has been working with your sales team for a while. He has done his research, has a lot of interest in your product, and fits your ideal profile. This gives him a great grade and terrific score.
Recommended Action: Send Sam pricing and bottom-of-funnel resources.
If you're looking to get your hands on even more qualification information, download your free copy of our "Automate Lead Scoring and Grading" white paper. This white paper takes an in depth look at the science of lead qualification and how it can benefit your business.
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