There are some common scoring and grading scenarios that B2B companies may encounter when setting up a lead qualification model. And how to handle the different combinations of lead scores and grades vary from company to company.
According to a study by Spear Marketing, 68% of B2B marketers are employing both behavioral and demographic scoring. The study goes on to highlight that not all marketers are getting the most out of their lead scoring systems.
68% of B2B marketers are employing both behavioral and demographic scoring.
Taking your lead scoring model to the next level by employing some of these best practices can help you improve sales productivity and the overall health of your sales funnel.
Take a look!
1. USE NEGATIVE SCORING AND SCORE DEGRADATION
One of the drawbacks to a model that relies solely on scoring is that scores can become inflated over time.
For example, if a visitor on your site is racking up points from visiting your careers page and downloading content, they may just be a job seeker. Similarly, leads who go on to become customers may continue to accumulate activity indefinitely over a period of time, skewing your list of most active prospects.
According to Spear Marketing, 50% of companies could still benefit from putting a scoring reduction model in place. This can help reduce bias in your scoring system and keep scores in check by reducing lead scores based on specified criteria.
For instance, reducing a score X amount of time after a lead was created is a bit arbitrary and could inadvertently nix a “late bloomer.” Basing score reduction off of inactivity (as mentioned in the second sentence) is a better practice.
2. SET UP SEPARATE LEAD SCORING MODELS
If your company has several different product lines, it may be worth setting up a separate scoring model for each product line.
This will allow you to further define the scores assigned to each prospect, and make sure they accurately reflect a prospect’s interests.
For example, if a prospect interested in product A is being scored using a generic scoring model that takes other products into account, it may not reflect their high interest level for product A, which may avoid them getting the attention they deserve from sales.
3. ESTABLISH A LEAD SCORING THRESHOLD
According to the same study, 46% of B2B marketers have not set up a lead scoring threshold that will automatically alert or route leads to sales. With a marketing automation tool, this can be set up using an automation rule.
Having a threshold in place ensures that leads are only getting assigned when they’ve met a qualification threshold that your sales team has agreed upon.
This makes it easy for sales to prioritize the leads that are most qualified, and takes the guesswork out of lead assignment for the marketing team.
4. CUSTOMIZE YOUR MODEL BASED ON HIGH-VALUE ACTIONS AND WEBPAGES
When it comes to lead scoring, not all activities are made equal.
Do you consider certain pages more “high value,” such as a ‘pricing page’ or ‘contact us’ form? Assign higher point values to these pages so that you can see which of your leads are taking “hand-raising” actions at a glance.
40.7% of B2B marketers do not award higher lead scores to high-value web pages.
5. DON’T ASSIGN POINTS FOR EVERY EMAIL OPEN
While an email open does indicate some measure of engagement with your brand, it’s not the most reliable measure, and can often cause inflated lead scores.
A more telling metric would be submissions or pageviews generated from the email. With a marketing automation tool like Pardot, you can choose to only assign points for the first instance of an email open. Cumulative scoring on email opens is automatically disabled to prevent inflated lead scores.
Currently, only 11.5% of marketers are only scoring based on conversions from emails — the rest are scoring based on a combination of opens, clicks, and conversions.
Lead scoring is a huge help in determining where your sales representatives should spend their time and with what leads to spend it. Learn more about lead scoring success!
This blog post was originally written and posted by Jenna Hanington in 2015, and updated May 2020 by Crystal Garrett.