5 Best Practices for a Successful Lead Scoring Model

A few weeks ago, we wrote a post explaining some of the most common scoring and grading scenarios that B2B companies might encounter when setting up a lead qualification model — and how to handle the different combinations of lead scores and grades.

Today, we’d like to build upon that discussion by offering up some essential lead scoring best practices. According to a 2015 study by Spear Marketing, 68% of B2B marketers are employing both behavioral and demographic scoring. It’s an encouraging statistic, but as the study further divulged, not all marketers are getting the most out of their lead scoring systems.

68% of B2B marketers are employing both behavioral and demographic scoring. Tweet This.

Taking your lead scoring model to the next level by employing some of the following best practices can really help improve sales productivity and the health of your sales funnel — not to mention go a long way toward patching up tensions between marketing and sales. Take a look!

1. Use negative scoring and score degradation.

As we discussed in our last post, one of the drawbacks to a model that relies on scoring alone 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 activities indefinitely over a period of months or years, 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 certain criteria you specify (for example, a score reduction after X amount of time has passed since the lead was generated). Similarly, negative scoring can be used to dock points from leads who visit your careers page or are inactive for a specified period of time.

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 products B and C into account, it may not reflect their high interest level, and the lead may not get the attention from sales that they deserve.

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. Are there certain pages on your site that you consider 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. Tweet This.

5. Don’t assign points for every email open.

While en 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.

What other scoring best practices have you employed at your business? Let us know in the comments!