Not all leads are created equal. Yet, when it comes to measuring the value of one lead against another, things can get complicated.
There are many factors to consider and every company has different priorities, making it difficult to define a standard.
In this article, we will show you how to implement lead scoring into your lead management process, helping you prioritize your leads to make the most of every opportunity.
What is lead scoring and why is it important?
Lead scoring means evaluating leads based on specific attributes to determine which are most likely to buy. These attributes are assigned a value and each lead you receive is given a score based on the total of those values.
Lead scoring helps you optimize your sales processes by prioritizing the leads that are most likely to result in won deals. Lead scoring can help you:
- Increase sales efficiency: Focusing your resources on your “hottest” prospects can increase win rates and reduce cycle times.
- Increase marketing efficiency: Knowing what leads are most valuable can help your marketing team create campaigns that target those high-value leads.
- Increase revenue: Lead scoring can help you close more deals. The more deals you close, the more revenue you generate.
- Improve customer experiences: Not all customers are ready to be pitched to. Lead scoring can help you nurture customers according to their needs, leading to a better experience (and better conversion rates on your MQLs).
How to create a lead scoring process in 4 steps
You can create a lead scoring process in four steps:
- Identify the types of sales your team is having the most success with and determine what common attributes they share.
- Assign values to the attributes you identified.
- Implement your lead scoring plan and determine how your team will filter and distribute leads based on lead score.
- Assess and refine your lead scoring process to ensure it remains effective.
Let’s explore these steps one by one.
1. Evaluate your data
To create a lead scoring process, begin by evaluating your sales wins and losses. Don’t go back too far — a year or two is enough.
Analyze the details about each deal, starting with the contact details. You are looking for commonalities in role, title, region, and anything else you can find.
Next, do the same with your accounts. What industry do you get the most wins from? Is there a company size that seems to be right in your wheelhouse?
The more data points you can cross-reference at this stage, the better. You may find some holes in your lead capture process.
Perhaps there are data points you want to have that you don’t collect, or maybe your data is inconsistent. Make a note of these for future improvements.
If you don’t have this kind of data, talk to your sales team to learn what types of companies and personas they are most successful selling to, and have them compile a list of attributes they can identify about their wins.
Some attributes will be obvious, such as manufacturing (an industry attribute), Operations Lead (a role attribute), or the continental US (a regional attribute). Others may be unique to your business, such as age demographic attributes, or language attributes.
The more attributes you can identify as being significant, the better— but don’t worry if you only have a handful to start with. Your lead scoring process is always evolving so your list of attributes will grow over time.
2. Assign values
Once you have determined your key attributes, it’s time to assign them a value. Let’s take a look at an example.
Imagine that during the evaluation phase we were able to identify that we are very successful at selling to companies in manufacturing. We also identified that selling to companies in healthcare is a real challenge.
We might use this information to assign manufacturing a score of +10 and healthcare +1. We can now rank all other industries based on where they fall within these ranges.
When assigning values, begin by identifying what attributes contribute the most to your success and which attributes contribute the least. These will be the goalposts you measure all your other attributes against.
3. Implement your lead scoring process
To implement your new lead scoring process, consider the following questions:
- How will you go about evaluating your lead scores? Will you use a third-party tool or will it be done manually?
- How will you distribute your leads? Is your sales team assigned leads based on the score or do you use other factors such as deal size to determine this? Are leads assigned manually or is this process automated?
- What cadences will you use to follow up with your low-scoring leads? Will you use multiple cadences to address an array of scores?
- What tools will you use to implement your lead scoring process (this may be the single biggest factor in determining the success of your lead scoring process)?
4. Assess and refine
Tracking and evaluating the success of your lead scoring process is an ongoing effort. Begin by asking some basic questions, such as:
- How often will you evaluate your lead scoring process (weekly, monthly, quarterly, etc.)?
- Will you do this manually or will you use lead management software or a CRM (customer relationship management)?
- What metrics will you use to evaluate your success (won deals, opportunity conversion rate, hours saved)?
Try to involve your sales team in this process. Few people know what is working and what isn’t better than the boots on the ground.
Use the information you gather to adjust the values of your attributes, make changes to your lead distribution processes, and adjust your follow-up cadences.
A CRM can help you implement your lead scoring process
When it comes to creating, tracking, and implementing a lead scoring plan, the tools you use will have a big impact. Few tools can compare to the impact of a CRM.
Every stage of your lead scoring and lead management process can be improved with a CRM.
- When evaluating your data, a CRM can help you sort your contacts and accounts with advanced filter options. This saves you time (and headaches) and can help you identify attributes you may not have considered.
- A CRM can also provide you with accurate data about your attributes, allowing you to compare and cross-reference them easily. This helps you make informed decisions as to each lead’s value.
- Implementing your lead scoring process is where a CRM truly shines. Integrating with third-party tools can automate your lead capture and scoring and assign leads to your sales team immediately. This saves your team hours and lowers your lead follow-up time considerably.
- Tracking and evaluating your lead scoring process is also faster, easier, and far more accurate with a CRM. That means you can make improvements right away, ensuring that opportunities are never missed.
FreeAgent can help you implement a winning lead scoring process
FreeAgent knows first-hand the value of an effective lead scoring process.
We can provide you with the tools and expertise you need to begin making the most of your opportunities while improving the workday for your entire team.
To learn more about FreeAgent and all the ways we help businesses like yours succeed, try it free today.