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John Bonini

By John Bonini

Mar 1, 2013


Inbound Sales
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Inbound Sales

Are There Holes in Your Lead Scoring Strategy?

John Bonini

By John Bonini

Mar 1, 2013

Are There Holes in Your Lead Scoring Strategy?

 While lead scoring offers a great opportunity to separate your good leads from the bad ones, it also has the potential to skew your MQL and SQL numbers if not done correctly.

When this happens, it can be just as crippling to you marketing and sales initiatives as having no leadscoring strategy at all.

When using great tools like HubSpot's Custom Lead Grader, it's very easy to jump in head first and get started. I mean, what can it hurt, right? This tool is designed to help the sales process, not inhibit it.

However, there exists several areas in which you can potentially create holes in your lead scoring strategy and actually hurt your sales process.

If you're interested in learning more about developing an accurate lead scoring strategy, be sure to check out our new ebook, "The B2B Marketers Checklist for Accurate Lead Scoring."

How Do I Know if My Lead Scoring Strategy Has Holes In It?

One of the great things about lead scoring is that, when done correctly, all you need is a lead's score in order to qualify them. However, if you have holes in your strategy, your pool of qualified leads will surely dry up.

If your lead generation has stayed consistent, or has even increased, yet your sales qualified leads (SQL's) have dried up, this is a tell tale sign that there's a major hole in your lead scoring strategy.

Before you panic, take a step back and take a breath.

Your qualified leads haven't gone anywhere, it has just become harder to identify them due to some inconsistencies in your lead scoring strategy.

Below I've listed three potential scenarios where these inconsistencies can occur.

1. In Conjunction with...

Think about your highest value scores that you're attaching to certain behaviors or information in regards to your leads.

Is there anything else in conjunction with this behavior or information that would make a lead even more qualified?

Often times many B2B companies will attach points to any lead that chooses "CEO" as their job title on a lead capture form. While this is certainly valuable information to know about a lead, it also leaves the door open to accrue more unqualified leads. Does being a CEO automatically mean they're right for you?

What if you scored for a CEO that has also viewed your pricing page? This ensures that once again, only the best leads are being delivered to your sales team.

While a single action or piece of information may be valuable on its own, where HubSpot's Lead Grader really shines is in its ability to couple actions with other pieces of information to ensure that the proverbial cream really does rise to the top.

So take a look back at your lead scoring and try to identify areas where some "conjunction behavior" can greatly enhance the results of your scores.

2. Point Consistency

Is there a method to your madness?

Rather than blindly developing your scoring strategy, ensure that you have some sort of organized structure in place that makes sense.

I know what you're thinking, "If I were a mathematician, I'd be in a lab somewhere making up new rules to drive a new generation of students crazy."

Believe me, I'd be doing the same.

But your scoring structure doesn't need to read like a Stephen Hawking novel. Instead, keep your scores in intervals of 5's and 10's. Even more important however, is ensuring that there's consistency among the different actions you're scoring.

For instance, if you're awarding 10 points for a lead with one form submission, and 50 points for leads with three form submissions, where's the consistency?

This leaves the door open for not only holding some of your leads back, but also passing more leads toward sales-ready status who may not be.

3. Be Careful with Deductions

HubSpot's Lead Grader also enables users to deduct points from leads when certain actions or information is given.

For instance, if an agency only wants to work with CEO's, and a lead chooses "sales rep" as their job title, you can deduct points to ensure they never become a qualified lead in order to avoid wasting your sales team's time.

However, be careful with this feature, as often times you can be stunting the growth of a potentially great lead. As a result, this is the main culprit for seeing a dry spell in your SQL's.

For instance, I've heard of prospects deducting 10 points for leads that have only one form submission, as they argue this suggests a lack of engagement. While this may be true, don't all leads, even ones who go on to five form submissions, start by having only one?

This means all leads were starting at -10, already behind the 8 ball.

If you approach your point deductions this way, it could be a while before a lead reaches SQL status by your standards. However, they may actually be sales qualified much sooner.

It's this inconsistency that needs to be closely monitored and adjusted over time.

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