Identifying and prioritizing high-quality leads is vital for driving revenue and achieving growth for B2B businesses. What is a driver for finding those high-quality leads? Entering into the field at play: lead scoring.
Lead scoring is an important part of leveraging Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems to streamline your sales process, leading to more of a focus on the most promising opportunities. And when it comes to those within the sales process (and beyond!) — whether it’s your sales reps or strategists on the marketing team — creating efficiencies so that the lead scoring system can become part of an automation is ideal so all parts of the sales funnel and marketing funnel can coexist and run as effectively as possible.
Understanding Lead Scoring Efficiencies
We’ve mentioned the phrase a few times but, what is CRM lead scoring (or, oftentimes simply just lead scoring)? Lead scoring is the process of assigning a numerical value, or score, to potential sales leads based on certain characteristics, behaviors, and engagement with your business.
By incorporating and implementing lead scoring efficiencies, you can identify the possible best leads for your business and prioritize those that have the correct point values from the scoring process that are more likely to be potential customers and subsequently convert, enabling your organization’s salespeople to focus their time and resources effectively.
What are the Benefits of Lead Scoring Efficiencies?
Effective lead scoring brings several benefits to your B2B company including enhanced lead scoring qualification and having a more personalized approach from sales reps. Here are some other efficiencies to keep in mind when considering having a lead scoring approach.
Increased Sales Efficiency
By prioritizing leads based on their score, it allows sales reps to put their efforts to the most promising opportunities. Doing this will allow your salespeople to spend time on nurturing the potential prospect relationships that — due to having built out lead scoring methodology that utilizes the target audiences’ demographics amongst other qualifications — will have a higher likelihood of conversion.
With the more in tune the lead scoring becomes, your team on the ground will be able to tighten up those potential customers found within the sales pipeline, likely leading to a more accelerated sales cycle and increasing productivity.
Enhanced Lead Qualification
Lead scoring allows you to objectively evaluate lead quality. By taking into consideration such factors like demographic information, firmographics, engagement level, and specific actions taken, you can determine the level of interest and fit of a lead with your offerings.
Does a potential customer not necessarily check off all of the boxes found within your lead scoring model? That does not mean that the lead is not worth checking out, and that is why, within understanding lead quality comes lead management.
Although machine learning is helpful in bulk lead generation analysis, the objectivity in looking at ideal customers and if they are a qualified lead, by a human, is still a crucial part of the qualification process. Incorporating lead scoring alongside the history of knowing what the ideal customer is for your B2B company enables you to identify high-quality leads and focus your resources on those with the greatest potential.
Personalized Marketing and Sales Approach
The practice of lead scoring allows marketers and salespeople alike to segment leads based on their scores, allowing for more personalized interactions. Furthermore, in this day and age when many parts of the marketing and sales process are automated, having a personalized and unique approach to leads is important.
By tailoring your brand messaging, landing page content, and offers to specific segments — that should be built out in advance — you can deliver a more relevant experience. A targeted approach to leads, especially when they are not seen just as leads but as a more valuable part of the sales cycle and through the marketing efforts that are made, usually increases the chances of conversion.
Tips and Tricks for Effective Lead Scoring
To make the most out of your lead scoring efforts, consider the following tips and tricks.
Define Clear Scoring Criteria
If you’re in marketing or had a business class at some point in high school or university, you will have heard of how to break down goals in marketing: SMART. This acronym stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely. Utilizing a handful of those directives is important, not just with marketing strategy but also in CRM lead scoring to establish specific and measurable criteria for assigning scores to leads.
Some usual factors to consider include: demographics, firmographics, engagement level, website behavior, email marketing interactions, and social media interactions.
Once the criteria items are broken down and decided upon, then the next step is to align the criteria with your organization’s business goals, objectives (including key performance indicators), and make sure they reflect the qualities and actions of your ideal customers.
Collaborate with Sales and Marketing Teams
Collaboration is key — and that not only goes for any exercise with lead scoring but with your sales team and marketing team. Through a developed and unified understanding of what constitutes as a qualified lead, each person on the respective teams can then identify opportunities that may not have been seen, or acted upon, otherwise.
An important aspect, however, of the collaboration of the two teams is to regularly review and refine your scoring criteria based on feedback. Whether it is on a monthly, quarterly, or bi-annual basis, reviewing the criteria will allow for the teams to continually be aligned as well as make sure that the lead qualifications are optimized.
Continuously Evaluate and Adjust
As mentioned above, reviewing and analyzing through data discovery is important to understand the effectiveness of your lead scoring model. As with any part of marketing and sales strategy, CRM lead scoring is no different.
Monitoring and analyzing data points like conversion rates, sales outcomes, and customer feedback to identify areas for improvement are all parts of the lead scoring process. Once the lead scoring model has been analyzed on a consistent basis, adjustments to the scoring criteria should become easier, in addition to any aberrations found that need to be enhanced for accuracy and relevance.
Leverage CRM Automation
Like email marketing does, automation allows for strategists and the sales team to optimize the lead nurturing process to its fullest effect. The automation capabilities of your CRM system (which, many B2B businesses use HubSpot) can be used to streamline lead scoring processes as well as automate data collection, scoring calculations, and lead assignment to reduce manual effort and, again, improve efficiency.
Identify the Limitations of CRM Lead Scoring
Lead scoring relies heavily on data accuracy — which means that inaccurate, or incomplete, data can skew results. Also, lead scoring models may not capture the full complexity of the individual, whether that means it’s the buyer journeys or the nuances of specific decision-makers within an organization. As mentioned before, remember that it’s crucial to complement lead scoring with an objective and qualitative assessment — through a human. Another point to remember is that ongoing conversations with prospective customers is important to ensure a holistic understanding of each lead.
Lead scoring efficiencies are vital for B2B businesses seeking to optimize their sales process and drive revenue growth. By implementing effective lead scoring strategies, businesses can prioritize their efforts, enhance lead qualification, and personalize their marketing and sales approach.