There is no doubt that lead scoring offers a highly effective way to streamline your lead generation efforts. Scoring leads allows you to separate the high value leads from those that have little to no chance of ever converting. It also helps you clean up your lists, which, in turn, helps you create campaigns that are more targeted.
In theory, this strategy is meant to save a great deal of time and effort, while getting you better results. In reality, it is not always that simple. The biggest challenge with lead scoring is that databases need to be squeaky clean. When you do not have a clean list, it will become almost impossible to score leads accurately. Instead, you may end up prioritising leads that have no hope of ever materialising, while good leads go unnoticed.
According to the Demand Gen Report 2016 Lead Scoring Survey, 86% of marketers use lead scoring within their lead nurturing strategy. Almost half of the companies surveyed stated that their scoring efforts needed definite improvement. Just 2 in 10 considered their efforts to actually deliver any results. The same survey showed that sales teams typically did not have much confidence or support of scoring programmes. Just 15% stated that sales would consider counting highly scored leads as qualified opportunities for conversion.
Then there is Convertr's 2018 Lead Generation Infographic, which showed just what a mess lead scoring can be if it is not done properly.
In this infographic, 38% of leads were shown to be invalid – roughly 1 in 4. The reasons ranged from invalid phone number (30%) to invalid email (28%), and even fake name (27%). This infographic states that roughly 70% of CRM data is useless. Manually scored leads or leads scored using an outdated system will quickly end up ruining even the best lead scoring model.
A marketing automation tool that allows you to have full control over the data, as well as the way that you score leads, is the best chance at ensuring accuracy. Over and behind having the right tools, it also helps to know where to focus when scoring leads.
Top Tips for Better Lead Scoring Accuracy
To get more from your lead scoring efforts, here are a few things that you should be focusing on in your scoring model.
Data & Behaviour
It goes without saying that you cannot score leads without data that is accurate and up to date. As we showed above, this is often not the case in most lists. You will need to think carefully about how you collect data. Understanding the behaviour and action that leads may take from the very first interaction can help a great deal to tell whether they have a chance of becoming qualified prospects.
Think about typical lead behaviour at each stage of the lead funnel, so see what could cause a lead to go from a brand new lead to a purchasing customer. Look for common behaviours that may apply. You could look at something such as specific downloads from your website, for example, or certain lead pages that had better results than others. When you start to identify patterns, you will soon be able to create a blueprint for your scoring model.
Things to consider include sources, such as how visitors might have found your website and which pages they visited most frequently, page performance, such as the pages that were visited most often by leads that converted into customers, and even conversion triggers, such as the downloads, lead magnets or pages that resulted in the most conversions.
You can then analyse your conversion rate on those various behaviours. You could look at the conversion rate on leads that downloaded specific lead magnets, for example, to test against those who downloaded other lead nurturing content. If you find that leads who download specific content had a higher conversion rate, you could give that behaviour a higher value. If you find that those who downloaded other content had a lower conversion rate, you could assign that behaviour a lower value.It's worth factoring in variables, however.
You may find that there are potential leads that download specific content and do not convert. Some people download content to gather information rather than make a purchase. If you find that certain content has a high download rate with a low conversion rate, you could assign that behaviour a lower value. You could also compare your various content to see which has a lower conversion rate compared to a higher conversion rate.
It is also a good idea to look at the lead's behaviour on your website from their very first interaction. You will be able to determine whether leads are qualified or browsing by the actions they take when browsing your website. This will help to provide accurate data on whether or not they are likely to convert.
Certain website pages are more likely to result in a higher value. These could include booking or enquiry pages, pricing pages, company information pages, services or products pages, and packages pages. People who visit these types of pages are typically more likely to be looking for information on working with your business rather than those who arrive on your home page or visit only download pages or your blog.
Finally, although demographic data should never be the only factor to consider in your lead scoring matrix, it is certainly worth considering in addition to behaviour. You can use the forms on your landing pages and lead forms to evaluate demographic data. This can then be used to further improve your score accuracy. You may notice that factors such as age, location or even gender have an impact on your conversion rates. Some leads may only be interested in products or services within a certain area, for instance, or they may only be looking for products that meet specific needs, such as women-only products or services.
Take a good look at demographic data on top of behaviours, measure them against conversion rates and give them values when they have genuinely had a positive impact on your sales.With planning, strategy and foresight, you can improve your scoring model considerably.
A marketing automation tool that automates the process and allows you to create highly personalised lead nurturing campaigns will make this even easier. Contact Grapevine today to request a demo and take a look at our Ultimate Guide to Lead Scoring tip sheet.