Marketing Strategy

Lead Scoring: Uncovering Hidden Value in Your Database

By February 4, 2014 No Comments

What if I told you that there are sales-ready leads hiding in your database, untouched and ready to engage with you?

As marketers, we are so focused on generating new leads (which is still incredibly important), that we often overlook hidden value in our current database. Uncovering these opportunities—people who are a great fit for your organization’s solutions, but may not fit a narrow view of “target customer”—happens through the magic (and science) of lead scoring.

Lattice Engines reports that only 44% percent of companies are using any kind of lead scoring system. That means that over half of all companies are still manually sorting through their leads to find those hidden gems—or they’re not doing it at all.

Lead scoring is like a game of Chutes and Ladders. There are certain moves that accelerate someone forward quickly, and others that can push them back. And once they reach the finish line, they’re ready for real-world conversations (with sales).

By tracking behavior and identifying high-value elements, you can rank your leads in terms of how good a prospect they are. Once set up, lead scoring uncovers previously unrecognized value in your database, and increases the number of qualified leads you’re handing to sales without finding new names.

This makes marketers happy because is proves our lead generation strategies are producing more than names, but valuable opportunities. It makes sales happy, too, because they know these leads have met important qualification criteria before entering the lead queue.

What Is Lead Scoring?

Lead scoring is a way to rank your leads based on who they are (profile criteria) and what they’ve done (engagement criteria). The closer to a sales-ready prospect your lead is, the higher their score should be.

With only 44% of companies using lead scoring, this is your opportunity to pull ahead of the pack and respond first to qualified buyers.

Lead scores can combine implicit and explicit criteria into one score, or they can rank leads on each criterion separately. At Kapost, we prefer to look at profile and engagement separately. This allows us to identify leads who seem like a perfect fit but might not be engaging with our content, or double-check our data when we run across someone who is engaging a lot, but doesn’t match the typical customer profiles.

A great lead scoring plan requires input from both sales and marketing. The two groups have to come together to decide what criteria to score on, and how many points to assign that particular action or data point.

Why Lead Score? Here Are 3 Reasons.

Modern marketing databases are HUGE. Depending on what tools you’re using, you probably have all sorts of information on leads, including assets downloaded, events attended, webpages visited, emails opened, videos watched, and so on. That’s more information than anyone can manually sort through.

Lead scoring is basically an automated way to make sure sales notices the leads who look and act like your customers did before they converted.

1. More Qualified Leads

It’s easy to find a hot lead that requests a demo of your product. But what about the leads that have downloaded every single whitepaper you’ve ever written? Or visited your pricing page once a day for a week? Lead scoring can help you identify hot, sales-ready leads that haven’t reached out to you directly.

2. Faster Response to Active Leads

If your leads are visiting your website, engaging with your content, and raising their hands to speak to sales, you want to reach out to them right away, not next week. And reaching out faster increases close rates.

78% of sales go to the first company to respond.

An InsideSales study shows that for inquiries submitted online, 78% of sales go to the first company to respond. With lead scoring you can set up notifications for sales that let them know your leads are actively engaging with your content as soon as it happens. Which means you can respond within minutes, not days.

3. Improve Sales and Marketing Alignment

You can’t identify what a potential buyer looks like unless you know what your customers did before they converted. And for that, you’re going to have to talk to the sales team. No one has better insights into who your potential buyer is in the organizational hierarchy and what behaviors might signal an intent to buy.

These are just three reasons why implementing lead scoring should be a main initiative for your marketing team. It leads to a healthy database and strong, sales-ready leads. Also, by tracking this behavior, marketing teams can prove the value of their tactics and strategies, and help you improve your model based on real behavior and information tracked through your efforts.

And with only 44% of companies using lead scoring, this is your opportunity to pull ahead of the pack and respond first to qualified buyers. Understanding how and what to score will also help you understand your buyers. Sure, it takes work. But are you willing to let valuable leads sit untouched in your database? Up to you.

Christine Leas

About Christine Leas

Christine is a writer, content marketer and recovering attorney, who enjoys geeking out about modern marketing. Born and raised in Florida, Christine's still getting used to the sight of mountains outside her window. She lives in Boulder with her boyfriend and their two giant cats.