Converting leads to sales is essential to increase your profitability. However, when you have many leads and limited resources, it can be difficult to determine which leads should receive the most attention. If you focus on the wrong leads, you will be wasting resources on visitors that won't ever convert. One of the best ways to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of your lead nurturing program is to develop a strong lead scoring system that helps you identify the strongest prospects so you can focus your resources on the right leads. Below is some information to help you understand lead scoring, develop a solid system and implement it properly.
What Is Lead Scoring?
Lead scoring is a method of ranking prospects based on an established system that assigns value based on specific characteristics. You can compare these values to a pre-determined scale to determine how much to invest in each prospect. Those prospects that are most likely to convert and become lucrative will receive the most attention, while prospects that are least likely to convert will receive the least attention. Some of the characteristics that may be incorporated into a lead scoring system include email opens, content downloads, website visits, geographic location and industry segment.
How to Develop a Lead Scoring System
To develop a basic lead scoring system, follow these steps:
1. Decide how you will classify leads.
The first step in assigning a score to each lead is to classify the lead as a specific type of buyer. For example, if you market to other businesses, you may classify each lead based on the size of the business. Place each lead into only one category for the sake of simplicity.
2. Qualify each type of lead.
For each lead classification, determine the qualities the lead must have in order to be of value to your company. In the case of B2B marketing, leads may need to make a certain amount of revenue and/or be located within a certain distance of your nearest warehouse or facility. In general, it's best to have as few qualifications as possible.
3. Identify behaviors that make each lead a better prospect.
Certain behaviors increase the likelihood that a lead will convert. Behaviors you may identify include visiting specific pages on your website, social media interactions, requests for demos or trials, content downloads, and phone calls.
4. Decide how you will assign scores.
Assign point values to each classification, qualification, and behavior you identified during the first three steps of this process. Higher scores indicate a stronger lead, while lower scores indicate a weaker lead.
Putting Lead Scoring Into Practice
Once you have figured out how to score your leads, it's time to implement the system. However, scoring leads is only part of the process. After each lead has received a score, you need to nurture it appropriately. To get the most benefit from lead nurturing, it's important to tailor your nurturing strategies to different types of leads. For example, the nurturing strategy you use for a new lead with a high score and no history of conversion will be different than the strategy you use for a lead that has already converted in the past.
Some effective strategies you can use to nurture various types of leads include:
- Quick follow-ups - The faster you follow up with a lead, the more likely the lead is to ultimately convert.
- Using targeted content - Tailoring the content you send based on the type of lead increases the likelihood of conversion by sending leads information they will find valuable.
- Multiple touches - Some leads need more encouragement to convert than others. Including multiple touches in your lead nurturing campaign ensures that you won't lose these types of leads.
- Using more than one channel - In the past, many marketers focused only on email or telephone to nurture leads. However, in today's world, these channels may not be all you need. Consider using multiple channels to nurture your leads, including newer channels like social media, blogging, and various forms of advertising.
Regardless of the strategies you use to nurture leads, remember to monitor the progress of your efforts at all times. Keeping track of the effectiveness of your lead scoring and nurturing programs allows you to identify weak areas and optimize your strategies over time.
Looking for a solution that will help guide you through the above suggestions? Try Hubspot's lead scoring tool, tailor made to focus on implementing best practices around a well-structured solution.