8 November 2016 in Aligning Sales & Marketing, Lead Scoring, Marketing Automation
Regardless of how customer-centric your content is or how well you know your buyers, without a laser-focused scoring methodology in place the process of automating journeys through the sales funnel will be flawed.
We are consistently staggered by how many marketing automation users are willing to start their marketing automation journey with a platform’s default scoring rules. This is based on an erroneous assumption that there is a “one size fits all” solution.
Every business we’ve encountered that’s started with default scoring rules has gone back to the drawing board somewhere down the line, as they are hit with the realisation that their buyers are not moving at a pace relative to their level of knowledge. Lead scoring must be established at the start, and it must be handled as precisely as any other part of your strategy.
Here are our four top tips for effective lead scoring:
Don’t go with default values
Default values may seem like a convenient solution, but they come with risks. In the past, we have dealt with users who have found warm prospects being nurtured without being moved along the funnel, simply because misspellings in forms or other, similarly trivial issues, reduced their scores. Make a point of setting up detailed instructions and going with custom values when you implement a marketing automation platform, and avoid losing out on business.
Score individual pages on your website
By default, most platforms will award one point for every page visited on your website. Does that make sense to you? Think of it this way. One customer walks into your shop and asks for very basic information about a product. Another customer walks in later and asks for pricing information. Which of these would you consider to be sales ready?
The savviest marketing automation users are dissecting their website and dividing pages into stages, typically:
- Education and awareness;
- Solutions and product suitability;
- Decision and support credentials;
- Sales ready;
By scoring these stages differently, buyers move through the funnel more effectively. For instance, a buyer who has consistently accessed decision and support credential material will come to the attention of sales teams far quicker than one who has only accessed very basic information. Using the default methodology, both would progress at the same rate.
Consider the areas that should lose points
We advise many of our clients to subtract points for visits to a vacancies page. It can also be worth introducing automation rules that take away points depending on the information provided; for instance, if a prospect reveals their occupation to be “student”, chances are they are not worth considering for a B2B sale.
Consider what constitutes sales readiness
When planning your scoring methodology, you should establish the precise point at which a prospect should be handed over to Sales. This can be even more detailed than the scoring alone – for instance, for many of our clients we set a scoring threshold for handover, but also include conditions such as PDF download or webinar attended. Once again, it is vital for businesses to plan this in advance and make sure Sales and Marketing are on the same page to ensure the highest possible lead quality.