How to Use Lead Scoring For Inbound Marketing

Posted by David Terry on February 01, 2017

Lead scoring is a way for sales and marketing to rank leads to determine how sales-ready they are. Leads are scored based on how much online activity the prospect has had with you, the amount of interest they show in your business, and how far along the buyer's journey they are.

As Inbound Marketing and Inbound Sales collaboration becomes more the norm, the traditional way of lead scoring was by assigning a rank like A, B, C or D, or using terms like “hot,” “warm” or “cold,” to a prospect to clarify exactly how qualified the lead is.

Now we have marketing automation tools that can apply a far more sophisticated approach to lead scoring, so you can manage the process of nurturing these leads better, and pass quality leads onto the sales team.

The first step is to create your ideal buyer personas. Then, you can use both Explicit and Implicit scoring to create a picture of each lead's value. Explicit scoring is based on the information the prospect tells you, whereas Implicit scoring is based on the information that you observe, or infer, such as their online behaviors and actions.

We use HubSpot marketing automation for our lead scoring process, and by automatically scoring new contacts based on their actions and behaviors, level of engagement over a period of time, and their persona and demographics.

Each behavior has a pre-assigned point value that you have determined with your sales team – so both sales and marketing are totally aligned. As your contact progresses through the buyer’s journey, they engage more online and their score is updated. Once a contact crosses the lead scoring threshold, moving from a marketing qualified lead (MQL) to become a sales qualified lead (SQL), a specific sales rep can be notified.

Tips for lead scoring success

Lead scoring requires personas to be up-to-date, so be sure to set up persona fields in your forms, so that each contact gets scored correctly for the right persona.

We recommend you sit down with the sales team and review SQLs and closed sales together, this will help you understand what a conversion looks like, so you can improve your lead scoring process. Identify the most common steps that lead to a successful sale and determine the top performing lead types and their conversion points. Is it downloading a white paper, attending a webinar, requesting a demo or quote, and which resulted in the highest dollar value in sales revenue?

Assigning the best lead scoring values

When you assign point values, each behavior is based upon a wide range of persona profile information.

  • Persona/role and job title
  • Company size/number of employees
  • Company type/industry
  • Geography/location
Then more specific information can be added;
  • Viewed a certain type of product page
  • Content downloads like ebooks
  • Watched a video
  • Viewed more qualified product content like pricing pages, product comparisons, demos or free trials.

Also you can lead score for activity levels, such as;

  • Number of web pages viewed
  • Activities within a specified time period – such as activity within a 60-days or 30-days
  • Number of forms completed, amount of content downloaded or forms completed.

You can give the leads more points to the highest performing activities and behaviors. For example, the persona or job title required might get 20 points, and the wrong persona or job title would get negative points. The same goes for your other criteria.

Simply adding up all of the points gets you to your lead score, then you can wait and watch what happens.

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THE BRIT AGENCY is a B2B Inbound Marketing Agency providing Inbound Marketing, Inbound Website Design and Inbound Sales services to companies around the world. We're focused on growing website traffic, qualified leads and sales, using the Inbound lead generation and marketing automation process.

THE BRIT AGENCY is a certified Gold Tier Hubspot Partner, a HubSpot COS certified Inbound Website Design Agency, a Shopify eCommerce Partner, and a certified "Google Badged Agency Partner". We have offices in Toronto and Barrie, Canada, and Salisbury, UK.

Topics: Inbound Marketing, Inbound Sales