Although one of your main goals should be to capture as many potential leads as possible, it’s worth mentioning that not all leads are the same. Some leads are more qualified than others–and the last thing you’ll want to do is waste time trying to nurture low-quality leads when there may be other prospects that are ready to advance through the sales funnel. The way to ensure that you’re dedicating your resources to the best leads that are available is through the use of lead scoring.
What Is Lead Scoring?
Lead scoring helps you to separate your leads in terms of how far along they are in the sales funnel and what needs to be done to nurture them. By using a scoring system, you can more easily identify which leads have more interest in your products or services. By simply looking at the scores you’ve automatically assigned to your leads, you’ll be able to tell if:
- They need more marketing content
- They’re ready to engage with a sales rep
- They’ve already made a purchase and need additional direction
With proper lead scoring, you won’t waste time trying to convert a sale with a lead who still needs to read or view more content to make a more informed decision about your brand. Doing this not only wastes resources, but it also risks alienating the lead by putting too much pressure on them. On top of that, it allows you to ignore low scoring leads that aren’t likely to convert in favor of those that are.
How To Score Your Leads
At its basic core, lead scoring involves assigning points to each lead based on certain criteria. The more points the lead has, the more qualified they are. The following are a few of the criteria that you should use to assign points to your leads:
The closer they are to your buyer persona, the stronger a lead they become. Some of the information that can help you score a lead based on their demographic includes the industry they belong to, their company, where they are located, their age, their gender, their education level, their job title, and more. The closer they are to your ideal customer, the more likely they are to become a customer.
The biggest challenge in scoring your leads based on their demographics is collecting the information you need to determine what their demographics are. You’ll want to ask certain questions in your online forms so that when they sign up for your email, you’ll immediately have enough information to score them based on their demographics.
However, you’ll want to be careful about asking too much or asking questions that may be deemed to personal as this can scare leads away from submitting the form. What you can do is ask some basic questions on your initial form, then send out occasional surveys to help you gather more information.
In addition to scoring your leads based on who they are, you’ll also want to score them based on what they do. The way they navigate your site and engage with your brand online can tell you a lot about how ready they are to convert. The following are a few metrics you can use to score your leads based on their behavior:
- Page views – The more pages that a lead has been to on your site, the more interested they likely are in your brand. A lead that has explored your site is a much stronger prospect than one who has only been to one or two pages.
- Website visits – The more a lead visits your site, the more interested they are likely to be. It’s important to understand that a lead isn’t always going to be interested on their first visit.
- Specific pages seen – What pages the lead has been to matters. For example, a lead that has read through your product pages and that has visited your e-commerce page is much stronger than a lead who has only been to a few pages on your blog.
- Offers converted – Leads that have signed up for your email newsletter or who have downloaded free offers (such as eBooks or whitepapers) have likely developed a certain level of trust in your brand.
- Email engagement – Even if a lead has signed up to your email, it doesn’t mean that they are necessarily strong prospects. If they’ve never opened your email, it means that they may have just been taking advantage of one of your offers and aren’t actually interested in your brand. However, a lead that has opened multiple emails is more than likely interested.
- Social engagement – Leads that engage on social media with your brand, such as sharing, liking, or commenting on content, are likely to be strong prospects.
These are some of the metrics you’ll want to use to score your leads. Keep in mind that you can give leads negative scores for certain demographic information you gather about them or certain behaviors (such as not opening your emails). This will allow you to identify both good leads and poor leads.