The Criteria Your Business Should Be Using to Score Leads

Business / Monday, March 11th, 2019

Most marketers understand the importance of lead scoring.  And, if you don’t, you can easily check out this great article by SendinBlue which describes exactly what lead scoring is as well as the benefits of it.  What many people don’t understand is the criteria they should be using in order to score leads.  What indicates how ready a lead is to move forward will vary from company to company, however there are some criteria that marketers universally consider.  We have described these in this article.

1. Contact Information

When a visitor fills in a form on your website, what fields do you require them to fill in?  Perhaps it’s just their name and email address.  Or, maybe you make it optional for them to provide their phone number and mailing address as well.  Leads who enter the optional fields should be given a higher score than those who just enter the required fields.  This will give you an indication of how interested they are in completing a transaction with your company.

2. Budget

Finding out the budget of your lead can be done in a number of ways.  You could ask them to enter it when they fill in their contact information, you could take a guess based on their company’s revenue, or you could inquire about it via email or over the phone.  No matter what way you look at it, a lead with a higher budget will be able to make you more profit, so you’ll want to score those with a large budget higher than those with a low one.  Leads with zero budget may want to be given a negative score so that they aren’t given priority based on other criteria.

3. Geographical Location

If your company only sells items within a specific geographical location, you don’t want people outside of that location clogging up your sales team’s queue.  Any lead that falls out of the area you target should be given a negative score so as not to take up any more time than is necessary.  If your company is expanding to a new location, you may want to award a higher score to any inquiries sent from within that area.  Likewise, any lead located within your geographical location needs to be given a high score.

4. Organization Size

Who is your company’s main target audience?  Are you a B2C company targeting residential customers and individuals, or are you a B2B company purely targeting businesses?  Award higher points to any leads that fit the audience group you are trying to attract, and negative points to any leads that fall out of the scope of your service.

5. Web Pages Visited

How often someone interacts with your website could indicate how keen they are to complete a transaction with your business.  If someone visits your site and downloads 10 eBooks, give them a higher score.  Likewise, if someone visits and checks out your about us page, pricing page, and reads a number of blog posts, give them a higher score too.  A lead that has taken the time to browse your company site and find out more about the services you have to offer is someone who is very close to becoming a customer.  Contacting them directly is unlikely to lead to a negative transaction, so you’ll want to rank these leads a lot higher than those who visited one or two pages and back-clicked.

6. Engagement

Following on from the point above, a lead who visited your website a lot in the past but now doesn’t may have found another provider, changed their interests, or have different needs.  Depending on the situation, you may want to assign them negative points so that you don’t waste time chasing someone who is no longer interested in your product or service.

7. Email Activity

If you run an email campaign when a lead first enters their contact information on your site, you should receive metrics on how often they open the emails and how often they just get sent to their trash folder.  Leads who open every email in your campaign should be given a much higher score than those who don’t open many.  Those who open none at all should be given a negative score as it’s unlikely they’re interested in what you have to offer.

8. Lead Source

Finally, you also want to consider where the lead came from.  Some will come through PPC ads, some will come through organic search engine traffic, while others may come through social media.  Many businesses find that those who arrive through organic search are more viable as customers and have a higher ROI.  If this is the case for your company, assign these a higher lead score.

Scoring leads can not only save your sales team time, but it can make your business money as well.  Consider all of the above criteria and notice the difference it makes.

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