At this point, you probably know the importance of lead scoring in your marketing strategy.
In addition to unifying sales and marketing under the shared umbrella of what defines a “qualified” prospect, lead scoring also boosts revenue by allowing sales teams to focus only on those leads most ready to buy.
The tough part is determining exactly what strategies lead to the most effective and efficient lead scoring processes. Lucky for you, that is exactly what this post covers.
On March 16th, the ReachForce Webinar Series presented “B2B Lead Scoring Best Practices That Drive Marketing Qualified Leads” and as a follow-up to that webinar, here are 4 secrets to lead scoring success.
#1. Trace Your Customer Journey
Any successful lead scoring strategy begins with following a customer’s steps from lead generation to sales conversion.
By reverse engineering your lead scoring process, you will uncover the core decisions that influence prospect buying behaviors. Once armed with those key behaviors, sales and marketing can work together to itemize the qualities of a sales-ready lead and then optimize your lead and demand generation strategies for those leads.
As discussed in a previous post, here are four questions B2B marketers need to ask in order to properly map the customer journey:
- What initially motivates the customer to begin the journey towards awareness and research?
- What actions does the customer take in response to that motivation?
- What questions does the customer have along the way toward the buying decision?
- What obstacles stand in the way of the customer’s decision to buy?
Once those questions are answered, the criteria for qualifying leads by buyer persona, budget, and timeline becomes much easier to define.
#2. Use Data Enrichment to Build Robust Prospect Snapshots
Most B2B marketers know that excessive inquiry forms act as a huge deterrent in site visitors converting to leads. The dilemma, of course, is that the less you ask for in an inquiry form, the harder it is to score the lead for prioritization by the sales team.
Progressive profiling may solve the problem temporarily, but when evaluating the efficiency and effectiveness of your marketing strategy, using a data enrichment platform - like ReachForce - will ultimately provide more data with less demand on your customer and marketing team.
With real-time data enrichment, leads fill out just one inquiry form (instead of the series of forms required in progressive profiling) and you still receive a robust snapshot of the lead, complete with the details needed for lead scoring.
Additionally, ReachForce cleanses and appends lead data to ensure your sales team has the right contact information to quickly take action on top priority leads.
#3. Survey Your Leads
One effective strategy employed here at ReachForce for scoring our own leads has been surveying.
As discussed in a previous blog post:
“Instead of analyzing prospect behaviors, we are going directly to them and asking them to participate in a survey. By gathering qualifying information directly from the prospect, we are able to better target messaging, content, and call-to-actions at these new prospects.”
It is a direct strategy that might be frowned upon by some, but has ultimately yielded increased marketing results and sales conversions.
What kinds of information does the survey gather?
- The technologies/software used by the lead
- Whether or not the lead is a decision maker
- Understanding and importance of ReachForce’s “key values”
- Budget, timeline, and whether or not they would like to be contacted
Ultimately, survey data helps qualify lead score and determines the next step in the customer journey. If they are sales-ready, leads are converted to prospects and handed off to the sales team. If they still need some time, they will be entered into a lead nurture program.
#4. Don’t Be Afraid to Negatively Score Your Leads
Somewhere along the line, a common misconception arose that there is no such thing as a bad lead. The truth is, of course, that bad leads exist and too many B2B marketers waste their time nurturing leads that will never convert.
Scoring leads for sales might be your top priority, but scoring leads for future marketing efforts is just as important. As mentioned in a previous post, negatively scoring leads creates a healthy nurture campaign and ensures you are not barraging curious visitors and journalists with constant emails when there is no possibility of them converting in the future.
All in all, a well-defined lead scoring strategy contributes to higher conversions for the marketing team and better conversations for the sales team.