Marketing & Sales Automation Blog Articles

How to Implement Lead Scoring for B2B: Lead Scoring Best Practices (Part 2)

Hopefully part one of our lead scoring series gave you a general overview of best practices for lead scoring. Now, it’s time to begin building a model for your own business. But you can’t start just anywhere. So before you start white boarding things out, you’ll want to make sure you fully understand your buyer’s journey and personas. Doing so will help you get a handle on what types of attributes you should incorporate into your model.

Do you prefer watching over reading? Skip to the video below to get a better look at how you can start planning and building out a lead scoring model tailored for your business’ success.

Building your lead scoring model

Typically, businesses split their lead scoring criteria into ‘demographic’ and ‘behavioral’ categories.  Demographic factors are explicit characteristics that define how well a lead fits your ideal target, whereas behavioral factors are evaluations that can implicitly provide clues about the users’ level of engagement with your business. The following examples should give you an idea of what kind of fields fall into each bucket.

  • Demographic: Number of Employees, Annual Revenue, Job Title, Industry or Vertical, Location, etc.
  • Behavioral: Number of Page Clicks, Asset Downloads, Email Opens, Webinar or Event Attendance, Time Spent on Website, etc.

Need more help? Download the complete list of Explicit and Implicit criteria we recommend, with examples scores to show you how to properly weight a lead scoring model in order to quickly identify your most interested and engaged prospects.

Don’t forget negative scoring

While it’s easy to stay focused on developing the positive attributes of your lead scoring model, you should also spend some time thinking through the characteristics of leads who aren’t ideal.  One of the best ways to amplify the success of your lead scoring model is to negatively score less-than-ideal targets. You can use the same demographic and behavioral criteria for this purpose.

Not sure how to structure your negative criteria? We recommend starting with those who know your prospects best. Ask your sales team “When wouldn’t you talk to someone?” or “What kind of attributes do you hear to indicate a sale isn’t likely to happen?”

In addition, there may be other indicators to help you identify those who aren’t your ideal buyer. Are they navigating directly to your careers page? Are they providing a personal email (like Gmail) over a business email? Are they Students or Government employees? What other criteria would help you weed out the bad from the good?

Fast track the best leads

Obviously, the point of every lead scoring model is to ensure that only the highest quality leads go to sales, which often means it might take time for leads to reach MQL status. But – there are always exceptions to this rule and your lead scoring model can help here, too. Ask your sales team what leads they want to know about immediately. Target companies? Target titles? Target timeframe to make a purchase decision? Maybe it’s a combination of some or all of these.  Whatever the criteria, you can use your lead scoring model to propel these leads to sales immediately once you’ve defined them.

In addition, are there conversion points that indicate immediate interest? For example, a demo form or free trial completion would likely route directly to sales whereas a content download or webinar sign up might enroll a lead into a nurture series for further qualification and warming. In addition to the demographic and behavioral attributes, consider your various conversion points and define those that should be bubbled up to sales first.

You’re never done with lead scoring

Lead scoring isn’t an exact science, even though we all wish it could be. Most businesses have multiple personas, which means you’ll have a wide range of negative and positive attributes in your model. Because of this, your lead scoring model won’t be a set-it-and-forget-it process. Start with your initial model, and always test, test, test! Continue to collaborate with your sales team and review results quarterly at first, then annually once you’ve established your baseline. Your business, customers, and sales process are dynamic, and your lead scoring model should be too.

Do you need help to tune-up an underperforming lead scoring model, or do you want to build a new scoring solution for your marketing and sales team? Smartacre® has helped dozens of B2B clients build and refine their lead scoring models. Contact us today to discuss how we can improve yours.

For your reference, here is the previous blog for lead scoring best practices:
Part One – How to Implement Lead Scoring for B2B: Lead Scoring Best Practices (Part 1)