4 Common Lead Scoring Snags - How To Fix Them!

by Michelle McGinnis on Thursday, May 26, 2011 in Content Marketing

You have a problem. Your marketing team’s lead scoring efforts have hit a snag. Sales is receiving too many “tire-kickers.” Or maybe Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs) aren’t converting to Sales Accepted Leads (SALs). Maybe it’s a combination.

Relax. We’re here to help.

Lead scoring is a powerful tool for aligning sales and marketing, predictably driving prospects through your sales funnel and generating revenue. But it’s also a practice that requires study and revision. Below we bring you 4 common problems that might slow down your lead scoring – and how to fix them!

The Tire-Kicker Scenario
The Problem: Sales is finding a lot of leads are just “tire-kickers.” The leads aren’t ready to buy, and they’re not sure why you keep passing them along.

The Fix: It may be time to tighten up your implicit criteria for  qualified leads. You can uncover what implicit actions move the needle by analyzing the leads rejected by sales. What behaviors or set of behaviors caused them to score high? Are those behaviors really an indicator of buyer intent? A thorough analysis will help you adjust your scoring criteria and ensure only serious buyers are making it to the sales desk.

The Low Conversion Issue
The Problem: Conversions from MQL to SAL are low and many of the leads passed onto sales are actually disqualified.

The Fix: It might be time to make it harder for leads to move from one stage to the other by establishing greater explicit behavior requirements. What are your buyer personas? How many of your leads actually fit that bill? Take a look at all the explicit behaviors that make up your ideal buyer profile, then examine how many of those actions your leads are taking. It might seem harsh but throwing up hurdles that hold leads back until a certain amount of profile completeness is achieved. Sounds painful, but in the long-run it could result in a stronger pool of qualified leads.

The Six Month Itch
The Problem: Sales are wasting time calling on leads that have been dormant for six months or so, but recently received a high score due to some mild activity.

The Fix: Have you considered a degradation model? If your leads don’t drop in score as a result of inactivity, then a small addition of implicit interest will artificially inflate the total lead score. Scores should drop to account for periods of inactivity where little to no implicit actions are taken. Establishing rules that only allow leads to advance to MQL stage once every six months can help as well.

The Fits And Starts Situation
The Problem: Sales is seeing lead flow come in fits and starts rather than a steady, consistent flow.

The Fix: If you’re doing lead scoring right, it won’t just spotlight sales-ready leads. It will help you see holes in your data. Perhaps leads aren’t qualifying up because you aren’t asking the right questions. Try combining progressive profiling, asking new questions each time, instead of the standard first, last and revenue routine on your forms. Add to that a content-stocked lead nurturing program to ensure that you’re filling those holes in the data and feeding scored leads to sales on a regular basis.

What kind of issues do you see slowing down your lead scoring? What are the creative ways you’ve fixed those issues?

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