For many, lead scoring is still a new concept. No doubt, there are marketers who have never heard of lead scoring. Those who do know lead scoring, and use it, understand its tremendous value in driving demand and improving lead nurturing efforts.
As more businesses take advantage of lead scoring expect greater innovation of the practice. Here are some trends you might see coming down the pipe soon.
Lead scoring will be seen as a marketing efficiency tool, not just a sales enabler.
There are organizations that have been employing lead scoring for some time and have yet to pass it onto sales. Why? Because lead scoring can do more than improve the quality of individual leads. It helps marketers see what moves the needle, identify trends, adjust to what works and drop what doesn’t. Lead scoring is not about predicting who will buy, but who is ready to engage in a deeper conversation. It helps understand where someone is in the research process. Marketing teams will use that data to improve efficiency, setting the stage for effective sales enablement.
Lead scoring will impact recruitment.
As implementers of lead scoring collect more data, the skills expected of the marketing team will change. As a result, there will be a shift from hiring traditional marketers to bringing in a greater number of analysts and engineers. Those heading up marketing departments will want people who can sort through new data and use it to drive better, more precise decisions. The art of marketing will give way to the science of marketing.
Marketers will experiment with multiple lead scoring models.
Social media is drastically altering b2b marketing. Business-to-business communications is shifting to people-to-people communications. As it does, lead scoring will play the irreplaceable role of monitoring an individuals’ behavior relative to the behavior of their company. One lead scoring model won’t provide enough insight so marketers will experiment with multiple scoring models as they seek the right combination of an individual’s score and the organization’s score. The set it and forget it attitude is on the way out.
Social media will play a greater role in lead scoring.
Social media will become a dominant, if not the most important, implicit criteria in lead scoring. Some of the highest level of activity from prospects takes place in the social media ether. Inventive marketers will track and evaluate the responses and participation of their target audience in social forums.
Lead scoring will be used to manage demand.
Lead scoring will be seen as an iterative process. As feedback comes in from sales, marketing teams will spend more time adjusting their lead scoring criteria and accommodating previously unmeasured activities. In the process, lead scoring will be recognized as a vital tool for measuring demand and controlling the capacity of leads being sent to sales.
Lead scoring will continue to provide a common language for marketing and sales.
All of the above will come about through conversations between sales and marketing. As lead scoring results in better quality leads, sales will continue to share their experiences with those leads back to marketing. Those discussions will force the departments to come up with common definitions and set precise parameters. A shared language will emerge, and the silos between marketing and sales will start erode.