The What, Who and Why of Lead Scoring [Video]

by Eloqua on February 21, 2012 in Lead Scoring

If you work in B2B marketing, there’s a good chance you’ve heard about lead scoring.

But maybe you’re wondering what exactly lead scoring means, who are the types of companies using it and why you should do the same. Luckily, we caught up Brian Carroll, Executive Director of MECLABS, to get the answers.

Check out his summary below.

What is lead scoring?
Well, lead scoring is a way to quantify the value of your leads. And there are really three factors that are part of lead scoring.

So first of all, you’re looking at are they the right people, the right companies. You’re targeting the demographic data such as right industry, the size of company, the title or the contact level. This is demographic data that you’d normally have in a database.

The second part of lead scoring is really looking at the explicit information. So this is going to be information that you know about that customer. What content have they consumed?

That’s going to provide – you’re going to look at behavioral data. What got their interest, and that will apply to the score. Were they looking at product pages on your website? Did they download a certain white paper? Have they attended a certain event or webinar? Which will also tell you a lot about what their interest level is because as people get more interested, the amount of time they’re willing to spend to consume content that you provide goes up. So someone who’s barely interested isn’t going to attend a Summit like we’re at a marketing summit.

The third thing is, is this is implicit data? And so this is information that you’re going to look at about that customer, and there’s a lot of behavioral things that are a part of that. I would look at trends that I see about this customer. Over a period of time, what types of content have they given us? What are the behaviors that they have exhibited? And so what we’re really looking at is lead scoring is bringing all these pieces together, so we’re looking at that customer, and trying to take and quantify the value of at what point do we engage our sales team or do we engage our inside sales team? And so in sales, there’s either direct sales or indirect sales.  And what lead scoring does is it – it doesn’t replace the human touch.  In my opinion, I think it should be used to help you prioritize where you put the human touch. So that’s what lead scoring in my opinion is really about.

Who is using lead scoring?
Well, I think a lot of tech companies really led the way, because lead scoring really requires marketing automation to do it. I’ve seen it done manually; it just becomes too cumbersome. And so that’s where we found companies that are more innovative, and more competitive have embraced lead scoring, because what they’re really trying to do is shorten time to revenue. They’re looking to shorten time to profitability. And when it’s intensely competitive, everyone’s looking for an edge.

What I’ve seen is technology companies, financial companies. But over the past few years, we’re seeing that it’s moving across multiple industries: manufacturing, consulting services. So what we’re seeing is as marketing automation spreads across different markets, technology or software companies, or IT-driven companies we’re really leading the way. And I found that it’s because they’re looking that edge, that they’re looking to shorten their time to market that’s really driven it. But now it’s moving across almost ever industry I’m seeing lead scoring use right now.

Why do I need lead scoring?
If you’re a marketer that’s generating a handful of leads every month it really isn’t going to make as huge of an impact as an organization that’s generating lots of interest, lots of people. And so the companies who are embracing lead scoring, the reason why they’re doing it is they’re trying to get an edge. And the biggest, and most precious resource we have as leaders in this company is two things: it’s our time, and our organization energy.

As part of that, our energy is in the resources of people, it’s going to, in the resources of money. In this economy what I’m seeing is that more, and more companies are looking at lead scoring as a way to give them an edge so that they can maximize their energy. They’re maximizing their team’s effective selling time, and they’re also spending more time engaging people who actually want to be engaged. Because you’re able to measure someone’s engagement level with your content.

So in other words, to shorten it, lead scoring helps you know that there’s a valid business reason to connect with someone instead of guessing. And when you know that, it gives you a better edge in the marketplace to talk to the right people at the right time, and increase your likelihood of being relevant.

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