B2B Sales, Lead Generation and Marketing Blog

6 Reasons Lead Scoring Should be a Top Priority

Posted by Vendere Team on Thu, Jan 5, 2012 @ 09:01 AM

Have you ever had leads that didn't go anywhere? They just sat there taking up space, time and resources. Sound familiar? Lead scoring can help change that.

Lead scoring is a marketing and sales management technique which identifies hot leads, funneling them into sales for conversion, and identifies warm or cold leads, sidelining them for nurturing. Sales lead scoring involves assigning points to leads based on pre-defined criteria.

If you're new to the idea of lead scoring, no doubt you're starting to get excited by this concept. Imagine being able to tell which leads are ready to buy, which ones are only in a holding pattern perhaps doing research, and which leads will likely remain cold forever. Lead qualification is an important part of lead management technology.

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1. Explicit information scores help ballpark a lead.

Any lead may provide factual information about the company size, industry segment, job title, etc. This data can be misleading—either over inflating the company or undervaluing their potential—but likely gives you enough information to know whether or not they could be a hot lead.

2. Implicit information scores help refine the temperature assessment of a lead.

Explicit, self-supplied information can fudge the overall picture, but actions never lie. Does the lead visit the company's website numerous times? Do they click on links in emails? Do they respond to emails? In other words, do they behave like hot prospects?

3. Sales no longer spins their wheels on unqualified leads.

With the right combination and weighting of explicit and implicit scores, only the truly hot leads are sent to sales. Let's give a B2B example. The junior manager who is fishing for information to impress their VP may be a warm or even a cold lead. They may only visit the website once and may never answer any emails. The mid-level manager who is tasked with research and acquisition, on the other hand, will be making a decision and needs to gather as much information as possible in a short period of time. Their behavior is quite different.

4. Warm and cold leads are nurtured toward hot lead status.

Sales is not equipped to spend a lot of time lead nurturing. With quotas and deadlines looming, who can blame them for ignoring such lackluster potential? Having a separate business unit keep tabs on the warm and cold leads is a distinct advantage, and if you apply demand generation techniques, these undesirables can be converted into tomorrow's hot prospects.

5. Sales forecasting gets a boost in accuracy.

By segregating your leads into various categories of warmth, you can know just how full your pipeline really is. Your quotas will prove to be more realistic and achievable, and your sales force will thrive.

6. Lead scoring can be outsourced.

Imagine that. You can have all of the benefits of lead scoring, lead qualification and demand generation, and not be burdened with the infrastructure overhead. You don't have to do it all in-house.

Topics: prospect lists, sales, lead nurturing, sales and marketing alignment, demand generation, qualified leads, management consulting

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