Use 3 Components to Create a Lead Scoring Model

Lead scoring models enable marketers to rank and gauge the quality of Leads based on their importance to the sales team for follow-up. The reason lead scoring can become a key component for increasing marketing performance is that it helps companies prioritize their Leads based on explicit and implicit factors that help determine their propensity to buy. When a Lead hits the threshold set by the model, they can automatically be updated in the CRM for sales pursuit. There are three components we recommend using in your design of a Lead Scoring Model:

  • Fit
  • Interest
  • Depreciation

The combination of these classifications determines overall score. However, the ability to asses these classifications independently is also useful for determining the quality of your Leads based on the level of their willingness to engage with you. Below each classification are three elements to address to improve the strength of your scoring model.

Fit: Demographics make up most of the Fit component. These are the explicit facts that you know about each Lead and include such things as title, location, contact information, company size and revenues. Fit is about matching a Lead against all the factors that your company has determined are required for the acquisition of an ideal customer.

Additional considerations include:

  1. Responsibilities and role often differ from title. What information could you collect with a custom field on a download form that would help establish higher degrees of quality?
  2. If a Lead is already using a specific solution, does that give you an inside track? For example, if your solution integrates with another solution, providing information about how the two solutions improve outcomes when working together can help the Lead take next steps in their buying process.

Interest: Automatically monitoring a Lead’s online behavior in relation to your website, events and origination sources helps to determine their quality as a sales opportunity. Knowing how they interact with your content, how often and the length of time they spend with it can provide compelling evidence that they may be ready for a personal conversation. Consider the difference in a Lead who clicks on a link in an email, visits 6 pages on your website but only spends a total of 1 minute while doing so.  Contrast that against a Lead who views 3 pages all discussing a specific topic and spends 6.5 minutes.  Which one indicates a higher level of engagement?

Some additional tips are:

  1. Referral sites can either be sources of qualified leads or tire kickers. If you can benchmark the conversion rates of Leads who arrive at your website from a specific source such as TechTarget or via your company’s blog, for example, you will know which referring sources deserve higher interest scores.
  2. Conversion triggers are those interactions that boost a Lead’s score by a larger percent and can even bypass the standard scoring model. If you review your recent customer’s profile history and see a common activity—like viewing your online demo—as a precursor to sales conversations, then the score should reflect that transition in interest from browsing to buying and be set to trigger personal follow-up.

Depreciation: Depreciation is the reduction to score based on the amount of time that has passed since the behavior was expressed. Decaying a Lead’s score is the lead scoring component that checks and balances a marketer’s interpretation of interest levels.

Here are a couple of scenarios to consider:

  1. The time between website visits lengthens. If it’s been more than 30 days since the Lead has shown any activity, their priorities or interests may have changed. Decrementing their score appropriately will keep you from jumping the gun should they reappear down the road.
  2. Return of the Lead to nurturing by a sales rep should result in a reduction of lead score. Since, presumably they’d hit the threshold score to activate their transition to sales, that score should be decreased to allow the Lead to re-qualify themselves over time.

Creating a Lead Scoring Model can seem like a daunting exercise, but it doesn’t have to be. Consider your first iteration to be a trial run and test it over a period of time to gauge your results. Tune and refine your triggers and scoring increments as you learn from your Lead’s behavior and your sales team’s feedback.