Why lead scoring is essential for B2B organisations

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I have the pleasure of serving as the CMO or co-CMO of thirteen B2B Australian organisations at the time of writing this blog. A primary reason leaders procure our Marketing services is the provision of ‘leads’. 

“We need leads”, “We want leads”, and “We will be measuring you based on the number of quality leads you provide” are common statements we hear. 

We meet the challenge of providing the right number of high-quality and relevant leads to our clients. When we commenced the Resonate journey (back in 2017), we were still providing leads. Some were high quality and relevant (from a time perspective), and some were high quality and not relevant (from a time perspective). As time went along, we became more refined at our play. We now provide high-quality and relevant leads with consistency. What has changed? Our lead scoring model has evolved.

Before I get into lead scoring, let’s quickly touch on the notion of a ‘lead’ itself.

What is a lead?

A marketing lead is a potential customer who has demonstrated interest in your products or services. Businesses that demonstrate an interest in what you provide in products/services are considered leads. Lead generation is the process of initiating contact with these prospects.

What makes a good lead?

You must first define your ideal customer to evaluate whether leads are valuable. Consider who is most likely to purchase; purchase quickly and at the optimal price. Additional factors may include region, industry, and revenue. 

Essentially, all leads have the potential to be valuable. If someone is interested in your products/services, they may consider purchasing from you now or in the future. However, for the sake of efficiency, it is essential to focus on prospects who demonstrate an interest in your offering and exhibit other characteristics that make them better targets. 

A good lead answers the following questions for marketers:

  • Do we have ample data about the lead?
  • Is the lead genuinely interested in procuring from us?
  • Do we clearly understand where the lead is in the buying journey and what is the next step?
  • Has the lead taken the time and made an effort to learn more about us?
  • Do we have a clear pattern of engagement from the lead?
  • Does the prospect have the budget for our services?
  • Is the prospect the authority for this purchase or at least an influencer who has a direct working relationship with the authority?
  • Is the prospect’s need explicit; must they act now?
  • Do they intend to procure our services now or in the near future?

Not all leads will provide an affirmative response to the above questions. However, a lead that is likely to procure will be more likely to do so if their response to more of the above questions is a positive one.

What exactly is lead scoring?

Lead scoring ranks MQLs (Marketing Qualified Leads) based on a predetermined set of attributes and data points. This ranking method evaluates the lead’s readiness to buy. Lead scoring eliminates the guesswork for salespeople and directs their attention away from irrelevant leads and towards prospects who are most likely to purchase.

Numerous lead scoring systems assign point values to the various actions a lead takes throughout the sales funnel. When a lead reaches a certain number of points, we deem them a prospect. Knowing when to contact a lead can assist salespeople in staying on track, focusing their attention on the right group of prospective customers, and increasing productivity in the process. Lead scoring helps sales and marketing teams determine how close a prospect or customer is to making a purchase. Employees can prioritise their time and resources by examining the stage of the lead in the sales funnel. This enables sales to concentrate on customers close to completing a transaction, which may result in a higher conversion or close rate.

By focusing on consumers who have already reached a specific step in the sales funnel (such as downloading an asset or requesting a call), salespeople have a greater chance of convincing them to make a purchase.

Why is lead scoring so essential?

79% of marketing leads do not convert to sales, forcing your sales team to go through an extremely high percentage of redundant leads. Lead scoring improves the effectiveness and efficiency of lead prioritisation, allowing salespeople to focus their attention on prospects with a greater likelihood of conversion. Without lead scoring, salespeople are more likely to pursue the wrong leads, fail their quotas, and negatively affect the organisation’s revenue.

Lead scoring also helps marketers determine if a lead is ready to be passed to sales or if it requires additional marketing nurturing. This assessment assists in the alignment of sales and marketing teams by making salespeople feel more supported by marketing’s efforts.

Assessing and categorising lead data

There are two types of data to evaluate for each lead. Implicit and Explicit. Implicit data pertains to the prospect’s behaviour and the amount of interest demonstrated in the organisation’s product or service. Explicit data pertains to demographic and firmographic information supplied directly by the prospect.

An efficient lead scoring model will consider both data sets and then categorise and score the data accordingly. 

Some examples of prospect behaviour include:

  • Downloaded an asset
  • Shared a social post
  • Viewed a landing page
  • Viewed a website page
  • Viewed multiple website pages
  • Returned to the website
  • Interacted with chat
  • Registered for a webinar
  • Attended/viewed a webinar in its entirety
  • Asked a question during a webinar
  • Opened follow-up email
  • Filled out a webinar survey

Some examples of demographic and firmographic information include:

  • Industry
  • Company size
  • Job title / role
  • Time in role
  • Experience in the industry

Determining scoring weights

Correctly assigning values to a prospect’s behaviours and attributes will determine the effectiveness of an organisation’s lead scoring model. Sales and Marketing teams must work together to determine suitable values for each data point. Once both teams agree on the set values, marketing can assess and score the data accordingly. 

Here are some scoring examples:

+5 points for visiting a services/pricing page

-10 for visiting the careers page

+10 for opening nurture email

+10 for attending a webinar 

+10 if the prospect is a middle manager

+25 if the prospect is a decision-maker

Importance of lead scoring to lead flow management

Lead scoring is extremely beneficial to lead flow management because it establishes clear and agreed-upon distinctions between MQLs and SQLs (Sales Qualified Leads). It enables marketing to only transfer a lead to sales if it satisfies the predefined criteria. This transparency eliminates disagreement between sales and marketing teams.

In conclusion

Lead scoring allows sales and marketing teams to work more effectively and efficiently. Disputes and blame-shifting are common between these two departments, resulting in a drop in sales team effectiveness and, as a result, revenue for the organisation. Lead scoring is the most successful way of synchronising a company’s sales and marketing departments.

Is your company considering implementing a lead scoring system? Resonate is here to help you make it a success. To reach us, please fill out our contact form.

Girish is the CMO & Co-Founder of Resonate.

GV is our Marketing and Delivery head. He keeps our clients’ marketing strategy on track and leads the Resonate team to deliver commercial outcomes.

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