Content Matters

Discussing best practices in marketing automation, content marketing, and demand generation
09
Mar
Do You Know the Real Score?

Discover How Predictive Lead Scoring Accelerates Prospect Conversions

To move potential customers through each stage of the buying cycle, a lead scoring model must be designed to associate scoring, staging thresholds, and ensuing events for each buyer’s journey. This is the process of ranking a lead’s level of interest and assessing overall sales readiness, according to a methodology designed collaboratively by marketing and sales. When the prospect earns points, additional content is automatically provided as they’re led through the early, middle, and late stages of the buying cycle. Once they become sales-ready leads, these prospects are handed off to the sales team (or ecommerce platform) to create actual opportunities, and ultimately to close deals. Customers floated to the top of the prospect list via lead scoring are shown to be significantly more likely to convert to a sale, with both an increased deal value and faster speed to close. This approach also allows sales people to focus their efforts on selling, not prospecting.

Weighted scoring criteria incorporates a variety of customer demographics, including those that are individual-specific, company-specific (also referred to as firmographics), related to existing relationship status, and behavioral attributes (for example, did they attend a webinar, trade-show, or fill out an online form or survey).

For Individual Demographics, assign scores to some or all of the following attributes:

  • Title
  • Role
  • Purchasing Authority
  • Number of Direct Reports
  • Level of Manager
  • Years of Experience
  • Specialties
  • Years at Current Position
  • Designations
  • Certifications
  • Honors
  • Awards
  • Social Network Participation
  • Social Network Connection
  • Social Network Influence
  • Public Recommendations
  • Affiliations
  • Career Interests
  • Personal Interests
  • Degrees Received

For Firmographics, assign scores to some or all of the following business attributes:

  • Ranking/Stock Indexes
  • Number of Employees
  • Company Revenue
  • Company Financial Viability
  • Number of Divisions
  • Number of Products Sold
  • Location
  • Website Traffic
  • Website Plug-ins
  • Year Founded
  • Organizational Structure
  • Geographic Markets Served
  • Competitors
  • Partners
  • Fiscal Year End
  • Industry
  • Location of Branches
  • Size of Branches

Scores for Relationship-Specific status may include:

  • Account Type:
  • Customer
  • Partner
  • Competitor
  • Prospect
  • Investor
  • Previous Relationship:
  • Ex-customer
  • Lost Opportunity
  • Product(s) Purchased
  • Complimentary Technology
  • Recycled
  • Lead Source:
  • Website
  • Sponsorship
  • PPC
  • Organic
  • Content Syndication
  • Online Ad
  • Defined Budget/BANT

Scores also increase when prospects interact with content, or engage the brand via email, telephone, over social networks, or by attending events. Examples of score-worthy prospect interactions include:

  • Live Streamed Events:
  • Registered For
  • Viewed
  • Commented During
  • Asked Question During
  • Reviewed Follow-up
  • Rated Event
  • Surveys:
  • Visited
  • Completed
  • Viewed Results
  • Commented On
  • Participated in Multiple
  • Tradeshow:
  • Registered For
  • Attended
  • Visited Booth
  • Watched Demo
  • Attended Multiple Shows
  • Web Pages:
  • Viewed Landing Page
  • Fills Out Form on Landing Page
  • Uses Instant Chat
  • Requests Call Back
  • Viewed – Any
  • Viewed – Specific
  • Viewed – Pricing
  • Viewed – Customers or Reviews
  • Viewed – Multiple Web Pages
  • Shared Via Social Sharing
  • On-line Courses:
  • Viewed Information On
  • Registered For
  • Completed
  • Certifications:
  • Viewed Information On
  • Registered For
  • Received Certification
  • Received Multiple Certifications
  • Community:
  • Submitted an Idea
  • Submitted Multiple Ideas
  • Read About Best Practices
  • Read About Ideas
  • Visited Knowledge Base
  • Read About Product Information
  • Asked a Question
  • Answered a Question
  • Shared a Best Practice
  • Submitted a Review
  • Read A Review
  • Read Multiple Reviews
  • Commented On a Post
  • Videos:
  • Viewed
  • Downloaded
  • Subscribed to Channel
  • Podcasts:
  • Listened To
  • Downloaded

Scores may also be decreased due to inaction or “bad behavior” such as unsubscribing from a list, or extended periods of inactivity. If scores depreciate to a predetermined level, or leads are determined by the sales team to not be “sales-ready,” they are recycled as part of the lead nurturing process. Consider including the following types of Bad Behavior as negative scores:

  • Change in Purchase Timeframe
  • No Progression in Buying Cycle
  • Added to “Do Not Call” list
  • Spam Complaint
  • Negative Social Media Comment
  • Declines Contract/Warranty Renewal
  • Email Unsubscribe
  • No Website Activity for a Long Time
  • Non-Product Related Web Visits:
  • Careers Page
  • Press Room
  • Investor Page

Finally, it’s critical that scoring models are closely tracked and fine-tuned, to increase velocity (time to convert) and to ensure that no clients get caught in the funnel. Funnel execution must be tracked on a stage-by-stage basis, with on-going visibility to leads flowing in and out of each stage, including the conversion rate, velocity, and the overall balance of performance across all marketing delivery channels.