If you wanted to make a friend, you probably wouldn’t walk up to a stranger and say, “be my friend!” That would seem a little off-putting.
Instead, over time, with incremental mutual exposure, you would strike up conversations with a person you work with, chat about shared interests over coffee, and, eventually, invite them to come to meet the family for dinner. Before long, they would be your “friend.”
The same general principle applies to selling. A completely cold call, out of the blue and with no prior engagement, isn’t going to net you a sale. Not that often, at least. A well-timed series of touch points with a lead who has demonstrated engagement, is geographically proximate and is in the consideration stages of the buying cycle, on the other hand? That’s a sale you can make.
Know the difference between the two is an essential part of the sales process. That’s where lead scoring comes in handy.
What Is Lead Scoring?
Lead scoring is far more than just separating the “cold” leads from the “warm” leads. It is a methodology shared between the marketing and sales departments that ranks leads on how sales-ready they are. The score is based on several factors, including:
- Where the lead is located
- To what extent the lead has shown interest in your business, either by email, phone, downloads, engagement on social media, etc.
- Where the lead is in the buying cycle
- Demographics, such as industry
- The job title of the prospect (i.e., whether she/he is a financial decision-maker)
- And the size of the company.
These factors, assessed together, give you a good understanding of how likely a lead is to buy. That likelihood is assigned a numeric score to give reps an idea of whom they should prioritize when working leads.
How Do You Create Lead Scores?
To lead score manually would take forever, which is why sales teams use sales lead tracking software to automate the process. With lead tracking software, you can select key data points to calculate an overall score. With unlimited input fields to use, you set up relevant fields and add values to those fields throughout the process. The software then produces a final score.
How Lead Scoring Can Help Your Business
Lead scoring, in and of itself, won’t help you much. It will give you insights, but without a game plan for using the information, it’s just an exercise in data storage.
Along with your sales lead tracking software, develop a game plan. Incorporating lead scoring into your sales process can lead to actionable routing, where reps allocate their efforts based on value and prioritize high-value leads.
With access to constantly updated lead scores, your sales reps will be better equipped to prioritize the best leads, and your sales funnel will be a lot more predictable. It’s a simple, elegant solution to a problem that’s vexed sales teams for a long time: how do you ensure that your reps’ time and effort is being utilized properly.