lead scoringLead scoring is a method that can be used to measure and optimize the success of marketing activities among potential customers. Apart from that, it can be automated software-based and is therefore an important function of marketing automation software packages such as HubSpot, Marketo, Act-On, Oracle Eloqua or Salesforce Pardot.

As we know, the success of winning new customers depends on how much you focus on the most promising prospects who are most willing to buy. However, the question is, how to identify and qualify the most promising candidates among your leads and foresee which lead will convert into sales? Well, that’s precisely where lead scoring comes into play.

A lead scoring model is used as an internal rating system to evaluate and constantly monitor the potential for completion and the potential value of a customer relationship with each potential customer. In lead scoring, you do not only carry out the potential assessment once, but continuously for every prospective customer throughout the pre-purchase phase.

After all, the lead nurturing phase can sometimes last several months for some products, e.g. cars or investments. During that time, some of your leads can be pretty active on your website, on your blog, on your Facebook page, and in your webinars. With lead scoring, you stay on the pulse of your leads and track the impact of lead behavior on potential readiness to close a deal.

Lead scoring is an internal potential evaluation process that is not visible to your prospective buyers, yet very important. Therefore, you might want to consider the following steps for the introduction of lead scoring:

First, you set your own evaluation criteria for your leads, award points for different characteristics (e.g. decision-making authority) and actions (e.g. interactions on your website), and then capture everything in your inbound marketing software. After that, the software follows the criteria you have defined and constantly calculates a current score for each lead.

If a lead then, for instance, downloads e-books or attends a webinar, it will collect more lead scoring points and increase the personal lead score. If the lead, for instance, unsubscribes from your newsletter, his/her willingness to buy will likely decrease and you will award a negative scoring value for such a step.

Once one of your contacts reaches a specific total lead score that you set, you can initiate an automated marketing workflow in your Marketing Automation software or take manual steps to inform – e.g. somebody in your sales team about the prospective buyer who then approaches the prospect who is obviously willing to buy.

With ‘lead scoring’ you make sure that you pay close attention in marketing to the leads that will help you to achieve your new customer acquisition goals. You can evaluate the quality of a contact or request in more detail before talking to your prospective buyer. By using a numerical lead rating of a potential buyer's sales maturity, the guesswork in marketing and sales has come to an end.

1. First, you use the information that you receive directly from your prospective customer or that you can find freely on the internet for your lead scoring. These are so-called explicit information, which include your prospect's profile and context (e.g. professional or private situation).

2. The second important dimension of your lead score is the implicit information that your prospective buyer does not explicitly indicate to you, but implicitly reveals with his or her behavior when using your online information. These data provide an individual profile that reflects the interests and potential information needs of a lead.

3. The third information category of your leads is the ‘social score’ that looks at how active and committed your lead is in social media. It is particularly relevant how intensively someone deals with your content and with your communication in the social web.

By Daniela La Marca