3 Lead Scoring Mistakes (And How to Prevent Them) – Part 1

There is no doubt that lead scoring offers a number of benefits – especially for its ability to nurture leads more effectively. Ultimately, however, there is no perfect model for scoring leads. The reality is that this strategy is not a quick fix or a sure bet. Instead, it is a way to guide your efforts to prevent wasted time and effort. No model will ever be perfect. When you start to score leads on behavioural data, it can become even more of a challenge. It is for this reason that many businesses are wary of trying lead scoring.

Although there is no short cut to scoring your leads, there are a number of strategies that simplify the process and ensure a more accurate result. The first step is to ensure that your sales and marketing teams are all on the same page when it comes to defining exactly what factors determine a qualified lead. The next step is learning how to score your leads in a way that adds the most value. You will also need to take a few things into account, from the complex buying cycle to the quality of your data.

Despite the challenges, many businesses have experienced successful results through this strategy. Those who have seen success are typically those who have either learned the hard way or avoided common mistakes in the first place. The simplest way to get started with your own lead scoring efforts is to be fully aware of the most commonly made mistakes, so that you can avoid them and prevent wasted time and resources.

Avoid These Lead Scoring Mistakes

What are the biggest mistakes made? Typical lead scoring mistakes to avoid include the following:

Mistake #1: Not scoring leads at all

Not sure whether lead scoring is right for you and your business? Consider the following statistics to see how much this strategy can help with your marketing efforts:

  • 68% of marketers said that scoring was “highly effective and efficient” at improving their revenue contribution. – Lenskold-Pedowitz
  • 73% of B2B leads are not sales-ready. – MarketingSherpa
  • 38% of businesses saw higher lead to opportunity conversion rates thanks to scoring. – Kentico

Why is this approach so effective? Some of the benefits offered by scored leads include the following:

  • This approach aims to improve your sales team efficiency, so that you do not waste time, effort or marketing spend on low quality leads or cold leads that are not worth trying to qualify.
  • It also allows you to evaluate behaviour of your top customers, while providing insights that can be used for your lead nurturing campaigns.
  • It can help you put assumptions you may have about your target market or sales process to the test to ensure more accurate targeting.
  • It can help you spot warm and hot leads, as well as brand ambassadors who are able to promote your business, even if they don’t convert to sales.

If you have not yet gotten started with this strategy, now is the best time to get that ball rolling. Once you start, you will be able to perfect your approach and enjoy the many benefits of lead scoring.

Mistake #2: Not using clean data

Another major mistake is not starting with clean data. The lead process starts when a potential lead completes an information form, giving you details such as a phone number, email address, name and location. The biggest challenge for marketers and companies is that often, this information is either missing or incorrect. Another challenge is duplicate data, which can occur when a lead enters new information rather than updated information. Sometimes, data may be incorrect for reasons as simple as ignorance, in the case where a customer omits a field or misunderstands the information that is required. Other times, the person may not have the information you require.

It is never ideal to bombard new leads with a massive form on their first contact. In order to prevent or at least minimise the impact of dirty data, you will need to either try a strategy such as progressive profiling, which seeks additional information in additional forms sent to leads in order to get better data from leads. You may be surprised at how wide-spread dirty data is…

According to Netprospex’s 2015 State of Marketing Data Report, 71% of records lack industry information, 82% of records lack company size by employee, and 84% of records lack revenue information. What this means is that you could be wasting time and resources on lead nurturing, email marketing and mobile marketing, with messages not going to the right people at the right email or right phone number. Missing or incorrect behavioural data is equally damaging, resulting in a decreased conversion rate.

To prevent lost conversions, you could consider the following tips on how to improve your data:

  • Use standardised processes. You may have control over your own data that is obtained through your website, emails, forms and social media pages. How much control do you have over third party data though? A good way to ensure that your records are standard across both first and third party sources is to create separate fields for third party data until you are sure that it is accurate and aligned with your own data.
  • Focus on the data you can use. Essentially, you want quality over quantity. There is no point in having massive records that are hard to track – especially if you will not plan to use some of the less relevant data. Focus on the behaviour and data that matters the most. This will allow you to see the full benefit of lead scoring without wasting time or resources.

Mistake #3: Not separating demographic and behaviour scores

Another mistake is to assume that you can lump demographic and behavioural scores together. Sadly, it does not work this way at all. Instead, you will need to separate them so that you can get the full benefit of scoring. Both of these values are useful, but for very different reasons. If you want to be able to target the leads that have the best chance of converting, you will need to both of these values. This will allow you to determine different approaches that have the best chance of conversion.

How do these scores compare? Let’s take a look…

  • Behaviour scores typically give you insight on leads that are warming up for your sales team. These scores determine a potential lead’s sales readiness.
  • Demographic scores meanwhile determine your market segmentation. These scores work hand in hand with your target marketing efforts.

A good scoring system should include unique scores for demographics and behaviour. When you try and fit these scores together, the result is a less than accurate bigger picture. To use an example, you may have a lead that has downloaded your guide, browsed your website and signed up for your newsletter. This lead has a high score based on behaviour. When looking at the demographics however, you may find that the lead in question is based outside of your operating area, or that they are not at all likely to convert based on their demographic score. Using two dimensions – behaviour and demographics – is the best chance you have of creating unique profiles that work with your lead nurturing campaigns.

Download our Ultimate Guide to Lead Scoring and learn how to get started today.

These are just a few of the mistakes that may be holding you back. Next month, in part two of this guide, we will include even more mistakes to avoid. If you’d like to know more about how marketing automation tools help you perfect your lead scoring efforts, please contact the Grapevine team today.

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