How to Create the Perfect Lead Scoring Matrix
In order to score and nurture leads effectively, you first need to start with the perfect lead scoring matrix. With so many factors to consider when scoring leads, it can quickly get confusing without a clearly defined model. Having a matrix in place will simplify the process, allowing you to quickly build lead profiles. This, in turn, will allow you to separate the warm leads from the cold leads, ensuring a far more focused approach to lead generation.
Before we get into our tips, it is useful to consider how you will develop your matrix. Some of the things that you will take into account when building your lead scoring matrix include the following:
- Individual lead score. Essentially, this is the various scores for each potential lead, combined into a single score. The higher the score, the more likely the lead will be to convert. You will need to consider demographics, as well as behaviours such as completing website forms, visiting website pages, reading your blog, following your social media pages and signing up for newsletters.
- Company lead score. You will also need to assign a score for the number of potential leads within each company that has shown interest in what you are offering. Rather than scoring individual leads, you will instead develop a score for the entire company. Once you have gained a set number of leads from a single company, you will be able to determine a company score that combines all leads within that company. You could rate different buyer roles within the company, scoring influencers lower than decision makers, for example.
- Product lead score. You could also score each product range to get a deeper insight into products that have generated interest from leads. Scoring products is a good way to gain insight into buyer behaviour. It will also help you plan lead nurturing campaigns for specific products in a way that is geared towards conversion. You could also use multiple scores when leads are interested in more than one product.
- Score decay. To ensure that your lead profiles are always accurate and current, it is important to update scores when leads are inactive within a pre-defined time period. For example, you could reduce an individual score if the lead has turned cold within two weeks. This leaves you free to focus on genuinely warm leads rather than those that are less likely to convert.
- Recycled leads. If a seemingly hot lead moves through your funnel, only to still not have reached purchase stage, you will need a careful nurturing strategy to avoid losing the lead altogether. These leads can be recycled, with the help of sales and marketing alignment.
Now that we’ve outlined the different stages, how do you go about creating a killer lead scoring matrix? Let’s take a look.
Creating a Lead Scoring Matrix
Steps that will help you create your lead scoring matrix are outlined as follows:
Determine your criteria.
Before you start scoring leads, you first need to determine the criteria you will focus on when calculating scores. There are three primary criteria for lead scoring: explicit, implicit, and negative.
- Explicit criteria focus on informative data that is deliberately provided by leads. This could include a registration form or survey. This information does not require any analysis or interpretation as it is taken at face value. Information that may be sourced includes company, location, industry or business category, revenue, lead source, job title, past purchases and purchase authority.
- Implicit criteria apply to data that is not deliberately provided. Instead, it is sourced by reviewing explicit data. To use an example, explicit data may provide information on a lead’s location, which in turn could provide implicit data on which area they may frequently shop. Examples of this type of data includes website visits (number and types of pages visited, how often and how frequently the website is accessed and whether referral sites are used); phone calls (you can integrate your CRM and marketing automation platform to assign points); content interactions and downloads (downloads and views of articles, white papers, infographics, press releases, podcasts and videos); subscriptions (newsletter and RSS sign-ups); webinar attendance (number of webinars registered and attended and topic preferences); form completions (demos, contact, surveys or any other related forms) and custom events (trade show attendance and physical events).
- Negative criteria apply to any factors that may turn leads cold. This is essentially the balance of your lead scoring matrix. It helps you continually adjust your scores, ensuring the best level of accuracy. Examples of negative data include no response to marketing, unsubscribes, requests to be added to the do not contact list, a lack of decision-making authority, long periods of inactively, visits to non-converting pages, such as careers or DIY help pages.
Determine your thresholds.
Once you have set your lead scoring criteria, the next step is to define your thresholds. Which scores will act as dividing lines to separate the warm leads from the hot, sales-ready leads? To determine the threshold, you could take the following approach:
- Give each criteria a score between 0 and 10. Negative criteria would use a negative score, so make sure you take this into account. For example, you could give form completion a score of 3, newsletter registration a score of 6, contact page visits a score of 7 and unsubscribes a score of -3.
- Combine each criteria score to create an individual score for each lead.
- Determine the highest possible score that a lead could be given if they were to move successfully through your sales funnel.
- Determine the worst score that will result in leads being removed from your matrix.
- As most leads will not have a perfect score, you will need a baseline. Determine the most important interactions, then create a realistic ‘warm’ lead score.
- From here, you can determine the ideal threshold that will determine when a lead is sent to sales.
Automate your nurture leads effectively.
Manually scoring and nurturing leads is highly difficult, if not impossible. Marketing automation remains the single most efficient way to score and nurture simply and comprehensively. Digital marketing tools help to reduce the need for cold calling, allowing your marketing and sales teams to automatically score and nurture leads efficiently. This, in turn, reduces the amount of time needed to complete repetitive tasks. It also gives you the benefit of innovative dashboards that offer full reporting and other features. This enables you to create deeper scores than ever before. Leads can be tracked and scored as they progress through their journey, with every behaviour easily monitored.
Another benefit is that the sales cycle is shortened, as leads are nurtured with relevant content that genuinely adds value. As you have full insight into what your leads are interested in and what problems they may be facing, you will be able to meet these needs with unique solutions, helping leads along the sales cycle. Most automation tools can be easily integrated with existing systems such as CRM tools. When sales and marketing are aligned, the result is a far higher conversion rate, too, along with greater accuracy, speed, and efficiency.
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Interested in learning more about how marketing automation helps you improve your lead scoring efforts? Get in touch with the Grapevine Interactive team to find out how a digital marketing platform can revolutionise your lead scoring matrix.