A guest post by Ashley Furness of Software Advice.
Most companies dream of being flooded with leads. And why wouldn’t they? More leads provide more chances to close deals. But high-lead volume also has its drawbacks: Your best prospects might be falling through the cracks because your salespeople are scrambling to keep up with everyone.
Fortunately, lead scoring programs can help deal with all that scrambling. They provide actionable scales for deciding when an opportunity is sales-ready.
Research firm Software Advice recently posted a two-part video series highlighting strategies for designing such a program. Below are a few tips from the videos.
1. Define when an opportunity is sales-ready
To create a lead scoring program, start by deciding when an opportunity is sales-ready or by defining the point at which Marketing passes the prospect over to Sales to close the deal. That point could be as soon as the opportunity is identified or after folks have responded to drip campaigns, downloaded white papers, or taken other actions that suggest they are ready to buy.
2. Pick out opportunity fit metrics and score them
Ask what key questions will help discern if an opportunity is a best match for your company and product. Consider such questions as: Is the lead in the right market? Is it the right kind of company? Is this person the decision-maker? Do they have the right kind of problem? Does our product solve that problem?
Once you’ve identified those metrics, create a scale for each one. (The video suggests 1-10.) An opportunity with the exact problem that your product solves might receive a score of 10 for one metric, for example. Or a secretary contact—rather than a CEO contact—might receive a score of 3 for the decision-maker metric.
3. Pick out opportunity behavior metrics and score them
Behaviors are observable actions that show where the prospect is in the buying process. To create these metrics, first map out your buying process pipeline, such as from first contact to the filled-out online quote form. Next, decide on metric behaviors for each incremental buying-process actions.
For example, the first contact stage might include such actions as becoming a fan on Facebook or signing up for a newsletter; these actions are only worth 1 or 2 points. Then the next stage, in which the contact signs up for a webinar or downloads a report, might be worth 3 and 4 points. The further the behaviors are in the pipeline, the higher the score should be. Points could also be awarded for how many stage two or three behaviors are demonstrated.
4. Decide what scores translate into action and for what team
Decide what fit and behavior scores trigger marketing or sales action. For one organization, Sales might reach out immediately to an opportunity with a high fit score, even if the lead demonstrated very little on the behavior scale (e.g., became a Fan on Facebook). For another company, Sales might not get involved unless the fit is in the 5-10 range and the behavior score is 8 or higher.
Ashleigh Furness is CRM analyst at Software Advice.
(Photo courtesy of Bigstock: Perfect Score)