Lead scoring is a necessary and important part of automation, yet it too often operates in the background or is hastily prepared during an implementation.
Lead scoring should be an active process where you continually evaluate scoring thresholds, new behaviors, and where the lead ultimately ends up: Win or Loss. Once you have your initial system in place, all that back testing becomes easy. So how do you begin to build a scoring system? How do you know what to score?
The Scoring System to Build Sales-Marketing Harmony
You could build it yourself which would be fast in the short run. You will hear from Sales about “unqualified leads.” Instead, work with sales to build a more scientific system to help them see only sales ready leads. You can do this in three ways:
- Option 1: Dictate: You and the Sales VP decide. It’s fast, authoritative, but limited. Definite questions from front line sales.
- Option 2: The Focus Group: You and the top sales and marketing people decide. Slower, but possibly flawed, requiring changes in the future.
- Option 3: The Survey: You survey the entire sales team and analyze the relative ranks of individual demographics and behaviors. Scientific, slower, fewer changes in the future.
I like Option 3 the best. You can use the first two for information, then build the survey.
Instead of basing your lead scores on what you think you know, just ask your sales team!
You should use their relative rankings, especially of behaviors, as a basis for the scores you put into Marketo. Once complete, you should back test scores against Won and Lost opportunity data if possible.
The survey is designed to elicit Sales’ relative ranking of individual demographics and behaviors to program into the lead scoring system. The idea behind the “likelihood to call ranking” is to discover how excited each sales person in your firm is to call an organization, title, department, function, etc.… based entirely on a single criteria.
I want to point out that you should include positive and negative demographics and behaviors because you will program both into Marketo. Some negative behaviors may not be as negative as you think for the Sales team. Sales will also rank both so you have a full spectrum from the worst leads to avoid to the best leads to pass on. If you want to achieve sales-marketing harmony, then listen to what Sales says.
Lead scoring in automation can only help you on a single criterion at a time. How you weight those actions or criteria determines the total lead score at any given time. Marketo’s Definitive Guide to Lead Scoring can help you further.
P.S. Remember to sign up for the latest updates on the Marketing Rockstar’s Guide to Marketo newsletter. – Josh
Image: Flickr Drew Stephens