Lead scoring or lead qualification is a marketing term that allows you to determine the level of lead engagement and buyer readiness. To put it briefly, it is about breaking leads into hot and cold. If you've ever dealt with sales, you might know that warm clients are much more eager to buy your product than cold clients.
The task of a sales manager is to single out the customers that are ready to buy and pay maximum attention to them.
During a conversation, it is performed intuitively, and the manager senses the engagement level through the dialog, but this is not that easy when done on the Internet. It's like tomatoes at the vegetable garden.
You pick only red plants and leave the green ones to ripen. Lead scoring is a function that helps to determine the "ripeness of tomatoes." Most marketing automation systems include this function.
History of lead scoring
Naturally, such a technique appeared in the US and, of course, inside a large company named IBM. The company would have over 4,000 applications for their goods per day, and they needed lots of qualified managers to handle all of those. Even for IBM, it was costly, and they started classifying customers by scores to optimize the process.
For instance, they would assign 100 points to a CEO of an IT company and 10 points to a Stanford student.
Then, the system identified the number of scores of the customers and redirected them to managers. Chief officers would speak to top managers, and students would deal with the human resources department that would prepare them for working at IBM.
It resembles some kind of a test when you get scores, and at the end, if you have a sufficient number of points, you receive what you've wished for.
Those with a smaller number of scores have to continue studying. The same goes on in sales.
Today, this technique is widely used on the Internet. Cold clients receive emails, texts, push notifications, etc., and hot clients get calls from managers.
Every action of customers regarding your business has its value, and it can be estimated in both money and conventional scores.
For instance, a person visited your website (1 point), opened your email (2 points), followed the link in the email (3 points), or revisited your website (5 points). The evaluation system can be configured in any convenient way, and the system will assign these points automatically.
What actions one may assign points for?
- Visiting a website page
- Revisiting a website
- Visiting a certain page
- Visiting a certain page for over 6 times
- Visiting a certain category of pages on the website
- Opening an email
- Following a link in the email
- Opening a commercial offer
- Answering a call
- Visiting a webinar
- Watching a webinar to a certain stage
- Buying a product
- Buying a product repeatedly
* In various businesses, the importance of actions differs. In real estate sales, a website visit is a significant event and may stand for 100 points.
If you run a cooking blog, a website visit is an ordinary action and may cost 1 point per visiting. You have to set marks for each action yourselves. In this case, there is no ready-made template that would suit everyone.
If you consider using this function with the online store, you may apply several scoring techniques for different categories of goods. The simplest method is distinguishing between female and male content. A visitor gets 50 points for male content and 5 points for female content. Consequently, you should send offers with "male products" to them.
You can also tune up various automation types in the sales department. A manager receives an application with the task to call a customer when they accumulate 30 points.
A manager calls only those clients who are interested, the so-called hot users, not just any users. This way, the scoring technique allows for discovering the engagement of a potential client and distributing the time of managers only between hot leads.
Lead scoring may be assigned by various factors. These are divided into several subcategories. I always like comparing sales with the relationship between men and women. Here, I'll also try explaining the heart of the matter in the technical and emotional aspects.
These stand for the way people behave on your website, how active their communication with your sales department is, how often they visit your website, which pages they open.
For instance, the lead that has visited your website 5 times during the past 2 days is most likely interested in your product.
The lead that has watched 10 washing machines is most likely to select a washing machine rather than a fridge. The lead that has called or sent emails 3 times is most likely interested in your goods.
In relationships, it may be compared to the way you can guess whether the woman fancies you by how she behaves during a date. If she is twisting her hair around her finger, biting her lips, and fidgeting a bit in her seat, feel free to assign points. Behavioral factors are based on the activity of the lead.
These data are provided by leads themselves. You may obtain them via telephone and save them in the customer's profile. Furthermore, our clients often receive such information from the filled out form fields, and the system synchronizes these data with the profiles automatically.
Fields in the PipeDrive customer profile
For instance, you work in the B2B niche and focus on communication with business owners or top managers. In some way, you obtain the information on the lead's position, and the system assigns a certain score to the lead.
In the romantic sphere, the man who says he likes children gains 10 points and the man who says he likes drinking and clubbing loses 20 points.
Important to realize!
The system is to assign scores automatically and on its own depending on the activity of website visitors. The system is to analyze page views, openings and clicks in emails.
Lead scoring use scenarios
The simplest way to start using this function is to analyze the number of scores and call those having the biggest number of points.
Let's assume a sales manager comes to the office in the morning, opens CRM, and says: "I want to call those who have more than 50 points." They set the filter by the number of scores and get all leads that have accumulated above 50 points.
One can also specify several filter parameters. For example, the customers who have accumulated scoring points, have visited a webinar, are located in New York. A well-tuned system gives tasks to sellers automatically following a previously prepared template.
For educational projects, trigger emails suit perfectly.
Create a process with one condition: when a customer accumulates 100 points and hasn't bought anything yet, they receive a trigger email with a discount valid for 3 days. There may be lots of such options. You should work out yourselves what actions of your clients are important for your business.
Such a system reminds me of a spider and a fly.
A sales manager is a spider, and a customer is a fly. The spider spreads its net (the content on the website), and the moment the fly gets trapped in the net (the client reads several articles on the website), the net starts signaling the spider (CRM gives a task to the manager), and the spider grubs the fly (the manager sells the product).
Subtraction of scores
Absent in some systems, this is an important and very useful function, though. It is the subtraction of scores in case the lead hasn't been involved with your content for a long time.
Imagine a scenario when the customer comes to your website and consumes your content during a week. The system assigns 143 points to them, and it is a hot lead in your case. Managers contact them, but the client says they will make a purchase later. In six months, the manager starts calling people who have many points again.
But 143 points then and now is a different rate of lead warming.
You should provide for the subtraction of a certain number of points in case the user doesn't visit the website for a week. This way, you'll always know your hot and cold leads for sure.