HomeBlog How Do You Know if Your Lead Scoring Is Working?

How Do You Know if Your Lead Scoring Is Working?

October 06, 2014 | By Laura Cross

Too many organizations implement lead scoring because it was included with their marketing automation platform (MAP). Post-purchase, many MAP vendors ask, “With your subscription agreement and initial professional services agreement, do you want lead scoring or nurturing?”

Too many organizations implement lead scoring because it was included with their marketing automation platform (MAP). Post-purchase, many MAP vendors ask, “With your subscription agreement and initial professional services agreement, do you want lead scoring or nurturing?”

Lead ScoringMost organizations do not believe they have enough content for a nurturing program, so lead scoring is an easy choice – especially because organizations naturally want to give highly valuable leads to sales. MAP vendors’ professional services teams also may guide the organization to choose scoring.

The lead scoring conversation often goes wrong at this point. It starts with a scoring template from the vendor, usually based on a one-size-fits-most approach, rather than a discussion between marketing and sales about the definition of a qualified lead. Typically, the scoring model is built without sales’ involvement, and many of the defined attributes are guesses that aren’t based on historical data or deal deconstruction.

What many organizations do not realize until it’s too late is that once a lead scoring model is implemented and fails, sales’ confidence in marketing’s ability to provide valuable leads plummets.

So, what should an organization do if lead scoring has already been implemented without sales’ involvement – or too early in the lead management process? And how does an organization know if lead scoring is working?

First, understand what lead scoring is and what it is not. Lead scoring is the methodology used to rank prospects against a scale that represents the perceived value each lead represents to the organization. The resulting score is used to determine which leads a receiving function (e.g. sales, partners, teleprospecting) will engage and prioritize. Here’s how to determine if lead scoring is working:

  • Proving success. Lead scoring is successful when leads with higher scores convert into closed/won business more often than low-scoring leads. Success improves alignment between functions based on adherence to a service-level agreement (SLA). Analyzing velocity and conversion-to-revenue rates is critical to measuring scoring effectiveness and ongoing success. If lead scoring is effective, the next steps include optimizing for continued improvement.
  • Disproving success. Typically, organizations can prove lead scoring is not successful if metrics related to lead scoring are trending negatively. If an organization is unable to do a comparative analysis because there was no baseline established, evaluation of success or failure is based only on perception. If lead scoring is ineffective, next steps include identifying points of failure and supporting them with fact-based intelligence, diagnosing their severity and making the necessary changes.

How are you determining whether your lead scoring is successful? Use the comment box to share your experience.

Laura Cross

Laura is a results-oriented marketing professional with more than 15 years of experience in strategic planning, demand creation, marketing operations and public relations. She understands demand creation for b-to-b companies and is passionate about companies with complex business models, especially those that sell to – and through – a channel.

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