HomeBlog The Dangers of Flawed Lead Scoring

The Dangers of Flawed Lead Scoring

July 16, 2010 | By Tony Jaros

One of the most common inquiries analysts within our Demand Creation Strategies (DCS) service conduct is to evaluate — and troubleshoot — lead scoring schematics being used by B2B organizations to “improve” the quality of leads fed to sales. We put the word improve in quotations because it often only takes a few minutes to see that the manner in which these schematics have been created not only won’t help lead quality, it will hurt it.

One of the most common inquiries analysts within our Demand Creation Strategies (DCS) service conduct is to evaluate — and troubleshoot — lead scoring schematics being used by B2B organizations to “improve” the quality of leads fed to sales. We put the word improve in quotations because it often only takes a few minutes to see that the manner in which these schematics have been created not only won’t help lead quality, it will hurt it.

Mathematical errors. Overweighting individual demographic characteristics at the expense of the organization the individual represents. Scoring scales that barely differentiate prospects with vastly different characteristics. Ignoring activity-based scoring. Straight, linear scoring vs. taking a more curvilinear approach. Relying too much on BANT (budget-authority-need-timeframe) attributes when it’s inappropriate to do so. These are just a handful of the types of fundamental errors in schematics that we’re seeing virtually every week.

When marketing works with sales to score leads, it is implying that it will be able to deliver better leads at a more reliable rate. When a scoring model is broken, marketing will almost certainly break this implied promise, and disappoint sales (yet again, in the perception of many sales leaders).

A large number of B2B organizations that have purchased a marketing automation platform (MAP) over the last several years have yet to score leads in any meaningful way; perhaps they’ve heard some of the horror stories, or the lack of experience with scoring has made them hesitate. There’s nothing wrong with this hesitation, but it shouldn’t devolve into fear and inaction.

Your organization’s first forays into lead scoring will certainly be works-in-progress, and mistakes will be made. That’s OK, as long as the organization commits to evolving the way it scores leads over time, and vigorously pursues best practices.

As planning season arrives for many of you, now is a good time to either evaluate scoring schematics already in place, or to start to draw up prototypes for testing. Either way, we’d love to help.

 

 

Tony Jaros

Tony Jaros is President and Chief Product Officer at SiriusDecisions. His 20 years of experience spans a wide range of disciplines, including field marketing/demand creation strategies, tactics, metrics and organizational structures; general marketing strategy; marketing communications; and inside sales/teleprospecting. Follow Tony on Twitter at @tjaros.