Lead Scoring: Effectively Narrowing a Funnel of Possibilities into a Pipeline of Opportunities 

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Many sales, marketing and business development representatives are often tasked with turning lists into leads. This means taking a giant open funnel of possibilities and narrowing them down into a pipeline of qualified business opportunities. This task is no small feat and can take time, money and maximum effort. However, with the right tools in place and the right teams working together, the process can be a bit more simplified and the outcome is well worth the effort. This is where lead scoring can play a vital role in your marketing strategy.

Many sales, marketing and business development representatives are often tasked with turning lists into leads. This means taking a giant open funnel of possibilities and narrowing them down into a pipeline of qualified business opportunities. This task is no small feat and can take time, money and maximum effort. However, with the right tools in place and the right teams working together, the process can be a bit more simplified and the outcome is well worth the effort. This is where lead scoring can play a vital role in your marketing strategy.

What are the key benefits from an effective lead scoring model?

  • Better focused sales efforts. 61 percent of B2B marketers send all leads directly to sales; however, only 27 percent of those leads will be qualified. (MarketingSherpa)
  • Higher lead ROI. Organizations that use lead scoring experience a 77 percent lift in lead generation ROI over organizations that do not use lead scoring. (MarketingSherpa)
  • Increased conversion rate. 38 percent of businesses surveyed experienced higher lead opportunity conversion rates thanks to lead scoring. (Kentico)

When it comes to lead scoring, the stats can speak for themselves. However, the overall most important benefit that should come out of this model is the sales and marketing alignment. Both teams must work in tandem and combine their ideas to produce a set of well-defined parameters for lead quality that everyone can agree on. Once this criteria is in place in your lead scoring system, there’s no more reason for sales and marketing to argue. They’re now happily working as a team, focused on the highest quality leads.

Need a few tips to get started?

For effective lead scoring, we already know that marketing and sales need to work together and determine what exactly qualifies a lead for sales. But what qualifications can sales and marketing use to score leads? And what are some of the lead scoring best practices you should be following?

  • Listen to their digital body language – downloads, blog posts read, social media activity, email opens, website session duration, pages viewed per session, forms completed, links clicked (protocol 80, Inc.).
  • Use marketing automation to assist in giving you a clear view of what your ideal prospect looks like and establish which prospects you should spend more time on.
    Evaluate conversion rates of leads sent to sales, as well as define the commonalities of leads that become opportunities.
  • Continue adjusting scoring based on changing trends or new information to ensure sales is passed the highest priority leads.
  • Finally, always communicate regularly with sales regarding progress and results and to get feedback on their perception of the process.

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