Creating a lead scoring system

Sales By Rhys Little, 12th March 2014

As many sales and marketing professionals will know, lead scoring is a tool that determines the value of a prospect. It helps businesses identify the leads they should follow up as a priority over those that might prove a waste of time.

Creating a lead scoring system needn’t be difficult; here are some simple top tips:

Use data to classify leads

For a lead scoring system to work, you need to have access to actual data from which to sort the proverbial wheat from the chaff. This means collecting information via customer relationship management (CRM). Whether its tracking web behaviour or exporting details from sign-up forms, CRM software can then help you to classify and segment your leads into those that you definitely want to pursue or those that you can put on hold for now.

Determine what qualifies a good lead

To ensure that you make the most profitable partnerships, you need to decide which qualities the ‘ideal’ lead should possess. These are typically characteristics that best fit with your product / brand and therefore make that lead appropriate. Types of qualities might include headcount, physical location, industry sector and turnover.

While it is infinitely useful to determine what a good lead looks like, don’t use too many factors as you’ll risk narrowing your pool so much that no leads qualify at all.

Prove your lead is ‘interested’

Before you start getting your best people on the case, you want some proof that this lead really is ‘into you’. To do that, you need to find a way to determine how strong their interest is by identifying traits and actions that are consistent with previous, converted leads. For example, did most of your successful leads subscribe to your newsletter or download your whitepaper? Look out for new leads that exhibit behaviour which is common across closed deals – these could be quality leads.

It might take a little time to work out, but will be worth the investment when the finished result is an accurate set of differentiators. It similarly allows you to disregard any leads whose actions are consistent with failed deals.

Count ’em up

Now that you’ve categorised your leads as per the above, you can score them to establish precisely which leads are your hottest priorities. To do this, allocate a value or score to each criterion which is commensurate with its potential importance to the business. For instance, you might decide that subscribing to your newsletter is worthy of 500 points, while operating within a certain sector is worth 1,000. There are various sales management tools available to help with this process. Then it’s simply a case of counting up the scores et voila! Here are your quality leads.