Lead scoring is what happens after lead generation. It is an approach employed by sales and marketing teams to assess the quality of leads, also known as potential customers. It involves assigning values to leads based on their behavior and level of interest in products or services.
Lead scoring in the UK is important for one obvious reason: prioritize worthwhile leads so you don't waste resources on dead-end leads. It’s usually done by the same BDRs that generate the leads, but always consider the thoughts of sales reps and the end client. When there are criteria leads must meet, marketing teams can refocus their attention and adapt their campaigns to target the desired lead.
Inbound and outbound lead creation are the two main approaches. But how are these two different? The primary distinctions between inbound and outbound lead generation can be found in their methods and goals.
“Companies often ask if they should be investing time and effort into lead scoring,” our U.K. director of accounts James Smith said. “For a sales and marketing team, it gives indicative timelines from prospects, how far along that buying journey they are.”
Lead scoring in the UK becomes a strategy to not waste your time.
“The UK can be a tough nut to crack when it comes to European expansion, cutting to the buyers that are further down that sales cycle can be your quickest route to ROI,” James said.
Intent data, on the other hand, is information acquired from a prospect's online activity that shows their level of interest or desire to use a specific good or service.
Data is gathered from a variety of sources, including social media interactions, website visits, content consumption, and search queries. It provides insights into a prospect's specific interests, preferences, and stages in the buying journey.
By analyzing intent data, we can identify the user's strong interest in cloud computing and tailor their marketing efforts accordingly, and deliver targeted ads, provide personalized content recommendations, or initiate timely follow-ups to engage the user further and nurture them toward a potential purchase.
Intent data can enhance lead scoring by providing real-time insights into a lead's current interests and actions. By incorporating intent data into the lead-scoring process, businesses can gain a deeper understanding of a lead's potential buying intent, allowing them to prioritize and tailor their sales and marketing efforts accordingly.
B2B lead scoring models can be broken down into several sub-components, but five inclusive elements generally exist:
Implicit scoring includes behavior indicators that track the level of interest; for example, which website pages did they visit on their way to your goal (newsletter subscriptions, claiming free gifts, or purchasing a product). It includes content shared on social media, which indicates a predisposition to certain topics/subjects/interests.
Explicit scoring includes information supplied by the lead, for example, details in a contact/query form that point towards their level of interest and conversations with your BDRs.
Demographic information reveals physical information about leads, such as their region (Essex, Cotswolds), their industry and position (head of sales in a supermarket), the size of the business (fewer than 20 employees), and revenue (less than $100,000 per year).
It's up to you to decide which is more important in your B2B lead scoring model; for example, you value proximity and give nearby leads a higher score than leads in the next city or county.
Knowing who you're targeting is important, but so is knowing who to walk away from. For example, you value proximity and the Cotswolds is your preferred region, so anyone from North East England is either immediately disqualified or scored zero with other information pending.
Incorrect information is also scored negatively; for example, your form specifically asks for a business email address but they provide a personal address.
Degradation occurs when a once-promising lead stalls along the sales cycle either because they lost interest or were inundated with work and your email was lost in a sea of communication.
An experienced salesperson should be able to tell when to pop in a reminder and resume the process or wipe their hands and walk away.
Business is fluid, nothing stays the same. So, you should always go back to your B2B lead scoring model to see if the criteria are still valid.
You can also take another look at potential customers who were disqualified. Their circumstances might have changed; for example, they opened a branch in Oxford, which is near the Cotswolds.
In the end, success in lead scoring takes a real understanding of your Ideal Customer Profile. “Personalization is king within the U.K. and knowing your Ideal Customer Profile from the outset, enables you to adapt your outbound messaging to your persona’s needs and challenges, keeping you one step ahead of the competition!” explained our U.K. sales director Liam Huskinson.
That makes every B2B lead scoring model inherently unique. So while there are five important steps to follow when creating a model, it's your method that's the key to successful, qualified lead generation.
It's crucial to know exactly what your perfect lead looks like. This makes creating an ideal customer profile very important. You can develop your ideal customer by asking:
You must decide how you're going to measure the value of characteristics. It can be as simple as cold - colder - freezing - warm - warmer - hot. It can be as complex as a 100-point system.
You can also create points "sets", where you assign each set's potential. For example, an 8-10 set includes hot leads for immediate action, the 5-7 set is promising and someone will follow up, and anything less than five is put on a "don't waste my time" pile.
The only thing that really matters is how easily you can use the model, and how much sense it makes to you.
This looks at the actions that lead to a successful sale and what precipitated those actions. For example, the most interest your product generates is at off-site demonstrations and presentations. You should probably allocate more budget to those activities.
You need to then determine levels of engagement at these events to lock down sales. For example, Person A asked pertinent questions and was satisfied with the answers but Person B stayed in the far corner and spent more time paying attention to their phone than your presentation.
Now you can give "interesting questions and engagement with the presenter" a high-value score on your model.
Don't underestimate the challenge that assigning values presents. The first thing to do is separate the solid information which is the demographics and fluid information which is the behavior. They are scored using the same objective principles and each total is equally important.
The trick is to determine what has genuine value and what has misleading value. For example, you send out a blanket email campaign and count every open email as successful.
Unfortunately, you don't know the behavior behind the open. The person could have opened it on a whim, scanned it, deleted it, or reported it as spam. Opening emails doesn't meet the criteria for a qualified lead.
Now, the person who opens the email and clicks the desired link for that campaign has value. However, that's not the end goal. The person who subscribes to the newsletter and confirms their subscription via email has value. Their value gets a higher score than those who just click the link.
However, that's not the end goal. The person who confirmed their subscription and then went to the products page to look at women's fashion has even greater value. And so it goes until a delivery note is sent.
Start putting it all together as soon as the marketing campaign has been launched. Monitor it and refine it if necessary. End it and analyze it for strengths and weaknesses and prepare for future marketing efforts.
A score threshold is a baseline that separates marketing qualified leads (worth attention) from unqualified leads (not attention-worthy). For example, don't bother with anyone who scores four or lower. Anyone up to six is getting warm. Anyone up to eight is warmer. Anyone up to 10 is super hot, they might even have closed the deal already.
It's essential for your sales and marketing teams to collaborate. Your marketers can gauge the relative success or failure of tactics and salespeople can give marketers data to create campaigns that continue to speak to the 10s, but directly target the warm and warmer sets to push them up the ranking system.
Customer relationship management (CRM) systems are essential for any business that relies on sales. How else does one log and monitor customer interaction, including phone calls, emails, visits, statuses, requests, complaints, compliments, and meetings?
Lead scoring is a natural fit with CRM systems. Salespeople can enter new high-scoring leads or pull up data on existing high-scoring leads to complete the sale. The information is all in one place that is easy for sales and marketing teams to access and update automatically.
One should never rest on one's laurels; there's always room for improvement. This and the fluid nature of the UK market necessitate continuous analysis, reflection, and refinement of your lead-scoring processes.
This is necessary to improve the value of the information generated during a campaign, as well as to inspire future marketing activities, after the requisite adjustments to improve the accuracy of data and the effectiveness with which it is used.
The best way to develop a successful lead-scoring model is with collaboration between the sales and marketing departments. It's only by working hand-in-hand that they can identify and prioritize qualified leads. Together, they can align their strategies, share valuable insights, and clearly define the criteria for lead scoring.
Marketing teams bring their expertise and understanding of buyer personas and market trends to the table. Sales departments bring feedback on lead interactions and conversions to the table. In essence, they create a feedback loop where marketing teams analyze the quality of leads that are passed to the sales team. Their results identify adjustments necessary to refine marketing processes.
The net result is a greater chance to identify and nurture promising leads, which improves conversion rates and your business's bottom line.
Tracking and analyzing lead-scoring results enables businesses to evaluate the strategies' effectiveness so they can make insightful decisions to optimize conversion rates and future marketing tactics.
Data analysis reveals behavior patterns and trends so your teams can refine scoring criteria and direct their focus and marketing resources toward the sales-ready leads.
Tracking and monitoring provide insights into conversion rates and customer acquisition costs, so you get the full picture regarding lead-generating activities and marketing ROI. Using this information in conjunction with your knowledge of the UK market ultimately results in boosted sales and maximized revenue potential.
Lead scoring can be a time-consuming process that is best handled by outsourcing the job to companies experienced in creating successful lead scoring strategies unique to the UK market. Sales Force Europe has that experience and more.
We provide clear insights so you can see your strengths and weaknesses and how they impact the sales pipeline.
Contact us for customized B2B lead scoring models that allow your international sales team to hit the ground running. Call +34 659 449 202, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or complete the contact form on our website and we'll get started on your tailored lead scoring model immediately.