Lead Scoring: 5 Steps to Building a Model that Sales Respects

Updated: February 04, 2011

Step 1: The Meeting

Bring key stakeholders from both sales and marketing together to identify which aspects of the lead qualification criteria should be considered in the scoring model. A weight should be applied to each item but no numeric value. Create a range by using plus and minus signs. Items that are of high-value get +++, those of lesser value only get +. Don't be afraid to use negatives, as bad criteria are just as valuable. Make sure to include a discussion of what the perfect sales-ready lead looks like and whether the current priority is quantity or quality.

Step 2: Define the Threshold

Often there is a rush to begin applying numbers to lead criteria. Instead, identify what numeric threshold the lead needs to reach before it is sent to sales for follow-up. Consider the threshold to be the quality versus quantity setting. The higher the number, the higher quality leads the system will deliver. This allows for flexibility. If the scoring model is deemed too strict there is an easy corrective action - lowering the threshold. If your company just doubled its sales force, maybe sending more leads over to sales is prudent.

Step 3: Build Scenarios

Take a moment and walk away from the numbers. Think about whom your leads are and the types of actions they take. Create a minimum of three scenarios outlining various titles, actions, and answers to qualification questions. Three scenarios should be sufficient, covering leads that discover your website unannounced (Random Inbound), leads that were actively pursued through list rental or other activity (Random Outbound), and leads that are part of a coordinated program such as lead nurture or email drip program (Nurture Marketing). Don't over think it. Don't create the perfect lead. It should be random - like your leads.

Step 4: Set your Weights

Based on what you learned from The Meeting and where you have set The Threshold, apply specific values to the demographic, behavioral, and qualification criteria. Link these values to the scenarios and analyze. Would someone with this collection of points be considered a good lead? Did they reach the scoring threshold? Adjust the individual scoring values based on how your company defines a lead. This is where many lead scoring models fall apart. The model developer/analyst needs to pay close attention to what was learned from sales and apply that to the values and not make guesses.

Step 5: Review and Adjust

The heavy lifting is over but the task is not complete. Constantly communicate with sales to discover how the scored leads are performing. Learn from their experience and adjust where needed. Lead scoring models are not stagnant; they are always evolving as corporate conditions and goals change.

Featured Research
  • EHR Implementation

    More and more medical practices are selecting and implementing electronic health records (EHR) than ever before. In fact, statistics show that the number of practices who have purchased an EHR has doubled in just three years. That being said, many practices fail to prepare for their new EHR and thus do not gain the full benefits that come with implementing a solution. more

  • Selecting the Right EHR for Your Practice

    The purchase and implementation of an electronic health record (EHR) system is no small feat and is a big step for a practice, small or large, to take. Selecting your new EHR is one of the most important decisions that you will make for your practice. more

  • 8 Ways Business Travelers Can Save with VoIP

    Do you or any part of your workforce travel for work, or even telecommute? If that answer is yes, then you should be utilizing mobile VoIP. With VoIP, businesses have been found to save as much as 40% on local calls and a whopping 90% on international calling expenses. more

  • Top 10 Contact Center Tools for an Unforgettable Customer Experience

    It should come as no surprise that consumers have only increasingly become less and less brand loyal in the modern age. In fact, 89% of them have switched brands within the last year due to a poor customer experience. One of the major steps to preventing this customer churn is to invest and invest heavily into improving your customers' experience. Now the major question to ask yourself is, "of all the contact center tools available, what are the ones that I should be utilizing for my business?" more

  • The Future of ERP

    Today's business decisions are data-driven and the difference between success and failure can be boiled down to utilizing the correct data. Now more than ever, companies have access to not only robust data but consumable data as well, through Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software. more