6 Easy Ways to Fix Common Lead Scoring Issues

6 Easy Ways to Fix Common Lead Scoring Issues

By Jackie Van MeterSep 12 /2016

sales-funnel-sales-leads.jpgA lead score helps you determine the sales-readiness of individual leads. This, in turn, allows your sales team to operate at peak efficiency, wasting less time on leads who still need to be nurtured and aren’t ready for the sales process.

But whether you’re new to lead scoring, or you just don’t have an established system yet, some common issues can get in the way of optimizing sales.

Here are some tips for fixing common lead scoring issues.

1. Determine What Your Ideal Lead Looks Like

Stu Heinecke, humor relations guy for Sales Lead Management Association (SLMA) says, “If you’re not able to explain who your ideal prospect is in a single sentence without fumbling for words, you need to get to work on a simple, but very specific definition. Identifying the right prospects then becomes much simpler, and your follow-up much more efficient.”

Many businesses don’t have a fully fleshed-out picture of what their ideal lead looks like, which explains why they’re not entirely sure how to score them.

It’s likely that you’ve already collected a great deal of information about your leads, from their job title and industry to annual revenue and the number of pages they’ve viewed on your website. You can leverage all of this information with your lead scoring. You can also choose not to use any of it if it’s irrelevant.

The best step you can take is to evaluate who your best customers are and what they have in common. This step alone can provide some valuable clues as to what your ideal lead looks like.

2. Score Both Demographic & Behavioral Attributes

How interested are you in a particular prospect? How interested are they in you? Do you have a way of differentiating between the two?

Just because you’re interested in a lead doesn’t mean they’re interested in you. The opposite can also be true. It’s important not to confuse the two when you’re looking to optimize lead scoring.

Demographic scores represent your interest in the prospect, while behavioral scores represent a prospect’s interest in you. Only using one lead score can make it difficult to segment your leads, which should be grouped by interest level as well as the potential value they represent. With demographic and behavioral scores in place, your sales team will have better data to act upon.

3. Create a Sufficient Number of Rules

If your lead scoring system is too simple, it could actually make your job of ranking leads more difficult. How many rules have you put in place?

If you only have three or four rules, then there’s a good chance you can’t differentiate the good leads from the bad. Your best leads could even be getting lost in the shuffle. Although simplicity is a good thing to practice, you should consider fleshing out your lead scoring if it only accounts for a small number of factors.

4. Determine What Makes Leads Sales-Ready

Do you know when to hand leads off to sales? Do you have a score threshold for when to reach out to leads?

If you know what has led to sales conversions in the past, you’ll be able to do a more effective job of handing over leads to the sales team at the right time. And don’t forget: A lead’s score changes over time.

Pamela Vaughan, principal marketing manager of HubSpot, advises us to “decide at which point a total score would validate sending a lead to your sales team for a conversation. It helps to look at past lead activity when determining this figure, so you know what has historically led to sales conversions.” She adds, “It’s important to remember that, because a lead’s activity can change from day to day, a lead’s individual score will also change over time.”

5. Include Current Customers In Your Lead Scoring System

It’s one thing to constantly go after new leads and customers. But often the most profitable leads are your existing customers—people who have already bought from you. Re-engaging at the right time to upsell or cross-sell is sales 101.

One of your existing customers might come to your website looking for something new—an add-on, an upgrade, an additional product or service. If you don’t already have a way of scoring customers that have bought from you before, put processes in place for your sales team so they don’t miss out on opportunities to sell. This also helps keeps costs down, since you don’t have to generate new leads through more costly methods.

6. Mitigate the Inflation of Lead Scores

Does your lead score system account for time? You might have a prospect whose lead score has increased because they made a call or they attended one of your webinars. And while it’s worth assigning points to leads that have engaged and shown interest, it’s also important to remember that these points can deteriorate in value with each passing day.

Avoid the over-inflation of a prospect’s lead score by accounting for time. If you don’t, your sales team will end up taking on leads whose value has diminished in value.

Getting Your Lead Scoring Issues Figured Out

Lead scoring enables you to create a well-organized, healthy lead flow by ranking leads based on their sales-readiness. When they are handed off to sales at the right time, their effectiveness will soar.

But first, you need a properly defined, well-orchestrated scoring system. Without this, you won’t see the kind of results you’re hoping for.

If you’ve encountered any of the above issues, take the time necessary to address them. Many companies don’t have a perfect process when they are first getting set up. Through testing and iteration, you can develop a system that’s right for you.

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The Author

Jackie Van Meter

Jackie is a seasoned media executive with 17 years of advertising sales, online media and event marketing experience. Jackie has helped to launch four magazines and their corresponding websites and apps, ranging from technical trade titles to local glossy tabloids. Working with national and local brands, Jackie has a proven track record of offering her clients earned, owned and paid media to grow their bottom line.