Lead Scoring Turns Trash to Treasure

Challenge: Focusing sales on the best leads

Lesson: Score one for both the sale and marketing teams by scoring leads with information input from the prospect as well as behavior gathered from the prospect’s web activities.

Challenge: How do you optimize your sales rep time by focusing them on your most qualified leads?

How many times have you heard, ‘Marketing just gives us a bunch of lame leads for follow up’? The issue is to clearly identify what characteristics early stage leads have so that marketing can deliver stronger, more appropriate leads.

Lead scoring is a great exercise that brings together sales and marketing. Effective scoring of leads will ensure your sales team is following up on the best leads and not wasting time calling junk.

Lead scoring generally breaks down along two dimensions: qualification and interest scores. Qualification scores refer to information the prospect provides about himself or what you can learn about him from research. This information typically includes location (address), size (revenue or employees), industry, buying timeframe, budget, role/title, etc. The challenge with this information is that prospects do not always fill out forms truthfully. However, you can enhance the data with third-party validations like D&B or other sources.

The second dimension of lead scoring is interest. This measures the actions taken by your prospect, including the number of website visits, date of the last website visits, number of web pages viewed, number of offers downloaded, high value content consumed, etc. Because interest score measures actual behavior, this is often looked at as more reliable to identify a prospect.

However, using the two scores together, you can develop an even more detailed profile of your prospect in terms of their overall sales readiness. Close collaboration between sales and marketing can achieve a common approach to lead scoring and the delivery of more sales ready leads to the sales organization. More data is good – mutual agreement on how to score this data is even better. The result is that both your sales and marketing organization will now be focused on finding the same type of prospects and align their interests.

Lesson: Score one for both the sale and marketing teams by scoring leads with information input from the prospect as well as behavior gathered from the prospect’s web activities.

Cleanse Your List with Every Registration

Challenge: How to maintain a clean database when customers, resellers, consultants and others are constantly registering for various materials on your website.

Lesson: Database cleanliness is next to godliness.

Challenge: How to maintain a clean database when customers, resellers, consultants and others are constantly registering for various materials on your website.

Great marketers have learned the value of the marketing database. Most companies have built websites with offers that encourage visitors to register by providing key information. Moreover, there are different forms: Register as a reseller; request a demonstration; download a whitepaper, etc. This becomes a database hygiene challenge when customers and partners come back and register for a whitepaper, then later show up as a new prospect. If you’re doing your best to offer information targeted at customers versus partners versus customers, how do you keep your lists clean?

What’s required is diligence in the use and maintenance of your salesforce automation systems. You likely have a process by which the finance group creates an account for new customers as soon as they purchase their first product(s). Whether this involves your salesforce automation software or an independent application, you need to create a monthly process to identify all new customers that month and specifically to add the email domain associated with these contacts e.g. ‘apple.com’ for Apple computer. Likely a bit of manual work is required to modify this list so you can have a customer account name matched with the email domain name for that customer.

With this list, the last step is to upload to your marketing automation system creating a file representing all of your customer accounts and their associated email domains (e.g., xyzcorp.com). Build a program in your marketing automation system to match all new web form registrations and then create the appropriate object in your salesforce automation. If the prospect registering uses an email domain that matches a customer account, the marketing automation system will create a contact associated with that customer account. If there’s no match, a lead will be created.

So with a bit of monthly manual work – and creating an account matching program, you can have most all registrations fill into the right buckets. The result is a database that is more accurate, so your messages to customers, partners and prospects go out with the right content. For marketers, it’s all about getting the right message to the right person at the right time. Your hit rate will increase dramatically with good database hygiene.

 Lesson: Database cleanliness is next to godliness.