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What is the Lead Scoring Model? A Complete Guide for B2B Marketing

Marketing and sales teams use lead scoring models to learn which leads they should prioritize contacting. They score leads based on the value they bring to the company and their interest in purchasing a product or service.

This guide covers:

Learn how lead scoring helps marketers and sales reps assess the potential value of each lead. Inform yourself about the different lead scoring models and discover their significance in B2B marketing. Find calculation options for lead scoring and implement this strategy into your company’s lead generation campaign.

What is Lead Scoring?

Lead qualification is critical for businesses to determine how many prospects are interested in their offers and are willing to become customers. Lead scoring is a strategy many lead generation specialists use to qualify leads more quickly. 

It involves categorizing leads by assigning them scores based on their interest in buying and contacting the most promising ones in the pipeline.

Lead Scoring Process Explained

The lead scoring system helps marketing and sales teams determine the likelihood of conversion for each lead and identify high-value leads for targeted marketing. But how exactly does this process work? Businesses carry it out in the following ways:

Explicit Lead Scoring

The information a prospect shares with the company during their interactions is explicit. Thus, companies analyze customer interactions for scoring insights. Examples of such data include:

  • Geographic Location: Businesses assign points to leads based on their geographic location to target the right market.
  • Company Size: They use this data to give larger companies generating more revenue a higher rank.
  • Job Title: They give higher scores to key decision-makers if they fit the target audience.
  • Industry: Businesses must determine if a specific brand is in a high-converting sector to give them high scores.

Implicit Lead Scoring

Businesses can find a lot of insightful information about prospects by observing their behaviors. This type of data is called implicit scoring, and it includes the following characteristics:

  • Website interaction: Prospects who request demos and download content will likely convert.
  • Social media engagement: Brands give high scores to leads who engage with them by following their social media accounts and liking or commenting on their posts.
  • Email responsiveness: They track how often a lead opens and responds to emails and assign them adequate points.
  • Demonstrated interest: Prospects are ranked according to their buying intent. Those who demonstrate the most interest in purchasing products or services should rank highest.

Lead Scoring Models

A good lead generation strategy involves proper lead nurturing, which leads to higher conversions. However, despite consistent efforts, all leads don’t bring the same values and won’t convert into customers. So, how do businesses decide which contacts are high-value? Companies can efficiently categorize leads into different qualification stages using lead scoring models. 

Demographic Information

Businesses can classify prospects based on demographic data to give them appropriate scores. They usually carry out demographic lead scoring by examining the job position, company size, annual company income, and geographic location to see if they are a good fit and bring value to the organization.

Company Information

This lead scoring model evaluates a lead’s company's attributes to determine their value. They calculate scores to identify sales-ready leads based on the following factors:

  • Company budget: Companies with large budgets are more likely to purchase products or services.
  • Industry alignment: Leads working in industries that fit a company’s target market have a high potential to convert into customers.
  • Technographic details: Companies that use relevant tools will be more interested in purchasing a product or a service.

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Online Behavior

Online behavior lead scoring relies on implicit data. This lead scoring model allows businesses to track lead behavior over time to adjust scores. It also lets them measure the engagement frequency of prospects based on the following points:

  1. The number of page visits.
  2. Webinar participation
  3. Form request
  4. Searched keywords

Social Engagement

If a company wonders if its social media content resonates with its target audience, it can use social engagement lead scoring. This model tracks how often a lead shares, replies, mentions, or tags your business on social media platforms.

Spam Detection

Specific leads that may appear interested in a company’s offers might turn out to be spam accounts. These leads bring low value to the company and are not worth nurturing efforts. For example, if a lead submits irrelevant responses to landing page forms, it is likely spam.

Manual Lead Scoring

Companies that do their own research on prospects engage in manual lead scoring. This model allows them to score leads using a predefined criteria system or make their own criteria based on attributes they consider crucial for lead scoring.

Negative Scoring Attributes

This lead scoring model involves removing lead scores based on lack of interest. Businesses can use this model to evaluate leads based on engagement metrics and give high scores only to interested prospects.

Attributes for giving negative scores to leads include:

  • Working in an industry unrelated to a company’s product or service.
  • Working in a rival company.
  • Decreased email engagement.
  • Visiting the career instead of the pricing pages.

Sales reps identify these types of leads as weak and should prioritize nurturing more interested ones. 

Why Do You Need Lead Scoring in Your B2B Business?

If your business aims to reach relevant prospects who find your marketing campaigns appealing and your offers beneficial, you must include lead scoring in your B2B strategy. This tactic may also improve employee productivity. 

Businesses can use it to prioritize leads for sales team follow-up. Marketers and sales reps may also learn how to quantify the interest level of each prospect and collaborate effectively to achieve success.

Top Benefits of Lead Scoring for Your Business

Many businesses use lead scoring as an asset that will help them get in contact with relevant prospects and increase conversion rates and revenue. Here are the advantages of lead scoring you must consider if you want to fill your sales funnel with high-quality leads:

Lower Marketing and Acquisition Costs

Since most businesses have limited marketing budgets, they can review lead scores to determine which resources are worth investing in. Businesses can also lower customer acquisition costs by relying on lead scoring, which provides information on which leads to target based on their demonstrated interest in buying.

Higher Conversion Rates with Less Time Wasted

Lead scoring helps sales reps segment leads for personalized communication strategies that can potentially lead to higher conversion rates. It saves them the trouble of manual research to determine a prospect's value and potential to convert.

Increase in Sales and Marketing Alignment

Studies show that lead scoring has increased sales and marketing alignment for 53% of respondents. Marketing and sales teams work towards accomplishing the same goal for the company. They use many strategies to convince people to purchase a company’s product or service. After a marketing team attracts leads, they distribute them to the sales team to move them further into the buyer journey. 

Higher Revenue

High lead scores equal higher chances for conversion. If your business has highly-scored leads in the pipeline, they will likely convert into customers and increase sales. This way, lead scoring contributes to higher revenue for a company.

How to Calculate a Basic Lead Score

After a business collects comprehensive data, it scores each prospect using strategic techniques. Companies can choose one of the following calculating methods for lead scoring:

Manual Lead Scoring

A business can score leads manually, but this method is time-consuming because it lacks automation. It includes dividing the number of customers by the number of leads to calculate the lead conversion rate and assign value to each prospect.

Logistic Regression Lead Scoring

This method is based on statistics and analyzes critical factors to predict a lead's value and assign it a proper score. Logistic regression uses analytics to determine the potential of lead converting and helps businesses allocate resources effectively based on lead scores.

Predictive Lead Scoring

Businesses with access to large databases may need help to predict which leads will likely convert into future buyers. The predictive lead scoring technique uses specific algorithms and signals the prospects who should rank high based on their behavior and engagement.

How to Create a Lead Scoring Model for Your Company

Lead scoring is beneficial for B2B organizations. It helps them shift their focus from nurturing cold leads to prioritizing the engagement of hot leads. This data-driven tactic can help your business make the most out of sales and marketing efforts. Follow these steps to create a lead scoring model for your company:

Unite Your Sales and Marketing Data

Marketers assess data to determine the sources of leads, which content they find engaging, and identify their primary needs and preferences. Sales reps refer to clearly defined criteria to score leads based on the information the marketing team acquires. Combining both data types can lead to a better lead-scoring strategy for your business.

Define Your Ideal Qualified Leads

Qualified leads are worth nurturing because they are likely to become buyers. Marketing-qualified leads (MQLs) don’t always have the highest chance of conversion, whereas sales-qualified leads (SQLs) are more likely to convert. So, it’s important to distinguish between these two to prioritize nurturing prospects that bring the highest quality to your organization.

Get Clarity About Lead Attributes for Scoring

Setting up lead scoring criteria is not the same for every business because they use different CRMs and prioritize analyzing customizable attributes. So, set clear rules for scoring and determine exactly which attributes will help score the most qualified leads.

Define Your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP)

Every business’s target customers have specific characteristics, such as industry, company size, location, and pain points. You can evaluate these and use them to craft an ideal customer profile, which will organize your lead list for scoring.

Map Your Customer's Journey and Key Traits

Examine a lead’s interactions with your business, from their first website visit to the moment they purchase your product or service. Identifying each evolving action they have taken helps you create a customer journey and discover their key traits you can use to determine their value with lead scoring.

Use a Lead Scoring Tool to Automate the Calculation

Manual scoring and calculation could be more efficient for marketing and sales teams. Luckily, lead-scoring tools with automated features make this dynamic process easier and faster by analyzing customer journey data points to score leads.

Continuous Monitoring and Adjustment

You must monitor scoring criteria for ongoing relevance to guarantee the lead scoring model aligns with your business demands. You can also adjust scoring parameters based on sales feedback to refine the scoring model for better accuracy.

Documentation and Training

Putting your ideas on paper and practicing effective strategies will guarantee the success of your lead-scoring model. Write the lead scoring criteria clearly and outline the attributes. Educate your marketing and sales teams on using the criteria when assigned to give negative or positive scores to leads.

Lead Scoring Considerations for B2B Companies

Lead scoring is an essential strategy in B2B marketing. Businesses assign points to each lead to determine its value. This tactic allows marketing and sales teams to detect high-quality leads that are vital for business growth and revenue increase. 

It lowers marketing and acquisition costs, promotes high conversion rates, and requires lead generation specialists to update lead scores as new data becomes available. Businesses must have accurate quantitative and qualitative data to analyze and create a scalable lead-scoring strategy.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Good Lead Score?

Companies can create their own lead-scoring scale. But, most lead scores are given points from 0 to 100. If a lead has a score of 50 or above, marketers consider it valuable and qualified enough to distribute it to the sales department.

What criteria should be used for lead scoring?

B2B organizations usually base their lead scoring on specific criteria to evaluate the quality of their leads. Most include the lead source, job titles, email responsiveness, content engagement, and behavior in their leaf scoring criteria.

What is the Lead Scoring Theory?

A lead scoring system is based on collected prospect data to determine their interest in purchasing a company’s offer. It aims to help marketing teams rate each prospect and make segmented lead lists to categorize potential buyers into cold, warm, and hot leads.

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