Can Lead Scoring Improve Your Sales?

From startups to large corporations, managing leads and converting them to sales and revenue is critical to success. Oracle Marketing Cloud recently released a Lead Scoring guide for marketers. Lead scoring is described as "an objective ranking of one sales lead against the other" and is a key part of lead generation and lead management. Here are the juicy tidbits gleaned from the guide.

Why lead scoring matters

The guide correctly highlights the one key issue facing sales teams today - the deluge of leads and prospects. How would one convert all those leads to sales? Moreover, many sales teams become discouraged when leads turn out to be poor or downright useless. Without lead scoring, excellent, revenue-generating opportunities could be missed or simply thrown away in the unending pile of leads.

The evolution of lead scoring

"BANT" is a long-standing sales process term, indicating that a lead must have a Budget, the Authority to transact the sale, a Need for the product or service, as well as a Timeline for purchase - many of us have spent weeks or months with a lead only for it to fizzle out!

However, Oracle notes that things have changed, and that the buying process from the customer point of view now involves:

  • Relying on researching websites (including yours) to gather information
  • Downloading white papers and case studies
  • Connecting with peers to verify their observations
  • Turning to social media (such as online forums) to crowdsource experience

It's described as a kind of "Digital Body Language", and it's not to be taken lightly. We've all heard of the right body language to portray to a customer but clearly any sales team needs the right digital version as well.

Lead scoring in action

So how does one implement lead scoring in real life? The guide says that the key to effective lead scoring is "formulating a way to capture, score and measure information... across people, processes and technology".

For example, one can firstly rank the "Prospect Identity", according to various categories. Let's say John Patterson, marketing manager of Cold-Pressed Organic Wine Pty Ltd, is a lead you obtained through a mailing list sign-up. How would you categorise your sale of billboard ad space to him? You might rank him as follows:

  • Pain/Need/Solution Interest: 35%
  • Job Title: 30%
  • Company Revenue: 25%
  • Lead Source: 10%

You would then map this to "Prospect Engagement", such as how interested the prospect is, such as visits to your website, response to promotions, and perhaps direct discussions by phone, email or in-person. 

Finally, you would produce a lead score and the action to be taken. For example:

  • "A" - Good fit and very interested. Send to sales queue for immediate follow up. Don't delay!
  • "B" -  The right prospect but no interest. Can be a priority but may need to communicate urgency to purchase.
  • "C" - Not the ideal prospect but very interested. Continue to nurture and learn more about the lead.
  • "D" - Wrong fit, no interest. Fulfil request, move on.

Conclusion

We've obviously only scratched the surface of lead scoring in this article - but you can clearly see the potential benefits of implementing lead scoring. Oracle highlights several success stories such as Molex, a global manufacturer, increasing their sales pipeline by almost 400% and ADP, a business services company, which increased their revenue by almost 50%. 

How about you? Maybe it's time to try lead scoring, with the help of professionals. Team Wired is standing by with our hybrid sales bundle and lead generation services. Speak to us today about sorting out your leads and turning them into sustained sales and revenue.

Photo credit: Flickr/Murat Ertürk. Research credit: "Lead scoring guide for modern marketers" by Oracle Marketing Cloud.