Improving your conversion ratio is about much more than just having a great sales team. Conversions start to happen as soon as the leads come into your system and wind their way through your funnels, even before they get to the sales pitch stage of the process.
Conversions count from lead to sale, and if your lead scoring isn't up to par, the progression of lead to sale will have too many drop-off points. If your funnels drop 50% of your leads before your sales team even has a chance to contact them on the phone, you're essentially fishing in half the lake.
Lead scoring is a hugely influential and effective method to increase your conversions but far too often, lead scoring is overlooked in favor of other, seemingly more straightforward tactics. Big mistake!
So what exactly do we mean by lead scoring?
Lead scoring is a process whereby leads are assigned a point value based on actions they take in your sales funnels. This could be something as simple as opening an email, for example, or clicking a link in an email.
The higher the perceived value of the action, the higher the points assigned to that particular action. Retaking our email example, opening an email might be worth one point in your lead scoring system, whereas clicking a link in that email could be worth two points.
So what kind of actions make up a lead scoring system? Like most things in marketing, there are various ways to categorize this, but at the absolute minimum, your lead scoring system should comprise the following components:
Implicit and Explicit Scoring
Implicit scoring is a result of observations of the actions leads take in your funnels. Our email example would be a good illustration of implicit scoring. The lead opening an email isn't actually adding anything to the conversation about where they are in your funnel; they're just opening an email or clicking a link. Typical examples of implicit scoring would include, apart from the email example, downloading a PDF, liking a post on your social media profiles, or visiting certain pages on your website.
Explicit scoring is based on the information leads provide about themselves directly in your marketing funnels. An example of explicit lead scoring would be the information a lead enters in a registration form on a landing page. In this scenario, a phone number would have a higher point value than an email, for example, and a verified email would have a higher point value than a simple email address.
Feedback scoring is the process of assigning points based on observations your marketing and sales teams make about the leads. Did a lead sound interested during a call? Did a lead agree to receive your newsletter emails in addition to registering on your landing page?
Since this type of scoring is by definition subjective, it pays to establish precisely what your criteria are and the point value for each one of these. What is more critical to your sales funnel? Opening an email or downloading your PDF? Feedback scoring is subjective, and the parameters need to be well established before this can become a practical lead scoring component.
Demographic scoring is based more on a lead's identity as opposed to their actions. This can be perceived as a less elegant or valuable scoring system, but it plays a vital part. Demographic scoring is about more than just where the lead is from. More detailed information to consider would include:
- Employment status
- Current position in their company
- The size of the company they work for
This plays a particular role in the financial verticals where regulated entities cannot offer services to certain countries, for example or employment statuses. Demographic scoring plays a significant part in reducing the use of your time and resources. There's no real point in trying to convert a lead from Country A if you don't offer services to that particular part of the world anyway.
So how does this all come together to improve your conversions?
Lead scoring keeps tabs of where your leads are in your sales funnels and how close these are to the conversion-winning post. One of the mistakes we often see is mistaking quantity for quality. If you send your leads a series of marketing emails, for example, that doesn't mean they're ready for the call from your sales department. Your lead scoring will tell you exactly when your leads are ready for your sales pitch.
The very best sales funnels serve to warm up your leads, prepare them, and make them more receptive to the sales call. Just because a lead received your emails doesn't necessarily mean they are close to converting. Contact a lead before they're ready to convert, and you've made the job harder than it needs to be, plus you run the risk of losing a sale you might have made a bit later on. Leads that are not ready to convert won't convert.
Are you stuck with your lead scoring process? Get in touch with us today, and one of our success managers will work with you to optimize your lead scoring for better conversions and ROI!