Part 1 - Are You Keeping Score?
Keeping score is as old as time.
Let’s face it, money is really about keeping score. As human beings we have a genetic makeup that makes us competitive. It is part of our survival of the fittest mentality.
We continually are trying to get ahead in life and make sure that we provide for those around us.
Score doesn’t necessarily need to be kept by money; it can be possessions, the number of friends you have, or, of course, the team's numbers in a sporting event.
For the purposes of this article I am going to challenge you to look at things a little differently considering keeping score.
I think that everyone would agree that we live in one of the busiest times in history. While we have more technology than ever to keep our lives simple, it appears as if expectations have increased and even exceeded our capacities to get everything done.
The interesting part of this is that everyone is on the same team here. It has led us to the point where prioritizing our time has become more important than ever. Keeping this in mind, we all prioritize our days, our workloads and even who we spend our free time with.
It is much the same with marketing.
With the marketing technologies now available there has been a shift in the traditional roles of both Sales and Marketing. With these new technologies it is now more important than ever to use your Sales team’s time to engage leads that are truly interested and have the potential of eventually buying.
Lead qualifying has progressed to a new level and marketing teams have new tools to ensure that the leads they give to their sales team are the most qualified possible.
As marketing platforms like HubSpot allow you to progressively profile to learn more and more about your potential leads, it becomes essential that your leads are prioritized.
The best way to prioritize your leads today is by Lead Scoring. And your new scorecard includes many things, including a lead's source, their level of engagement and the lead conversion forms utilized on your website’s landing pages.
WHAT IS LEAD SCORING?
Lead scoring is a marketing methodology used to rank your prospects. This ranking system scores each prospect based on their perceived value to your organization. A potential lead’s score represents several factors:
- The information you have obtained about them
- The stage they are at in the sales funnel (also called the Buyer’s Journey)
- At which point a lead will be handed over from the marketing team to the sales team
The important part of defining Lead Scoring is that both sales and marketing agree on what a qualified lead is and communicate to each other their needs about different roles in the marketing and sales process.
Our marketing partners at HubSpot have identified the basic stages of The Buyer's Journey. Scoring your leads depends on how your business, your product and your ideal customer all fit together within the buying process. Keeping score is different for every business, every product and for each potential customer.
WHY IS LEAD SCORING IMPORTANT TO CUSTOMERS?
As I mentioned previously, we are all very busy.
Here’s the part that I think most marketers haven’t really considered yet; your potential leads want to be profiled and want to be scored. It saves them time as well.
One of the most important facets of inbound marketing includes attracting your ideal customer. These people are using their most valuable resource, time, to look for a solution to their problem. This can be a service, a product or just knowledge that helps them in some way.
If I am searching for something on the Internet, I can very quickly determine a couple of companies that can meet my needs. But finding out the subtle differences between the companies and their products can be time consuming. Then I need to figure out whether or not their product is what I need.
Let’s face it, if I am at the awareness stage of the buyer’s journey where I am just researching my options, I do not want to receive a phone call from the sales rep. It is a waste of both of our times.
However, if I am at the decision stage of the buyer’s journey, the company who reaches out to me, shows me the best customer service, and who addresses all of my concerns will most likely get my business.
Less than 25% of new leads are at the decision stage and consequently if you are having your sales team call on all of your leads, you are wasting 75% of their time.
This is a huge mistake that companies continue to make. They have a mentality that keeping the pipeline full of leads is the way to succeed.
What they don’t consider is that they are more than likely alienating their customer base by not being respectful of their time.
According to MarketingSherpa, 79% of market leads never convert to sales. With Lead Scoring, you can greatly increase this statistic.
WHY IS LEAD SCORING IMPORTANT TO BUSINESS?
When I defined Lead Scoring, one of the key word phrases was that sales and marketing agree on the formula by which both the sales and marketing teams rank the leads.
For the marketing team, Lead Scoring helps:
- Provide feedback concerning the quality of leads
- Determine which campaigns are working
- To Identify which areas need tweaking
- Consistently increase and produce higher quality leads
Likewise, Lead Scoring helps prioritize the leads for sales.
- They can identify which leads need their attention first
- They can accurately forecast what is coming down the pipeline
- They can develop ways to identify real closing ratios of each lead
When sales and marketing begin to work together to score leads, instead of keeping score against each other, the result is improved effectiveness and overall efficiencies on the fulfillment side. You can better adjust staffing levels and ramp up or down based on changes in the market.
So at this point you may be asking if you need Lead Scoring (true, it’s not for everyone). You might also want to know what are the best practices in Lead Scoring and how can we roll this out ourselves? We will start to cover all this in detail in part 2 of our blog. As always, if you have any questions, please let us know in the comments.
Till then, check out our e-Book on lead generation for your business. It will give you some practical tips and advice on how to get started with generating leads for your business using inbound marketing.
Thanks to HubSpot for the Buyer's Journey Visual