Picture this: you’re selling vehicles, and you have a list that features over two hundred different leads, but you’re only allowed one day to try and make sales. How would you make the most sales?
You’d follow the most promising leads.
That’s exactly what lead scoring is – a system designed to rank leads in order to determine which leads are ready to be cashed in. In our car example, an effective lead scoring system would tell you
who is ready to buy a car today, as well as who needs more time to make their decision.
Lead Scoring Misconceptions
Many people make the mistake of assuming that lead scoring tells them to only pursue the hot leads.
The more expensive the item or service, the less likely people are to purchase immediately. If you use lead scoring and only pursue the hottest leads, you’re still leaving money on the table.
Lead scoring is also not an entirely mechanical or mathematical process. While it’s true that it does involve math and certain mechanisms, selling a product or service is ultimately based on relationships. You’ll never remove the human element from the marketing process. Lead scoring incorporates the human element by taking input from the sales team.
Lead scoring won’t qualify your leads for you; it’s still up to the sales team to identify who to pursue and who to ignore. However, lead scoring will tell you when you should try to make the sale.
Lead Scoring Usefulness
If you were going to make a guess, how many new leads do you think are sales-ready?
Going back to our car salesman example, if a person walks on your lot, how likely do you think it is that they’re ready to purchase a car that day?
The Benefits of Lead Scoring
By now, it’s apparent that lead scoring will show you where you need to focus and save you time. But what other benefits does it offer?
Uniting Marketing & Sales
In order to be successful, you need your marketing department and your sales department to work together efficiently. They need to have the same vocabulary and be contributors to the same process.
Creating a lead scoring program gives you that vocabulary – both marketing and sales will have the same definition of a “lead”, which means your sales department won’t be chasing unqualified prospects.
Lead scoring lays the foundation for both your marketing and your sales department to be more successful.
Strengthening the Revenue Cycle
One of the biggest advantages of using a lead scoring method is that you’ll know who is ready to buy and who’s going to take more time – and you can know this by taking a couple minutes to glance over a sheet.
You don’t have to waste time in meetings discussing clients, because you’ll already know how to handle each situation.
What’s more is that everyone else who has access to the information will know how to handle them as well, cutting down on time wasted with extraneous communication.
Increasing Your Return on Investment
One of the worst things that can happen to you is spending all of your time with one high profile client, only to have them decide to go elsewhere with their services.
The loss can be devastating, and in some cases, people may lose their jobs. Lead scoring allows you to track the quality of each lead.
You know who is likely to buy, and who isn’t. An increase in lead quality correlates directly to an increase in sales productivity.
Instead of spending your time engaged with a cold lead, you can turn your focus to more receptive leads.
You’ll have a good idea whether you’ll be able to close a deal ahead of time, which allows you to plan for the future and stay a step ahead of your competition.
Part 2 of The Guide to Lead Scoring
In Part 2 of The Guide to Lead Scoring, we will examine how to begin implementing a lead scoring system. We’ll look at implicit and explicit scoring and other ways to rate leads in your system.