June 14th, 2015

Inbound Marketing Strategy

What is Lead Scoring?

The method or practice of assigning a point score to your prospects or sales leads in order to rank them for buying potential is referred to as lead scoring. Specific criteria are involved in the assignment of those points which are certain attributes that you have assigned to those individuals that are viewed as serious prospects. The higher the point score is, the greater the likelihood that you can sell that prospect. Therefore, they should be transferred to your sales department immediately.

The Two Most Common Lead Scoring Models

There are two lead scoring models that are the most commonly used in the fields of internet marketing and inbound marketing. These include information of an explicit and an implicit nature while being the most accurate lead scoring models in use today. Explicit information is about the client or provided by the client and includes the geographic locations of the businesses, industry segments, job titles, and the size of the companies being scored. Implicit information is derived from the monitoring and tracking of the prospect’s behavior. It includes opening e-mails and clicking on links contained in them as well as website visits and whitepaper downloads.

Qualifying Criteria for Lead Scoring

The qualifying criterion that is typical used in the lead scoring process is broken down between basic criteria and more advanced attributes. Basic criteria include:

  • Company size
  • Number of users
  • Product interest
  • Purchasing influence
  • Purchasing intent
  • When the prospect is going to buy

The more advanced criteria or attributes include:

  • Challenges or problems that need to be solved
  • How well your solutions address those challenges or problems
  • Referral abilities (can they refer you into new business segments)
  • Successful deployment in companies the consumer cares about

Another simpler method involving only four criteria for lead scoring is known as "BANT", which stands for Budget, Authority, Need, and Timing. The score is built from these four criteria and the method focuses on the size of the opportunity in order to select the target organization sample.

Accurate Lead Scoring without the Expense

There are a number of CRM or Customer Relationship Management and data tracking software applications available on the market today. However, most of them come with a high price attached. However, for those internet marketers and online business owners who do not have the budget to afford these costly software applications, there is hope. For online businesses, the following information will give you an idea of how you can monitor, score, and track your leads without the high-priced software.

Compared to land-based operations, the trade-off for having a virtual storefront available 24/7/365 is that these online businesses do not have the luxury of being able to physically observe their website visitors. This is not to infer that lead nurturing is impossible and that you don’t have a clue who your website visitors are. Online lead nurturing is based on identifying and pre-qualifying sales leads when they visit your website and this requires that you carefully use data analyzation and highly focused PPC (Pay-per-Click) ad campaigns. Analytics enable you to discover any trends that are indicative of buyer interest.

Once those trends have been discovered and identified, it is time to develop ads and promotions that will enable you to take advantage of those trends as cost-effectively as possible. As an example of this, let’s assume that your analytical data has revealed that you are receiving a larger number of website visitors from a specific geographic area. When you begin developing your ad campaign, your PPC advertising should be optimized for that geographic area and target that particular audience.

In closing, discovering these trends revealed in analytic data is not always easy for the average internet marketer and online business owner to accomplish. Fortunately, you can now find a few downloadable and FREE CRM applications and lead scoring solutions that will save you money. Not only will they enable you to discover trends, but in the long run, you will improve your sales conversion rate and increase your profits in the process. You will be able to effectively monitor your website traffic and differentiate between the warmest leads and the "tire kickers."