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B2B Marketing

Lead scoring. What is it and how to create it in B2B?

Lead scoring. What is it and how to create it in B2B?


If you work in sales, you have probably come across the concept of lead scoring, which involves the point-based assessment of potential customers. The functionality enabling lead scoring is, for example, a part of advanced CRM systems. What are its uses and how can you prepare lead scoring to help capitalize on the best sales opportunities?

What is lead scoring?

The primary goal for a company initiating the development of an inbound marketing strategy is to acquire a sufficient number of potential customers, known as lead generation. At the beginning, when leads are relatively scarce, the person in charge of contacts usually intuitively knows whom to reach out to first and how to initiate that contact.

However, once you have obtained a large number of potential customers, it is important to understand who among them is genuinely interested in your product and who is just starting their search. This is where lead scoring comes into play, aiding in distinguishing and classifying these potential customers based on their interest and readiness to make a purchase.

Lead scoring is the process of assigning value, often in the form of numerical "points," to each potential customer acquired for the company. These values are assigned based on various criteria, such as professional information provided by potential customers or their interactions with your website, responses to emails, etc.

This process is crucial for sales and marketing teams as it helps them determine which potential customers are more valuable, tailor their actions to their needs, and prioritize communication with them.


How does lead scoring work?

Every company has a different model for assigning points to evaluate potential customers, but one of the most common approaches is to use data from previous leads to create such a value system.

How? Firstly, review your contacts that have become customers to identify commonalities among them. Then, examine the characteristics of contacts that did not become customers. After familiarizing yourself with historical data from both sides, you can decide which attributes should carry more weight, depending on the likelihood that they indicate a lead will purchase our product and become a customer.

In the case of several points of contact between the customer and the company online, this may seem straightforward. However, depending on the business model and the number of potential customers in the database, it can quickly become complicated.


How to create lead scoring? 6 criteria

To facilitate this task, I will list six different models for scoring potential customers, depending on the type of data you can gather from individuals interacting with your company.


1.    Demographic Information

Do you sell exclusively to individuals from a specific demographic group, or do you have a well-defined buyer persona, knowing that the best lead is a marketing director or sales manager? You can add questions about position or postal code to a form on a landing page. With this information, you can eliminate outliers from the sales team's queue by deducting points from individuals who belong to categories you don't sell to. For example, if you only sell in a specific geographic location, you can assign a negative score to potential customers not fitting the appropriate postal code, country, etc. If some form fields are optional (e.g., phone number), you can also award additional points to potential customers providing such information.


2. Company Information

In B2B, crucial information often revolves not so much around individual demographic data (e.g., age) but rather data about the companies they work for. If you operate in B2B, are you more interested in selling to organizations of a specific size, a particular type, or from a designated industry?

You can pose such questions in forms on landing pages, granting points to potential customers who align with your target group. Frequently, dropdown lists with predefined options are utilized for this purpose.


3. Online Behavior

The way a potential customer interacts with your website can reveal a lot about their interest in purchasing from you. Read the digital body language: examine potential customers who eventually became clients—what offers did they download? Which pages—and how many pages—did they visit on your website before becoming clients?

Both the quantity and type of forms and pages are important. You can assign higher scores to potential customers who visit high-value pages (e.g., pricing pages) or fill out high-value forms (e.g., a demo request). Similarly, you can give higher scores to potential customers who have 20 page views on your website instead of just a few.

What about potential customers who change their behavior over time? If a potential customer stops visiting your website, they may no longer be interested. You can deduct points from potential customers who cease interacting with your website after a certain period. The duration—whether it's 10 days, 30 days, or 90 days—depends on the typical sales cycle.

4. Email Communication

If someone has given consent to receive email messages from your company, for example, by filling out a newsletter subscription form, you may not be certain about how interested that person is in making a purchase from you. However, tracking open and click-through rates can provide a much better understanding.

For instance, if someone regularly opens all emails from your lead generation series or frequently clicks on emails promoting your offers, you can assign a higher score to that potential customer. This indicates higher engagement and a greater likelihood of making a purchase. You can also distinguish those who clicked on higher-value emails, such as demo offers, indicating specific interests and needs.

By utilizing data from email marketing, you can better tailor your actions to potential customers who appear to be the most active and engaged.

5. Social Media Activity

The level of a potential customer's engagement with your brand on social media platforms can also provide insights into their interests. It's worthwhile to monitor how often users click on tweets and posts from your company. Equally important is tracking how frequently they share or repost this content.

If your potential customers are active on social media, you might consider awarding points to those with a high number of followers, for example. This allows you to better assess social engagement and tailor your marketing efforts to individuals who demonstrate greater activity and interest.

6. Spam Detection

Finally, it's worth considering assigning negative scores to potential customers who fill out forms on the landing page in a manner suggesting they might be spam.

It's also valuable to analyze the type of email addresses potential customers use compared to the email addresses in your customer database. If your target is businesses, deducting points from potential customers using generic email addresses, such as Gmail or Yahoo!, compared to those using addresses directly associated with companies, may make sense.

By operating in this manner, you can more effectively detect potential spammers and safeguard the quality of your customer database.

Lead Scoring and CRM

Certainly, all these activities would be very difficult, if not impossible, to carry out manually. While demographic or company data can still be recorded, for example, in Excel, information about website interactions or email opens can only be acquired through appropriately configured software.

An advanced CRM system gathers all the necessary data for lead scoring and consolidates it into a single database. Data, such as form submissions or the activities of your contacts online, is automatically captured. After selecting the criteria and assigning the appropriate values, the CRM assigns scores to leads, leaving you to leverage the knowledge obtained in this manner.

Lead scoring is a crucial tool for sales and marketing teams, helping identify which customers are more valuable. This process is vital for more effectively managing potential clients, tailoring actions to their needs, and prioritizing contact with the most promising leads. A well-built scoring system is the foundation of marketing automation, so it's worth considering a system that integrates these functions, as is the case with HubSpot Marketing Hub.

If you want to make better use of knowledge about potential customers or are unsure how to build lead scoring in your company, let us know, and we'll assist you in creating it!