The Biggest Lead Scoring Mistake

Modern Marketers know it’s important to score leads, and lead scoring is a well-known best practice. However, not all lead scoring programs will do the job and in fact, some can actually harm your demand generation efforts if not developed correctly. Many scoring programs have set scores for each type of content with little variation. Often times marketers score certain types of content (white papers and case studies) with higher value than other types (eBooks or product sheets). But should they be? Scoring certain pieces of content with a higher value than others simply because you think they are more valuable can be a big mistake.

How do you score leadsAll content isn’t the same and they shouldn’t be scored as such. White papers aren’t more valuable than eBooks or infographics because of their format…it depends on where the content is consumed in the buyer’s journey that makes the difference. It depends on data too. When developing a lead scoring program, look at your data first. Evaluate conversion data, look at the the path your last 10 – 20 customers took that resulted in a sale. Is there a pattern? Did everyone who converted/ purchase attend a certain webinar in the Nurture stage of their journey? Did they visit the about us section or leadership area of your site and then fill out a contact us form? Your data will guide you in how to build lead scoring. You just can’t go by your gut when making lead scoring rules and you also can’t build the program and then move on to the next item. Lead scoring is never finished, and it is an iterative process, for better or worse.

According to the 2015 ANNUITAS B2B Enterprise Study, 52% of marketers score leads based on behavioral activity and 48% score on call to action. There so many ways to score leads (demographics, account-based activity or engagement channel) that some (22%) don’t even score their leads at all and that won’t help even the best organizations drive revenue.

As we head into 2016, think about how you could revise your lead scoring model or if you just launched yours, when do you plan to evaluate effectiveness? Not sure your program is doing what it should be? For a quick check, evaluate your lead flow and then talk to sales. Are there too many poor quality leads being passed to sales (indication that lead scoring threshold is too low) or perhaps the lead flow has virtually stopped (possibly lead scoring is too stringent).

The good news is that a scoring model can always be revised. Plan on making adjustments and know that there isn’t only one right answer for developing the right lead scoring model for your organization. Look for our upcoming series on Lead Scoring Best Practices to help get you started and then refine your programs. If you don’t get lead scoring right, it is not something that will just go away. However, your buyers might, so focus on lead scoring.

Author: Erika Goldwater CIPP/US @erikawg Vice President, Marketing for ANNUITAS.

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