By Kim Albee
I am at the Online Marketing Summit in San Diego, and I spoke on the Demand Generation & Sales 2.0 Panel yesterday. It was a great conversation, with great questions from the room -- people are definitely engaged in how to generate more quality AND quantity leads -- that is for sure.
When the audience was asked, "How many of you are implementing lead scoring?" only 4 people in the entire room raised their hand. In a scan of the room, I estimate there were about 75 people in the session. When asked how many people had plans to implement lead scoring, about 8 additional people raised their hands.
Then I reflected on conversations that I've had with Genoo customers about lead scoring and getting it implemented, and I realized that people are making this far too difficult, and in the process, just never getting it implemented, or telling themselves they'll get to it some day. They're like a deer in the headlights when it comes to putting it in place. Result: No Action.
The impact of no lead scoring is easy: You have no way, at-a-glance, to separate out your most responsive leads, or know how many of them you really have, and where they are in their buying process (or sales cycle). A follow-on impact is that you are also using some manual means of gauging a lead's readiness to buy -- which means your Sales force or Inside Sales folks are making unnecessary touches (and possibly unwelcome touches) on leads -- wasting valuable resources that could be much more optimized and focused. You are paying a lot more for each lead than you need to.
The bottom line is: You are losing revenue and lowering your margins!
Inside a larger context, yes, you want to dialog with Sales and figure out what the term "lead" actually means. Yes, you want to find out how Sales defines a "sales-ready" lead. Yes, you want to be on the same page -- absolutely!
But -- you can get started with this easily -- while you are working out all of the above items and issues - because truth-be-told, lead scoring is a fluid process. It is something that you aren't going to get right the first time, and it's more like horse-shoes than hand grenades -- so you can iterate and improve the process -- but you need to START.
Here's an easy 3-step process to get started with lead scoring:
1. Put a score of 1 on all of your website pages that contribute to a lead moving through the sales process. For example, if you have a jobs page, you may not want to score that page - since the visitor to your site might be more interested in getting a job than in purchasing your products and services.
2. If you have the ability for folks to download assets from your site and/or landing pages, then put a score on the asset so when it's downloaded, it adds to their score. Give them 3 points per asset.
3. If you do webinars, give them 5 points for signing up for one.
OK. Now you will be able to see who your most responsive leads are! It will open your eyes! You will be able to start to understand how people move through your site and engage with you -- and you'll be able to target those leads more effectively.
As you follow up with them, start to pay attention to when they become ready for a sales conversation, and then adjust your lead scoring threshold accordingly. As you close deals and win customers, take a look through their pathway of what marketing they responded to and what they downloaded, and start to tweak and tune your lead scoring system.
It will also help you tweak your content strategy in ways that pull your leads through the buying process much more effectively.
DO NOT DELAY! As my father used to say, "You either have everything you want in life, or all the reasons why you don't." -- give yourself a way to see and pay attention to your most responsive leads. You cannot improve what you do not measure.