What is really important when talking about prospects is to determine what a qualified prospect is for your business. The number of prospects on your website can be huge, but it can never convert. That’s why it’s necessary to do a qualification job, to find out where you need to focus your efforts and get conversions.
This is where lead scoring makes sense. In fact, lead scoring is simply a scoring system that is given to your prospects to know these following information: which ones are most likely to convert, which ones we have to work a little more before they convert and which will probably never convert. These points are defined according to the number of information collected on each visitor, their characteristics and their behavior. They will then be placed on a scale that gives you an overall picture of their propensity to make a concrete action.
A multitude of data can be calculated such as the average opening rate for a user, the total number of actions, the value of a customer (bronze, silver, gold, platinum), the classification of a prospect (average, good, excellent) with performance indicators.
Now that we’ve defined lead scoring, what you probably want to know is: How to set up an effective lead scoring system to convert your leads into customers? Do not worry, I have developed for you the essential steps to plan a good strategy!
Step 1: Define your typical prospect
First, define the ideal prospect for your business. Also, make sure that your key departments (sales and marketing) agree on this definition to standardize best practices and align their expectations. If that can help you, the definition of your ideal prospect is actually a persona who has not bought yet.
Step 2: Determine decision criteria
To find your criteria, look at what your existing customers have in common and what characterizes those who have not converted. It will give you a good idea of what define best your prospects that became customers and those who did not. This will help you to know which criteria to use for this step. Here are some criteria category ideas that you can use as well:
- Relevant sociodemographic data (occupation, age, sex, etc.)
- Information about the company (size, position in the company, industry, budget, etc.)
- Its behavior on your website (the visits frequency, the time spent on your site, subscription to newsletter, etc.). Give a higher score to those who have visited a high-value page on your website, such as the product page, or who have requested a quote.
- Email engagement with your company (opening, click, etc.)
- Social networks engagement (comments, shares, etc.)
Of course, to gather the necessary information about your prospects, you need to have lead sensors for at least 12 months on your various communication channels: website, social networks, blog, e-mail, etc. As for your already acquired clients, sending them a survey can help you collect a lot of relevant information and help you to order your criteria.
Step 3: Assign a score
Then, you must assign an amount of points between 0 and 100 for each of your criteria depending on the influence they have on your leads quality. For example, a contact who visited a product page could be assigned one point per visit. From this information, you are able to quantify the interest of your contact for a product and present it to him in the first position of your promotional email. Better still, by keeping track of the purchase of this product, you are able to offer this contact complementary products to go with its new acquisition.
You can also assign them negative points if these prospects do not match at all with your target customers. For example, someone who lives in a foreign country or who does not work in your target industry.
Step 4: Develop a Procedures Guide
You have now drawn up your typical prospect profile as well as several qualification criteria. Now you need to build a procedure guide that will be consistent for everyone in the organization. It will also clearly indicate how to treat these prospects based on their maturity in the buying cycle. Make a list of the actions to be taken for each stage of a prospect’s life cycle: mainly for those who are ready to become a customer and those who are still in the lead nurturing phase (bottom of cycle). Keep in mind that this guide is conducive to improvement as you put it into practice.
Step 5: Evaluate each prospect according to their level of commitment
Now it’s time to evaluate the maturity of your prospects in their purchasing decision cycle by assigning each of them a color, a number or a letter.
In general, an active lead completes many value-added actions in a short time. These will be the best rated and are the most interesting to contact as they are more likely to become a customer. You will need to determine a threshold that will tell you from which level your sales team can contact them.
Step 6: Set up an alert system
Each prospect will evolve and change position in your system and it is important to keep track of these fluctuations by introducing a notification system. Whether you use a manual system on Excel or an automated marketing platform like Dialog Insight, be sure to be alerted when one of your prospects reaches the threshold you set in step 5.
It would also be interesting to be alerted when, on the contrary, a qualified prospect returns to the base of his buying cycle by being less and less active and engaged because he is not yet ready to become a customer yet. This prospect probably needs additional information to make his choice and it is up to you to provide him with the right information (product comparison, free trial, etc.) to make him evolve in his decision.
Step 7: Apply your procedures and improve them if necessary
Finally, what you have to do now is put into practice what you have implemented and make the necessary improvements. However, always keep your first version so you don’t lose your analyzed data at the beginning of your process.
To conclude, there are several benefits to implement a lead scoring system in your organization, including:
- Improve the efficiency of sales and marketing
- Tighten the links between marketing and sales to have a single alignment
- Increase your company income
- Improve customer satisfaction by being closer to their needs
By applying this method, you can categorize your contacts and locate them in their purchase cycle. That way, you can focus your efforts where there is the most chance of conversion. It is, therefore, to perform specific actions in order to increase your conversion rate by targeting the right people at the right time.
Although lead scoring is a complex process, a platform like Dialog Insight can help you automate this process for your convenience. Check out our help center to find out how you can set it up.