Demand Generation Best Practices: Lead Scoring

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1 TM Simply Powerful Online Marketing MARKETING RESOURCES Demand Generation Best Practices: Lead Scoring Deliver More and Higher Quality Leads to Your Sales Team with Canterris Marketing Suite Copyright Canterris Inc. 1

2 Demand Generation Best Practices: Lead Scoring A Canterris Workbook We can all remember back to our senior prom. For those of us who were fortunate enough to go, there was all the excitement of getting dressed in a prom dress or tuxedo and the anticipation of dancing the night away with our date for the evening. Now imagine what that would be like if the shoes you d picked out weren t available in your size. Perhaps they were too big, or perhaps too small - regardless, dancing the night away wouldn t be very enjoyable. It would become a rather painful experience for you and your partner. That s how your sales people feel when you hand them leads that aren t a good fit for what they re trying to sell. Only they re probably angrier. So, just like it would be more enjoyable to kick off those ill-fitting shoes and dance in stocking feet, sales people will abandon leads that don t fit an ideal customer profile and won t follow-up with leads that are not ready to engage in a sales process. No matter how good your branding, website or other marketing programs are, if they don t produce leads that fit, you and your sales team aren t being as effective as you should be. What is Lead Scoring? Across virtually every industry and segment, customers today are in control of the buying process. This is particularly true of the prospective customers you want to target. With online access to a wealth of information - from your official website to product review sites to blogs and other social media - they self-educate, identify potential vendors, and form opinions on which vendors best meet their needs. And they do all this long before they re on your sales group s radar. As a marketer, it s your job to find these prospects, separate the serious buyers from the tire kickers, determine when they re ready to start a purchase conversation, and introduce them to your sales team. How? By reading the prospects digital body language. Just like body language consists of explicit gestures (thumbs up, nodding, waving and so on) and tacit cues (leaning forward in a chair, a tilt of the head, etc.), digital body language is made up of explicit and information. Using this information, you can determine a customer s sales readiness and which action to take next. Lead scoring is how you do this. But first, marketing and sales must agree on the definition of a qualified, or sales-ready, lead. This is essential to forming a working partnership in which marketing generates qualified leads and sales closes them. In the online world, a qualified lead is one that is both a fit for your products, services and strategies, and sufficiently engaged to start talking with sales. Fit is determined by the explicit information you collect: their role, region, company, industry, revenues and so on. Basically, are they and/or their company who you want to sell to? Do they have the right budget? Are they in the right country? Can they make a purchase decision? Engagement is determined by tacit information gleaned by their activity on your website or marketing campaigns. What web pages have they viewed? What have they downloaded? What events have they registered for? Based on this information, you can gain insight into their level of interest, where they are in their purchase cycle and whether they d be receptive to engaging with sales. Copyright Canterris Inc. 2

3 Canterris Marketing Suite approaches lead scoring with a Co-Dynamic lead scoring methodology - a fancy way of saying it allows companies to prioritize leads based on both explicit data, like job title, business or industry, and implicit data demonstrating prospect interest, like website visits, downloads and campaign responses. Lead scores are not fixed, but may increase or decrease over time according to prospect behavior. Together activity and fit scoring work as a dynamic duo to profile your leads and present them to sales when they re best ready to be contacted. Who Are You Taking to the Prom? While ill-fitting shoes can be painful, what is even worse is going to the prom with a date who is a poor match. Sure, we ve all been there - counting ourselves lucky enough to have snagged the most popular girl or boy in school to go to the prom with, only to discover they may be pretty to look at, but you have nothing in common, nothing to talk about. Wouldn t it have been better to go to the prom with someone you like, and have stuff in common with? The fit of a prospective customer is similar to our example above. You and your organization want to discover prospective customers who show interest, and have a common interest or need in contacting you. Now, unless you re a defense contractor with a single national government as a client, your prospective client pool is larger than one. Not many of us had the luxury of more than one date for the prom, but most organizations have far more potential sales leads than that. And every single one of them can be asked to the prom - metaphorically speaking. This is why determining lead fit is at least as important as discovering the level of interest. Activity alone might occur simply because a competitor is viewing your site, or a student is researching a paper - and both those leads are a waste of a sales person s time contacting them. If you re going to the prom, it should be with the right person, and for all the right reasons. 6 Steps to Delivering More and Higher Quality Leads to Your Sales Team Identifying and scoring the most suitable sales leads is a simple 6-step process with Canterris Marketing Suite. 1. Define your lead fit questions 2. Assign values (scores) to your lead fit question responses 3. Assess prospect engagement - decide what each prospect activity is worth 4. Determine thresholds for fit & activity scores to identify sales-readiness 5. Configuring lead scoring in Canterris Marketing Suite Copyright Canterris Inc. 3

4 Step 1. Define Your Lead Fit Questions Note: You may have already defined your questions when you were segmenting your audience (see Demand Generation Best Practices: Audience Segmentation). If so, move to step 2. How do you define what information to collect on your web registration forms? That s simple; ask the people who will be following up on the leads you provide - the sales team. They know what attributes an ideal sales lead has, or at least they should (if they don t, your company needs more help than this workbook can give you), and there s nothing quite as effective as poorly fit leads when it comes to undermining the confidence of sales people in marketing. On the other hand, you also have to keep in mind your overall marketing strategy and objectives, and ensure that you ask the right questions to generate leads that will help you meet them. There are two other things to keep in mind: The lead fit questions you ask on your registration forms will also be used to segment your leads for website personalization and targeting purposes Don t ask more lead fit questions than you have to - 10 at the most. Too many questions will scare people away, and makes the fit scoring process more complex than it needs to be. Defining Lead Fit Questions and Answers Start writing down questions and why they re important in a table like the one below - one table per question (there are printable templates at the back of this document). At this stage don t worry if you have more than 10 questions. The important thing is that you get all the possible questions down on paper - don t worry about the answers just yet. Question: Country Why? We only want to sell to customers in the United States and Canada, although we will look at customers in Europe if they re a perfect fit otherwise Answer Copyright Canterris Inc. 4

5 What you ve created is a wish list of all the information you d like to collect. What information do you really need to collect? Besides contact information such as first name, last name, address and phone number, pick out no more than the 10 lead fit questions that are the most relevant to identifying your target leads. Now you can fill in the Answer column in your tables. Question: Country Why? We only want to sell to customers in the United States and Canada, although we will look at customers in Europe if they re a perfect fit otherwise Answer United States Canada Mexico South America Europe Asia Australia Africa Copyright Canterris Inc. 5

6 Step 2. Assign Values (s) to Your Lead Fit Question Responses When it comes to lead fit questions, there are no right answers. However, some answers are a better indicator of fit than others. For example, if you re selling widget polish, the job title of a lead that s a good fit might be Widget Polishing Coordinator. Conversely, someone with the title of VP, Gadget Maintenance probably isn t as good a fit, so the Vice President should score lower than the Coordinator. But what if your widget polish costs $1 million, the Coordinator only has a budget of $500,000 and the Vice President has a budget of $2 million? Suddenly the Coordinator doesn t feel like such a good fit, while the VP s fit looks somewhat better. To get a clear picture of lead fit, Canterris Marketing Suite takes the scores of each lead s fit question response and averages them. So the Coordinator may score 100/100 for title, but only 50/100 for budget. Averaging these two gives the Coordinator a lead fit score of 75. Meanwhile the Vice President scores 60/100 for title and 100/100 for budget, giving the executive a lead fit score of 80. The key is in deciding what scale to use. It has been seen that scoring fit answers out of 100 works best. Assigning Points to Lead Fit Answers For each of your final lead fit questions and answers, fill out a table like the one below. Use the Why? you wrote down for each question to help you decide how important the question is to determining lead fit and what score to assign each answer. Question: Country Why? We only want to sell to customers in the United States and Canada, although we will look at customers in Europe if they re a perfect fit otherwise Answer United States 100 Canada 100 Mexico 0 South America 0 Europe 50 Asia 0 Australia 0 Africa 0 Copyright Canterris Inc. 6

7 Step 3. Assess Prospect Engagement - Decide What Each Prospect Activity is Worth Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and so is the value of a link click, a file download and so on. In general, the more active a visitor is on your website, the more interested that individual is in your company, product or service. But does interest translate into being sales-ready? That s the question. Some companies prefer to use only fit scores to determine when to send a lead to sales, and don t collect any website activity information. Other companies collect website activity information to give sales better insight into the lead s interests, but don t score the activity or use it to help decide when a lead is sent to the sales team. Finally, some companies use both the fit score and the website activity score to determine which leads to send to sales. Each approach has its own merit and is dependent on your organizations sales processes, customer engagement and lead nurturing strategies. If you are unsure which approach is best for your organization, please consult a Canterris representative to discuss available options. If you decide to collect, score and/or use website activity information, plan to review the results on a regular basis. It usually takes a few rounds of fine-tuning to determine the optimum number of points to assign each activity. So the closer you get to that optimum scoring, the better you ll be able to use it to send the right leads to sales at the right time. Assigning Points to Website Activities The table below lists the website activities that you can track and score with Canterris Marketing Suite. When you assign scores to each activity, remember that they are cumulative, not averaged. So, if a link click is worth a score of 5, each time a lead clicks on a link, it will add 5 to the score. If the lead clicks 3 links on his latest visit to your website, his score for that visit will be 15 (3 x 5 = 15). This will be added to his total score from his all his previous visits. So if his score from his first visit two weeks ago was 20, and on his second visit last week was 25, his score would now be 60 ( = 60). Activity Link Click 0 File Download 5 Form Completion 1 News Article View 5 Event Registration 5 Open 10 Link Click 5 You can also assign a negative score for every week (or other time period that you choose) that the lead is inactive. This lets you weed out visitors that were initially very active, but that stopped collecting information about you. Activity Weeks Inactive 0 Copyright Canterris Inc. 7

8 Step 4. Determine Thresholds for Fit & Activity s to Identify Sales-Readiness Your leads all have fit scores. They all have web activity scores. Now what? The final step is determining the threshold for sales readiness. For example, if your fit score threshold is 75 and your activity score threshold is 0, all leads with a fit score of 75 and over will be sent to sales. If your fit score threshold is 75 and your activity score threshold is 100, leads will only be sent to sales if they have both a fit score of 75 or over and an activity score of 100 or over. Fit 75 Activity 0 Threshold Step 5. Configuring Lead Scoring in Canterris Marketing Suite Once you ve completed the tables in this workbook (you can photocopy the empty tables at the back of the book), you re ready to configure Canterris Marketing Suite to start scoring leads. For more information on configuration, see the Canterris Marketing Suite User Guide, Chapter 9: Lead Management and Chapter 14: System Administration Copyright Canterris Inc. 8

9 Lead Fit Question & Answer Worksheet Question: Why? Answer Question: Why? Answer Copyright Canterris Inc. 9

10 Lead Activity Scoring Worksheet Activity Link Click File Download Form Completion News Article View Event Registration Open Link Click Weeks Inactive Lead Status Hot Sales Ready Leads Fit Activity Threshold Copyright Canterris Inc. 10

11 TM Simply Powerful Online Marketing Copyright Canterris Inc. 11

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