Utilize Lead Scoring to Improve Marketing and Sales Alignment
We’ve previously discussed the importance of creating buyer personas to generate better quality leads, but what happens to those leads after your marketing department worked so hard to get them? Are they falling through the cracks? Is there tension between your sales and marketing departments?
To ease the tension and improve communication, look to a lead management and automated marketing software platform, like HubSpot, so you can acquire the necessary data to score leads. Within this platform, your business can create an open communication line between marketing and sales to know exactly when it’s time for sales to shine. Before you can implement software, however, you need to define how you identify, or score, a lead to be ready for a sales call.
Steps to Implement a Lead Scoring System
Marketing Qualified Leads (MQL) are leads that have engaged with your website and content more than the average lookie-loo. They have expressed interest and curiosity about your company, and provided a history of behavior your marketing team can track.
To implement lead scoring, your marketing and sales teams need to decide what criterion qualifies a lead as sales-ready. Based on your company’s typical buying cycle and typical lead history before making a purchase decision, outline a set of criteria, and provide a corresponding point system. HubSpot makes this process much simpler and provides a 1-100 lead scoring automated system once it’s set up.
Types of Criteria to Determine a Marketing Qualified Lead
There are three factors we recommend our clients discover about their leads to determine a lead scoring system that translates to sales:
Are you speaking with an intern doing research or the CEO? Is it a large company with possibly a large budget, or a mom and pop? A strategic lead capture form will gather this crucial information so marketing and sales know who they’re dealing with (aka buyer personas). Based on their role in the company, company size and industry, your marketing and sales team can assign lead scoring factors – the CEO of a large technology company = higher score = happier and more motivated sales team.
2. Lead Behavior
This is why we love HubSpot. We know exactly where our leads went, what they clicked on and what their areas of interests were as they browsed our site and downloaded our content. As marketing and sales develop top, middle and bottom of the sales funnel workflows, they can determine the lead scoring point value of any activity on the site.
3. Lead Activity
If you’ve got someone reviewing top of the sales funnel materials, but they’ve visited several times and clicked all over your website, your sales team still may want to get in touch since your lead will be pretty educated by that point. The amount of times your material has been engaged during their decision making process is valuable information for both marketing and sales to determine the probability this lead will become a customer.
Moving a Marketing Qualified Lead to a Sales Qualified Lead
Once marketing and sales agree on a lead scoring system that translates across the board, determine what the threshold is for sales to take over. By utilizing a lead management software platform, your sales department will have access to all three criteria to understand the leads’ background and interests to tailor their conversations to make the sale. It’s an efficient, successful strategy every enterprise business should implement.
Develop a process between marketing and sales so no leads are dropped. It’s important to note that enterprise inbound marketing has the potential to generate more qualified leads than your sales team is used to handling. If marketing feels they are doing their job, but think sales isn’t, look at reframing how marketing qualifies your sales department’s success. It’s easy for marketing to get caught up in amount of leads rather than focusing on a higher sales department close rate and bigger bottom line. If there appears to be a bottleneck, make sure you’ve got lead nurturing keeping all your leads warm and have the sales team follow up during slower months.
About Digital Impact Agency
Digital Impact Agency is a creative firm specializing in interactive media and inbound marketing strategies for technology-based companies, start-ups, nonprofits, and artists. We are a team of innovative entrepreneurs focused on creating the most strategic and effective communication channels for our client.