As the first quarter of 2017 begins to unfold, digital marketers continue to look for new and efficient ways to contribute revenue to the sales funnel. Unlike sales, online marketing teams are still relatively new to the pressures of being directly accountable for conversions and a share of the company’s revenue.
One of the best ways marketers can harness their efforts and show results is by tracking the leads that engage with the content and marketing funnel. Lead scoring models don’t need to be solely the property of sales teams anymore. They are a collaborative effort by marketing and sales teams to ensure that only the best leads receive the attention and nurturing that will drive a conversion.
Lead scoring models are a great way for any digital marketing team to
- Narrow down only the best leads and give them the right attention
- Guide leads further into the sales funnel with the right information, content, and collateral
- Make sure they are on the same page as the sales team
- Work towards common goals for marketing and sales
- Contribute to the sales funnel and to revenue growth
We put together a few tips to keep in mind when collaborating with sales and building lead scoring models to help your organisation grow with the right customers.
Hot to Cold
As the names suggest, the most basic way to finally categorize your leads can be from the ‘Hot’ to ‘Cold’ system. Hot leads are on the verge of converting, and like anything hot – must be handled with care, lest you get burnt. Cold leads are those that have long lost interest in your product or campaigns, and may need a great re-engagement campaign to evince interest again. Like the name suggests, the cold can be a harsh, life-sucking environment. Too many cold leads, and you’re stuck in the doldrums. Lead scoring models can have a group of 3-5 stages that help you categorize and segment your lead audience. This also helps you plan your nurture campaigns better.
Company Scoring –
While it is important for sales teams to use their lead scoring models to vet and score companies, marketing teams too can now be a part of the company scoring process. This is essential, especially if you use cold outreach to share content and get cold leads into your marketing funnel. Every email is a possibility, and this shouldn’t be wasted on companies outside your focus area. Try and ask questions to narrow down whether the company in question is good to approach or not. These could be related to whether your “ideal customer” can be found at the company or other factors that determine whether to reach out to them. If you are looking to make an enterprise sale, you might not want to reach out to small and mid-sized businesses. Bring these factors into a company scoring model that works for you and your team.
Content Based Scoring
If you’re doing digital marketing in 2017, chances are a lot of your marketing collaterals are created by your content marketing team. Content is a great way to attract new leads, and help them understand your product and industry. Simultaneously – content can also be an integral part of lead scoring models.
Image: Single Grain
Content is primarily written for the different stages of the buyer’s journey. From awareness and the necessity to solve a problem to the consideration and evaluation stages and finally the decision. Content needs to cater to every stage of this funnel, and are mostly ebooks, whitepapers, webinars and so on. When your leads interact with your content, you get a priceless combination of information that reveals plenty about the stage that your lead is in, and gives you more clues about how to nurture them further. Make sure to score every interaction with your content and keep point caps in place. Point caps prevent scores from being inflated when leads to the same point scoring activity more than once. (Eg: sharing your blog multiple times)
Demographic vs. Behavioral
When you score your leads, you can focus on two primary aspects. Demographic and Behavioral. The demographic aspects of a lead involve their job title, industry, size of the company, annual revenue and so on. Behavioral scoring focuses on activities that your leads perform on your website. This could be requesting a demo, visiting your product or pricing pages ‘x’ number of times or simply opening the email campaigns that you send their way. All these actions are given values in most lead scoring models that help you decide whether to pursue them as leads or not. Tracking anonymous user behavior may be tricky, but with a solution like Boomtrain, it can become easier to track anonymous visitors and convert them to customers.
A popular abbreviation for Budget, Authority, Need and Timeline – BANT is a great way to get an overall perspective of the lead. This is one part of lead scoring models that gives you a clear, precise idea of how ready for a sale your lead is, and if not – in how much time they may be ready for one.
Image: Sales Benchmark Index
Using BANT, you can set reminders to get back to certain clients when their budget has improved, when their timelines are more flexible (or when they want to make a quick decision) and when they really need your product. Remember to communicate clearly and openly to get this information and don’t use it to bother or annoy your leads!