Lead scoring (a strategy used to rank prospects against their perceived value), in my opinion, is the best kept secret of inbound marketing. It’s brilliant. It’s the easiest and most efficient way to achieve a high number of sales, which is extremely important to small businesses.
The difference between the sales and marketing teams using lead scoring and teams that don’t, is the teams using it have leads who are ready and willing to purchase. Wouldn’t you want to be the salesperson with those prospects? Same.
Here are some tips on how you can use lead scoring to streamline sales at your small business:
In order for lead scoring to work, you need to make sure that your sales and marketing teams are on the same page. Have them agree upon a few key criteria for what makes a marketing-qualified lead based on:
- Certain activities the prospect is engaging in
- Role and job title
- Activity level
By working together and agreeing upon who your ideal customer is you can then work on analyzing the lead data that’s coming in and nurture these leads further down the funnel.
2. Diversify your channels.
You don’t want to close yourself off to important prospects by only looking at one channel. People consume information in different ways. One person may prefer Facebook over Twitter, another may prefer to watch videos, that doesn’t mean one is less qualified than the other. Promote your content across all channels, but tailor them in ways fit for each outlet.
Make sure you are assigning scoring values to all of your content. Even if you may have a lower score assigned to a less “important” piece of content, still track it and continue to nurture these leads until they become hot and sales-ready. The points will add up and in the end they may hit that threshold that tips them over the edge, making them a qualified lead ready for sales contact.
3. Don't be scared of negatives.
While you assign positive attributes to leads for engaging in certain activities, don’t shy away from also assigning negative attributes. You can assign a negative attribute to someone for:
- Unsubscribing or opting out to your emails
- Being a competitor in your industry
- Emails bounces
- Visiting your careers page/filling out a form on that page
4. Be quick and active.
The second your lead hits your lead scoring threshold (the point at which they are marketing-qualified) make sure you notify your sales team while the lead is still warm. Now is the time to move! The worst thing you can do is sit on a warm lead. You aren’t going to score sales if you don’t follow up quickly.
The effectiveness of converting a marketing-qualified lead to a sales opportunity drops by about 15% everyday you don’t reach out. The best practice for when someone requests a consultation or a contact form is to reach out within 10 minutes. When a prospect just hits MQL status it’s a best practice to to reach out within 24 hours. Have a plan of action in place for what happens once this status is made. Who will follow up and when? What kind of messaging will you use? If you don’t have a follow-up plan, download the best practices for follow-up here.
You need to be as efficient as possible when you’re a small business. That’s why lead scoring is an important strategy to work into your sales and marketing efforts. It allows you to not waste precious time and resources on prospects who are just browsing.
How have you utilized the power of lead scoring in your small business sales process? Let us know in the comments below!