Are You Scoring Your CRM Leads?

CRM Explicit Lead ScoringWhen your marketing team develops landing pages that offer something of value (ebooks, white papers, informational webinars) in exchange for a visitor’s information, the result is that there are new Leads for your sales team to follow up with.

Form submission data from landing pages can be integrated with an organization’s CRM system so that new form submissions are automatically added as new Leads in a CRM system — and so that form fields are mapped to fields in the CRM systems Lead records.

If your organization is using an inbound marketing system or a marketing automation system that includes tracking code that can be added to each of your website’s pages, an initial score is typically provided for the Lead. This lead score is based on the visitor’s behavior, such as the number of times the visitor has come to your site, how many pages they have visited, and/or how many times the visitor clicked through on links in nurture emails. This is referred to as an implicit lead score.

However, a lead score that may be even more useful to your sales team can be calculated within your CRM system. This is referred to as an explicit lead score or an attribute-based lead score.

An explicit lead score will allow your sales team to focus on the Leads that have the highest probability of becoming Prospects, based on a set of criteria that you define. The criteria is based on information the visitor entered (or didn’t enter) into your landing pages’ form fields, as opposed to what their browsing and email interaction behavior was.

Explicit Lead Scoring Example Criteria

Here are some ideas for visitor-submitted information that can be used for lead scoring criteria in a B2B selling environment. You may have fields that are specific to your industry or to your offering. Fields in a B2C selling environment will, of course, be consumer-oriented.

Company Size
Annual revenue range or the number of employees range. If your company has an identified “sweet spot” in terms of the company size that your product or service is the best fit for, you can use the visitor’s company size picklist selection to assign a higher ranking to companies that are in a revenue range or an employee range.

If you do most of your business within a clearly defined geographic area, where the Lead is geographically located can be used as a scoring criterion. State or Province could be a picklist field on your landing page form.

Your marketing automation system may automatically pass the visitor’s country, state, province or even city to your CRM system based on the site visitor’s IP address — so that you don’t even need to ask for this information. Keep in mind that the visitor may be traveling or they may work from a home office — so the IP data is not always an accurate indicator of where their company or office is located.

Specific Challenges Your Solution Could Solve
HubSpot found that people who answer the question “What is your biggest marketing challenge?”, which has a free-form text response field, are more likely to become prospects than those who do not. Is there a question that you could have on your landing page form that asks the visitor about their biggest challenge, in the context of your solution?

The Reason You’re Interested
You might decide to add a picklist field to your web form which asks the visitor exactly why they’re interested in whatever the free offer is. This could be used to separate pure researchers from potential prospects. It could even be used to weed out competitors who are interested in your content, but who should have a zero or negative weighting.

You can ask the visitor what their role within the organization is or what department they are in. It’s best to have a picklist with values such as Business Owner, Executive Management, Marketing, Sales, etc. For lead scoring purposes, using a role picklist field is much better than using a free form Title field.

Type of Email Address Entered
If you have found that site visitors who use their corporate email address on Web forms rather than their free mail email address are more likely to become prospects, then this can be a scoring criterion. Visitors who use email domains such as gmail.com and hotmail.com can be given a lower weighting than those who don’t.

Phone Number
If “phone number” is an optional field, you may consider Leads who have entered their phone number to have a higher weighting than those that do not.

Time Frame
Depending upon what you’re selling and on the context of the Webform, it may or may not be appropriate to ask what the visitor’s time frame is for investing in your type of product or service.

Calculating an Explicit Lead Score

Once you have come up with your general lead scoring criteria, the next step is to create a scoring matrix in a spreadsheet. Don’t worry about creating a perfect 1 – 5 or 1 – 10 scale. Focus on relative positive and negative numerical weightings for each criterion. For example, if you only sell within the borders of your home country, home state, or province, anything outside can be assigned a large, negative weighting. However, a company email address may only slightly edge out a free mail address in numerical weighting.

Once you have developed your scoring matrix, you can use your CRM system to calculate a lead score for each new Lead. This score can be prominently displayed on the Lead records and in list views. It’s also helpful to color code the Lead score based on numeric ranges. Alternatively, you could display a star rating for each Lead.

Explicit lead scoring will help your sales team to focus on Leads that have the highest probability of becoming Prospects, based upon criteria that you have 100% control over. You could also experiment with melding the implicit lead score with your explicit lead score in order to come up with a rating that takes both into consideration.

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