Lead Scoring is a strategy that is changing the way companies interact with their potential customers. In a world where customers are increasingly savvy and expectations are high, lead scoring has become an essential tool for keeping up with them. In this article, we’ll explore how lead scoring can help you identify and prioritize your best leads, improve the efficiency of your sales team and keep everything organized. If you are looking for ways to improve your sales process, this article is for you.
Lead Scoring, what is it?
Lead Scoring is an automated marketing technique used to determine and evaluate the degree of interest or «score» of the leads collected in a database during a commercial sales process following the lead nurturing technique. In other words, it is about qualifying and measuring the user’s interest in what the company offers when it carries out a process of creating relationships and providing value to customers (lead nurturing) as part of an Inbound Marketing strategy.
In a marketing context, leads refer to contact with a potential customer. Depending on the company, the definition of the term lead can vary. For some companies, a lead is a qualified potential contact, while other companies consider a lead to be any sales contact. A lead is the interest shown by a consumer (by offering his contact details through a web form) in the products, services or information offered by a company through its website and those communication channels it employs online.
Lead scoring allows you to determine the interest of the different leads you receive, since they may not be sufficiently profitable or may not be aligned with the company’s commercial criteria. This technique is also very practical to capture the attention of users who are at other points in the sales funnel, such as potential customers who are at an earlier stage of purchase and require more information and advantages to decide to carry out the purchase.
What is an MQL and a SQL?
Distinguishing between marketing qualified leads (MQLs) and sales qualified leads (SQLs) is crucial to understanding your sales funnel and, more importantly, potential «bottlenecks» within it.
Marketing attracts clicks to your website and captures «leads» that interact with the content. These people initiate contact, but their level of interest is indeterminate. As marketing engages with these leads, they may qualify based on the actions they take and how much they interact with the content and/or visit the website. These leads become an MQL when they are ready to be managed by the sales team.
After the initial contact, the sales team continues the interaction and screens the customer for interest and buying ability. SQLs are the next step of an MQL or can come directly from a database. They are prospects that have been screened and have an interest and ability to buy at the next stage, sometimes called the demo stage.
The importance of Lead Scoring
Lead Scoring is very important in sales today. Here’s why:
The antidote against more demanding Customers.
Today’s customers know a lot and expect a lot, whether you sell to other companies (B2B) or to individual consumers (B2C). Lead Scoring helps you keep your sales up to date with these expectations.
Improve your conversions
This method helps you convert more of your marketing leads (MQL) into high quality leads for your sales team (SQL).
It’s worth noting that it’s also a way to give each lead a score based on different things you know about them.
Find the best leads
With a good lead scoring system, you can find and focus on the leads that are most likely to become customers.
Work more efficiently
By focusing on the best leads, your sales team can work more efficiently and productively.
Keep things organized
With so many leads and so much going on, Lead Scoring helps you keep everything organized. Without it, things can get very chaotic and you can lose money.
Get to know your leads better
By collecting and analyzing information about your leads, you can better understand what they need and want.
In this way, we understand that Lead Scoring is a very useful tool for any modern sales team. It helps you find and focus on the best leads, gives you a better understanding of your leads and helps you keep everything organized. In a world where customers are becoming more and more demanding, Lead Scoring is more important than ever.
Differentiating between Prospects and Suspects
The purpose is to identify between the two types of MQLs. There are two potential customers in this funnel. Those who may buy (after research and conversations) and those who have no intention of buying at all. The former MQLs are referred to as «Prospects» and the latter are referred to as «Suspects».
Prospects are those who, at the point where they enter the funnel, you should research and really determine the fit of your solution to their needs. And if they meet all the requirements, they will become SQLs. On the other hand, a Suspect will enter your funnel for any reason beyond a true intent to buy; maybe they want to download material, they’re bored, they’re a student, the competition, etc.
The purpose you need to focus on is to differentiate between those who might be ready for sales soon and those who are wasting your time.
Summary of the differences between a Prospectus, MQL and/or SQL
Person within the ideal buyer target.
Shares the same location, socio-demographic characteristics, job and/or consumer habits as the target group.
MQL (Marketing Qualified Lead)
- A Prospect who is also interested in our solution or service.
- Through marketing by clicking on ads, website or downloading material, he/she has shown interest in the solution, but his/her quality as a potential «target buyer» has not been verified.
SQL (Sales Qualified Lead)
- It is a qualified Prospect for the next step in the sales funnel.
- Similar to an MQL, but in addition to having the interest, he/she has the time, budget, authority and decision-making power to evaluate the solution and/or service. It also has the characteristics of the target group.
|Persona||Prospect||MQL (Marketing Qualified Lead)||SQL (Sales Qualified Lead)|
|Objective Location||X||Don’t know||X|
|Objective Industry||X||Don’t know||X|
|Objective Position||X||Don’t know||X|
|Consumption habits of target||X||X||X|
|Other socio-demographic characteristics of the target||X||X||X|
|Demonstrated interest in the solution||–||X||X|
|Authority / Decision-Making||–||–||X|
In closing, we can conclude that Lead Scoring is a vital tool in the arsenal of any sales team. It allows marketing and sales teams to work together more efficiently, ensuring that only the most qualified leads are sent to the sales team for follow-up. By differentiating between MQL and SQL, and more specifically between Leads and Suspects, you can optimize your sales funnel and ensure that your sales team is spending their time on the most promising leads.
Remember, Lead Scoring is not a static process. It should be reviewed and adjusted regularly to reflect changes in your target market and the characteristics of your ideal customers. By keeping your lead scoring system up-to-date and relevant, you can ensure that your sales team is always working with the best leads possible.