Depending on the size of your company, your marketing efforts could capture thousands of leads per month. Your sales team can't connect with all of these. They need techniques to prioritize and sort the highest quality leads from the lowest. This separation is crucial for sales efficiency—reps need to spend more time on the former to close the best deals for the company.
Lead scoring and qualification models are two linked methods that allow you to triage your inbound leads. Lead scoring is a semi-manual or automated method of using behavioral and demographic information to assign an overall numerical score to each lead:
- Behavioral data such as how the lead arrived at the site (link, search, direct), the pages they viewed, the content they downloaded, and whether they signed up for a newsletter or demo are all assigned individual scores. For instance, downloading an ebook might be given a +2 score, signing up for a webinar a +5 score.
- Demographic data such as the industry they are in, the size of their company, and their role within the company will all be scored. Scores will be heavily weighted towards demographics that fit your ideal customer profile. For instance, if your ICP is a company with 500+ employees and a lead fits this criteria, they might be given a score of +20, outweighing anything they did on the site.
A threshold is then defined for leads to be routed to the sales team. So if a single lead has individual scores that exceed 20, the lead is then sent to the sales team for outreach.
Lead qualification is usually a more manual approach where sales development representatives (SDRs) qualify leads through questions related to specific criteria. An example is the BANT method. Leads are asked about their Budget for the purchase, Authority to make the purchase, current Need for the purchase, and the specific Timing for the purchase. Only if they show positive responses to each of these questions will the lead be considered qualified and passed to an account executive (AE) to continue the sales process.
These two techniques can be used in tandem, where lead scoring is used to initially prioritize high-quality leads, which are then routed to an SDR for further qualification. The qualified leads are then passed to AEs for the full sales process.
Perspectives on Lead Scoring and Qualification Models
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