Stop Cold Calling, Start Lead Scoring: Lead Scoring Checklist, Definitions, and Best Practices

By Katie Borel

The process of cold calling is one that has been dreaded by both marketers and potential customers for years. Thankfully, this practice is becoming increasingly outdated and is being replaced by lead scoring. 

Stop Cold Calling, Start Lead Scoring_ Lead Scoring Checklist, Definitions, and Best Practices

So, what is lead scoring and why should you use it?

Lead scoring is a mechanism that allows you to prioritize your leads for sales based on behavior and demographic data, and alert them when it is time for a follow up.  Simply put, it allows you to monitor your leads as they go through the process of transitioning from a lead to a sales qualified lead (SQL).  Lead scoring allows you to monitor revisits to your website, email opens and social shares.

Screen Shot 2019-06-17 at 9.21.34 AMLifecycle funnel from HubSpot

How does lead scoring work?

A contact will come to your website and fill out a form.  Once that form is filled out, they will be automatically added to your database where all of their demographics and future actions will be recorded.  Based on all of this information the contact is then scored according to how likely they are to be receptive to sales.  The higher they score the better the chances are that sales will be able to convert them into customers. 

If the contact scores high enough they will automatically become an MQL, which will then send you an email notifying you of this change.  It is then up to you to decide whether or not you want to pursue the lead. If accepted they will become and SQL and transition over from the marketing side to the sales side.

Screen Shot 2019-06-17 at 10.03.05 AMScoring attributes in HubSpot

Setting up a lead scoring worksheet

So how do you decide what criteria a contact needs to meet in order to be scored?  The quickest and simplest way to do this is to set up an excel worksheet that lists out various positive and negative attributes with their designated score between 1-100.  These attributes can include demographics (job title, location, etc.), company info like industry and annual revenue, or their online behavior including form completion and website visits.

Once complete you will enter in these attributes with their scores and run a test to see if the scores are appropriate.  Testing can be done by scoring contacts that you think should either be high or low. If they don’t fall into your expected range, then you know you need to tweak the scores. 

Screen Shot 2019-06-17 at 9.31.34 AMSample lead scoring worksheet

Best Practices

In order to have lead scoring working most effectively you want to follow these best practices.

  1. Define your Lifecycle and Lead Stages.
  2. Fill out your lead scoring criteria spreadsheet with all of your attributes and scores before you enter them into the database.
  3. Program your lead scoring criteria and test, test, test. Make the appropriate changes to ensure your contacts are testing the way you expect them to.
  4. Document all of your final lead scoring criteria.
  5. Set up a final process for maintaining your lead scoring database. 

Now that you know the basics of lead scoring, read our blog post on how to best generate new leads in six easy steps.

Want to learn more about generating leads to fill your pipeline? Download our free white paper, B2B Lead Generation, to learn how to generate technical B2B leads for your company. 

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