Stop making these lead scoring errors

You keep track of everything from company performance to revenue growth, so it makes sense to generate a ranking for your prospects to determine their potential as they enter the revenue funnel. Although lead scoring is becoming increasingly common in the B2B industry and is particularly important for demand generation, it can be difficult to get the process right. This strategy can help your sales team become more effective because they won’t waste as much time pursuing cold prospects or those who aren’t a good fit for your product or service. It also allows you to tailor content to the buyer’s journey. Here are some crucial mistakes you should be sure to avoid with your lead generation techniques:

1. Not assessing behavioral and demographic values separately

At its heart, lead scoring is simply contrasting fit for your organization and sales readiness to come up with a numerical score. But there are more factors at play in the B2B sales process, and it may be more effective to consider demographics and prospect actions separately, according to an article for Spear Marketing written by Howard Sewell. Taking this a step further, demographic values are essentially how interested your company is in a lead, and behavioral rankings are how engaged the prospect is with you. Only using value could make it more difficult to tell the difference. Even companies that use lead scoring can end up attracting leads without the budget or purchasing authority who have expressed a high level of interest.

2. Not scoring your current clients

Depending on your industry or product category, your existing clients may need to upgrade their solution. Therefore, you can ensure more sales opportunities from scoring recent customers, Petr Passinger wrote for CMSWire. Because these clients already have a relationship with your brand, your sales representatives may have a chance to introduce the upsell or to cross-sell when prospects return, allowing you to further grow revenue. Selling to the same customers multiple times also lowers your costs of acquisition. Even though scoring is often most useful for new prospects, it can define your process for approaching previous clients.

3. Poor inactivity campaigns and stagnant scores

Many companies take points away from prospects who haven’t interacted with sales materials or visited the website for three months or more. While you should subtract points from leads who aren’t actively engaged with your sales team, the real mistake here is maintaining the same score or adding more points if a prospect takes a simple action like clicking on an email. Sewell cautions against score inflation. If leads aren’t engaged, their scores should lower over time. However, some actions should carry more weight than others. Visiting your website shouldn’t have the same value as requesting a sales consultation, for example.

4. Focusing only on the hottest leads

While the point of lead scoring may seem to be pursue the hottest leads right away, this is not the case, according to Passinger. The reason for this is because sales-ready prospects typically translate to revenue. But it’s still important to have a strategy in place for handling leads who are under the score threshold for immediate pursuit. Potential customers who are a good fit for your product but aren’t ready to buy can be targeted with lead-nurturing campaigns. Additionally, this is a great way to raise conversion rates without increasing your marketing costs. This also gives your sales team a more sustainable pipeline of leads to work with. If you have busier times of year, it can be difficult to grow revenue during the off-season, but lead scoring allows for more consistent contracts. Some colder prospects just need some time and relevant content to arrive at a decision. It would be a mistake to ignore them completely because they could end up selecting a competitor instead.

5. Generating behavioral indicators for overly simplistic actions

Prospect interactions should always be noted, but some should receive a higher score than others, Sewell wrote. For example, one of the most ineffective measures of lead activity is email open rates. Just because a lead opened an email does not mean he or she took the time to read it. Unless prospects are clicking through to your website or taking some other kind of meaningful action, email opens do not mean much on their own.

6. Only focusing on lead generation efforts rather than sales results

Both the number of leads and their quality only matter if you are also tracking conversion rates, Passinger stated. This is a more accurate representation of return on investment for an integrated marketing platform. While Internet lead generation is obviously important for finding new prospects, you need to have the tools in place to build the relationship and convert them into customers.