Marketing

Lead Scoring Models Explained

Sohan Karuna
June 9, 2022

What do you do when you’re stuck nurturing countless leads that drive few conversions? Lead scoring has emerged as an effective solution forthis customer conversion challenge. Studies show that B2B organizations that utilize lead scoring realize a 77% increase in lead generation ROI compared to those that don't. If this piques your interest, know that scoring your leads and determining a lead scoring model is not a cut and dry process. The following post explains what lead scoring is and explores some commonly used lead scoring models.

 

What Is lead scoring?

Lead scoring is the procedure of quantifying the conduciveness of a lead generated by a business. To put it simply, it is used to determine if a lead is more likely to convert or not by assigning scores to the leads. By doing so, you ensure that both your marketing and sales teams are seeding the right prospects, all while getting to understand who your ideal lead is in the process.

So far, it seems simple right? Well, scoring leads is not all black and white. Figuring out your buyer persona is a multifaceted challenge. It not only requires a boatload of data but constant revisions and maintenance over time as well.

To help with that, here is how you build your lead scoring model:

Determining lead scores

First, we need to figure out the criteria for scoring, and how many points to reward or deduct for each criterion. Here are a couple of steps to establish that:

1)     Picking your KPIs and Traits: The first step in lead scoring is selecting what you need to be judging. This involves the KPIs (key performance indicators) and common traits of leads that convert. An example of this would be that an important KPI is the number of views on the review page for a product. And a common trait could be a particular company size.

2)     Assigning the Value: It is important to understand which traits are more significant than others — like the lead’s company size over the industry. This way you can reward certain traits higher than others. You should even determine the points to be rewarded per trait — which company size converts the most and which ones convert the least, etc. You can do this by calculating the conversion rates of the leads with different levels of the same trait and comparing them to the average. The same can be done for KPIs as well.

 

With all these in place, you can now determine the score for each lead attribute. Remember that you must never only rely on one attribute to score your leads. The more the merrier, as the following lead scoring models deal with a wide variety of data.

Lead scoring models

A lead scoring model is nothing but the basis of evaluation for your scoring or the system on which it is predicated. With that said here are some common lead scoring models:

1) Implicit Scoring (Activity/Engagement): Implicit scoring is used to grade leads based on their level of activity and engagement with the business, its brand and its content. It utilizes a lot of tracking data across several platforms and compared to explicit scoring it is a continual process. Here are some examples of implicit scoring:

 

  • Number of webpage visits or leads that visited the pricing page.
  • Content engagement, including views, downloads, etc.
  • Email engagement, email click-through rate and bounce rate.
  • Social media interactions, involving likes, comments, followers, etc.
  • Leads that requested for product demos and free trials.
  • Leads that attended webinars.
  • Form submissions, and more

 

2) Explicit Scoring (Suitability): Explicit scoring is used to evaluate a lead based on their business-related profile like the lead’s company size and job title. This information is used to determine the suitability of your lead’s business profile to that of a lead that converts. Explicit scoring is more commonly used in B2B interactions, given the importance of assessing the companies they deal with. Here are some examples of explicit scoring:

 

  • Company size, which can allude to how many decision-makers are involved in the buying decision.
  • Job titles that are awarded different points depending on the level of influence.
  • The company’s revenue could help identify companies that are more in line with your average contract value.
  • The lead’s company industry.
  • The location and other demographics of the lead.

 

3) Matrix (Combination of Implicit and Explicit Scoring): This model is called a matrix model because it uses an incidence matrix combination of implicit and explicit scoring. This means that we evaluate a lead based on combinations of implicit and explicit traits at varying degrees. For example: A lead that is considered highly suitable based on explicit business profile traits like company size and industry can be scored poorly due to its low activity and engagement levels. The same could be said about a lead with high activity but low suitability.

The importance of both these dimensions varies based on your ideal client profile (ICP). The use of this matrix model, including models with other dimensions, are quite common in lead scoring solutions used today. Like Silverpop’s scoring system.

 

4) Negative Scoring: A negative scoring model implements a deduction of points to your lead scores based on unfavorable interactions and intentions. Negative scoring involves a multitude of aspects. From the low levels of activity or interest found in leads, to prospects consuming your content for all the wrong reasons. The biggest advantage of implementing this model is that it avoids inflating a lead’s score. And allows your sales team to focus more on better leads. Here are some examples of negative scoring:

  • Inactive or stagnant leads that have not interacted with the business in a while.
  • Leads that unsubscribe to your company newsletter.
  • Rival companies researching your company.
  •  Visitors that consume your content with no interest in the product, but for other reasons (academic/employment)

Regardless of which model you pick, you’re more likely to adopt a combination of these models so long as it meets your scoring requirements. And as long as you fine-tune your method in conjunction with newer customer data, you can ensure that your lead scores will always stay credible.

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