Contact Us

The blog

Discover smart tips, personal stories and our take on the latest marketing trends
27 August 2019

7 steps to create your own lead scoring model

How do you create your own lead scoring model? In the third article of our 4-part series, I guide you through 7 steps to build an efficient lead scoring model.
Pre-reads for this blog post 

  1. Article 1 out of 4: What is lead scoring? The difference between demographic and demographic scoring explained 
  2. Article 2 out of 4: 3 questions to know if lead scoring is for you 

Topics we will cover in this article:

Often, the hardest part of lead scoring is getting started. Not because it’s complicated or time-consuming, but because you need some knowledge to kickstart your program. Now that you know why you should be doing it, this section will focus on how to get started with lead scoring.

1. Take a closer look at your current database  

Take a trip down memory lane and dive into your CRM tool, or pull up those dreaded excels. Analyze the contacts who became customers to see what they have in common. Next, look at the characteristics of contacts who didn't become customers.

Once you've looked at the historical data from both sides, you can decide which attributes should be weighted heavily based on how likely they are to indicate someone's a good fit for your product.

2. How do your leads currently behave? 

If you have a marketing automation tool set up, chances are you provide content such as blog posts, infographics, videos, e-books, a pricing page etc. Engagement with those types of assets are touchpoints in your marketing funnel and indicate buying intent. To get a better idea of which actions help leads move forward in the decision making process, ask yourself the following questions:

      • Which actions do potential buyers and current customers have in common?
      • What content do potential buyers usually view before making a purchase?
      • What types of behaviors indicate willingness to engage with sales?

3. What does your ideal customer look like? 

Feeling limited by historical data? This is the moment to let your imagination run wild. Well, sort of. Picture yourself lying on the beach, toes in the sand, sipping a piña colada and your ideal... customer walks by. What does he or she look like? 

Identify the characteristics of the “perfect” customer so that such leads earn a higher score.

Consider qualifiers like job title, industry, and company size, as well as the BANT method (Budget, Authority, Need, Timing). 

A few questions to ask in order to establish these criteria:

      • Who are you selling to?
      • What industries are interested in your product?
      • Do these companies need to be of a certain size or in a certain location?
      • Who within a company is qualified to buy your product?

Why you shouldn’t skip this step:

Making sure that a lead fits your ideal buyer persona can prevent your sales team from wasting valuable time reaching out to someone who has a high score but no intentions to buy (such as someone who’s looking for a job within your company). This allows for a better allocation of  resources.

4. List what you require from a lead 

Basically, what do you want? This almost feels like a no-brainer, but before descending into the trenches, it’s essential to align on what you consider to be a cold, warm and hot lead. Start by establishing the minimum criteria a lead must satisfy to become a customer. You can easily compare this to defining your ultimate campaign goal. If a criterion is not truly essential, don’t list it here. Consider only the required qualifications. 

If you’re struggling to identify your minimum requirements, think about factors that disqualify leads from becoming customers. From that perspective, you should be able to determine the bare minimum benchmarks leads must meet to earn your attention.

5. March over to your sales team 

Literally. Schedule a meeting with your counterparts and get your sales team involved. Does your exercise reflect reality? After all, your sales reps are the experts on recognizing when a prospect is ready to buy, and likely have a wealth of knowledge on how to recognize leads that should be prioritized.

As mentioned before, the sales team is responsible for taking a lead and bringing it to closure, so it is essential that the marketing and sales teams sit down and document the criteria that are found in a lead that typically closes.
Also, this is a great moment to ask your colleagues about what content they send to potential customers. (Point number 2, listed above.)

6. Allocate a score

When done properly, you now should have an excel sheet with 3 tabs. An analysis of your current customers (1), a dream vision of your ideal customer (2) and a list of demographic characteristics and actions (3) you deem important to score.

Ideally, demographic criteria should represent no more than half the total score. After all, a perfect demographic match does not itself indicate readiness to buy – there must also be behavioral cues to match. I explained the difference between both in the first article of this series.
Do you know your contacts’ magic number? Your lead's score is a simple number that goes up or down based on how contacts interact with your business. Do they visit your site? Submit a form? Add to their lead score, so you can see how engaged each contact is at a glance.

Not quite there yet? Try our lead scoring worksheet for yourself.


7. Evaluate, refine & tweak 

The simple truth of the matter is, you probably won’t ever build a perfect lead scoring model. Particularly if you don’t have any historical data on which it can be based. How so? Because we live in an ever-evolving our world and that’s true for the market, potentially your product offering and even your image of an ideal customer.

Once fresh data starts coming in, the best thing you can do is to revise and adjust your lead scoring model on a continuous basis. Especially in the beginning, you could benefit from evaluating every 30 days.

Bring sales back in the loop and look back on the leads that have converted in those last 30 days:

  • Did a significant percentage of your highly scored leads not bring the expected sales results? 
  • Have some of your low-scoring leads converted into customers?
  • How many leads were labeled as not yet sales-ready and need more lead nurturing? And for what reason?

If you answered yes to either of these questions, it is best to tweak your lead scoring model for it to reach its full potential.

Want more guidance? You can schedule a free call with me to discuss any challenge you might face along the way.


Get wiser with the other articles in our series: