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27 August 2019

What is lead scoring? The difference between demographic and behavioral scoring explained

In the first article of our 4-part series, I deep-dive into the definition of lead scoring and clarifies the difference between demographic and behavioral scoring.
Topics we’ll cover in this article:

  1. Definition of lead scoring
  2. Demographic scoring vs. behavioral scoring 

Let's get straight to the point.

Lead scoring is a lead management tool that helps you qualify and prioritize your incoming leads.” 

This is the simple version and for starters, is a very good definition. However, we can take it a bit further. When putting some flesh on the bones, you could say that:

Lead scoring is a lead management tool,

  • for sales and marketing,
  • that allows you to assign a point value to each of your leads, 
  • helping both departments qualify and prioritize incoming leads,
  • based on their profile and their behavior.

As mentioned in the paragraph above, a lead’s score consists of 2 components: 

  1. Scoring based on a lead’s profile = demographic scoring
  2. Scoring based on a lead’s online behavior = behavioral scoring

The total score of your lead which indicates your lead’s sales readiness, is the combination of both. 

Lead scoring, what’s in a name? 

When reading up on lead scoring, you might come across very different terminology. At The House of Marketing, we talk about demographic and behavioral lead scoring; the terms below all refer to the same type of data.

Demographic scoring

Definition: Demographic scoring is based on characteristics the lead possesses and is often submitted by the lead itself.

Other terminology: lead characteristics, company characteristics (= firmographics), being a fit for your company, explicit scoring or lead grading. 

For example: job title, level of seniority, company department, country or region, company name (if you are looking to use account based marketing), employee size, BANT criteria (budget, authority, needs, timeline), etc. We often remember this as the part of the lead that normally doesn’t change.

Aside from demographic scoring, you also have a part of the lead that does change.

Behavioral scoring

Definition: Behavioral scoring is scoring based on the actions the lead takes, both online and offline, and is often observed by your marketing department. 

Other terminology: engagement scoring or implicit lead scoring.

For example: here are a few examples you can add to your scoring: 

  • Visits to your product pages
  • Visits to your pricing page
  • Clicks on the main CTA in an email
  • Forwards of your email
  • Downloads of an e-book or white paper
  • Downloads of your brochures 
  • Subscribes to your monthly newsletter 
  • Registers for a webinar
  • Attends a webinar (on demand)
  • Demo requests
  • Meeting requests
  • Contact requests
  • Starts a free trial
  • Completion of a nurture flow
  • Unsubscribes
  • Abandons a cart
  • Hasn’t engaged for over 3 months 

Makes sense? If you’re just beginning to score leads, don’t worry about numbers just yet. Focus on building your framework first. When still in doubt, don’t hesitate to drop us a note or schedule a free discovery call.


Get wiser with the next articles in our series: