There's lots of talk about lead scoring lately. Most of it is based on assigning points for particular lead activities and using the accumulated scores to assign the lead's status in the sales process. I just saw an example that included assigning points for different activities, including links clicked within an email communications, white paper downloads and other web pages visited.
Which made me wonder what that really tells the marketer about the lead? Let's toss out an example where a company has defined that at 25 points a lead is sales ready and should be handed off to a salesperson:
Lead scoring summary:
Email links clicked (2 links clicked X 3 pts) = 6 pts
Downloads white paper (one X 5 pts) = 5 pts
Visits other web pages (10 pages X 1 pt) = 10 pts
Registers for a webinar (1 reg X 7 pts) = 7 pts
Lead score total = 28 pts
Okay, this is simplistic, but there's plenty to look at in this one example. Let's consider context.
- Did the email links take the lead to the page where he downloaded the white paper?
- Was the subject matter at the end of the email links closely related to the topic addressed by the white paper?
- What about the other web pages? How do they relate to the topic that initiated the visit? Is your lead looking at a variety of things, or are they zoned in on one thing? What navigational path did they take to view those web pages? Is there a pattern that shows acceleration of interest?
- They may have registered for your webinar, but did they attend it? Is the topic matter related to the other resources they're viewing?
You see, I think it has to go beyond activity to relevance and urgency. Just assigning points based on behavior without applied context doesn't tell you a whole lot, except that something you've said has grabbed temporary attention.
According to this simplistic view, the lead is sales ready. But, what do you really know about them and their interests? What if your company sells 5 different products and they've looked at all 5 product-specific web pages? What if they viewed a variety of case studies about companies that aren't like theirs?
It seems to me that the activity scoring needs to be related to the context of each touchpoint in order to provide quality definition and intelligence you can work with. Nurturing is about more than shoving leads through the funnel and dumping them into the CRM for your salespeople to pursue.
For marketing to gain the respect of sales, leads need to transition complete with intelligence sales can act upon with confidence. Otherwise they're going to treat your leads the way they've always treated them - without a lot of respect.
Take a look at your sales team's ratio of converting the leads marketing gives them into valid opportunities. Is it impressive? If not, perhaps context is what's missing in your lead scoring assumptions.