Forrester smarty Laura Ramos has a great post on her blog this week, where she talks about numeric scoring being a key to a successful lead scoring program. She's written up a great overview of what you should think about in putting together a comprehensive lead management program using lead scoring.
But what I want to emphasize is that successful lead scoring programs are NUMERIC.
What do I mean? If you've been in marketing for some time, you're probably familiar with a lead ranking system that reads Hot, Warm, Cold or even A,B,C. And many of us have used those systems to communicate relative lead value to sales at one time or another.
Stop doing that.
First of all, tell me the difference between a hot lead and a warm lead. Do you have defined criteria? If you do, can all your sales and marketing team give a unified definition of each? If so, I'd love to hear from you. Most companies have no unified definition of what an A lead or a B lead is, or if they start out with one, the definition quickly degrades over time and newer sales reps and marketing staff are not aligned.
Secondly, if you've struggled with lead management before, you're probably familiar with this conversation at the end of the quarter:
Sales: "That wasn't an A lead! It was a B lead at best. Probably a C."
Marketing: "How come you didn't complain when I sent it to you?"
Sales: "You send over so many questionable leads blah blah blah..."
This unproductive conversation is often the result of sales people being measured on how many A leads they convert. At the end of the quarter, they're trying to move as many unconverted leads out of the queue as they can to avoid being penalized.
What numeric lead scoring does is it eliminates those types of conversations (you're not often going to hear "that wasn't a 72 lead, it was a 69 at best!) from your sales teams. And it allows you to have an ongoing conversation about the relative value of different types of criteria in a lead scoring system.
And that gets you closer to a comprehensive lead management system. And, it makes for a more pleasant work environment.