Lead scores help your salespeople prioritize their customers. While it would be nice to reach out to every customer and maximize sales, sometimes there just isn’t time for it. Near the end of the quarter, everyone needs to focus on the most likely sales and the sales that require the least personal attention. Some leads also linger in the pipeline and, while they’re interested in your company’s projects, there’s little sign of momentum.
How can you start to take difficult timelines into consideration?
Make time part of your lead scoring model. You might already include deadlines into your model, since different business leads need their products at a set point in the year. General events like EOY budget deadlines, the holidays, and fiscal years also change lead behavior. The same lead that’s in the green in December might be yellow in January.
Another important aspect of time is duration. If someone has been in the sales pipeline for a long time, that might not necessarily be a bad thing. As long as there is measurable movement, it’s just a slow sale. But once the movement stalls, you need to start marking down the lead’s score. Even if the entire process is automated, you can’t count on a closed deal within any estimated time frame.
The third important time factor is how much time your salespeople are sinking into the lead. If the client requires a lot of hand-holding or demos, that cuts into how good the lead is. Even if they’re likely to buy your products within a given quarter, if they take the time of two or three sales, they’re not as good of a lead.
A lot of lead scoring models focus on the neutral and the positive. The first steps are usually just information gathering: your marketers collect a company’s specifics, industry information, contact names, and the rest of what your company needs to fill out a basic profile.
Then models focus on the good. Are they subscribers? How many phone calls are there? Are they regularly interacting with your site? If your contact is someone with a lot of purchasing power and they have a good relationship with your go-to salesperson, then that’s even better news.
But if your lead scoring metric only focuses on the positives, your sales department is going to have a lot of unpleasant surprises when they start forecasting. Make sure to include the negatives, too.
What negative data should you include in your lead scoring?
A lot of different things can tip you off that a client should get a lower score than the positive news seems to indicate. Whether your leads start in a formal marketing department or they’re sent straight to sales, there’s going to be a lot of unanswered messages. Even good leads won’t answer you all the time, so don’t score each attempt to reach out too heavily. But if your lead doesn’t respond to emails, phone calls, or offers, then their score should drop drastically. If there’s no way to control their movement through the sales pipeline, they aren’t a good lead. Click here learn to more.
How many blank fields are in their account information page
Just like lack of responsiveness, lack of information is bad news. If you can’t find a specific content, or the lead doesn’t have much of an established online presence, you need to judge accordingly. They might be an excellent customer over time, but you don’t have enough information to rely on that. Whether timelines, deadlines, or energy intensiveness have the priority in your company’s lead scoring model, you can’t let scores sit.