Lead generation is an important part of growing your business. When you're able to attract a new lead, you're one step closer to getting a new paying customer. However, not all leads are equally prepared to make a purchase. This means they will enter into the buyer's journey at different stages, requiring different information and content to convert them.
A lead scoring strategy can help you identify how close your leads are to making a purchase. Through tracking where your leads fall on your sales threshold, you can better accommodate their needs and encourage them to get out their wallets. Establishing the right lead scoring strategy for you and your business is important for ensuring that you're accurately assessing the situation and reaching out at the perfect time.
Let's take a look at the step-by-step process you can use to create a smart lead scoring strategy for your business!
- Identifying your ideal lead enables you to see who is most likely to make a purchase.
- Assigning different points to various actions can help you see how a lead is progressing through the sales process.
- Your sales-ready threshold tells you the amount of points a lead should accumulate before they're ready to buy.
Step 1: Identify Your Ideal Lead
Before you can begin creating your lead scoring strategy, you need to know who your ideal leads are. While you may have already identified who your target audience is, an ideal lead is a little different. This is someone who has already engaged with your brand and is closer to being ready to make a purchase. They should fit within your target audience, but they should have also performed at least one task or action that indicates their interest in your company.
To identify your ideal lead, you'll want to take a look at the behaviors of your existing customers and clients (and talk to them directly if possible). Look for any common criteria between them, including specific events, triggers, or actions that may have encouraged them to finally make a purchase. This can include everything from being exposed to a certain piece of content to being on your email subscription list.
You'll also want to make a list of requirements that your leads must meet to become customers, including any age or location restrictions that may prevent them from purchasing. This can help you rule out leads who may have found their way to your brand but can't actually buy from you, such as someone who signed up for your emails but lives across the country from your local business.
The idea behind identifying your ideal lead is to develop a picture of what needs to happen before visitors will be ready to make a purchase. They should be interested in your company, prepared to purchase, and fully capable of buying when they're ready. Remember, just like your ideal customer, your ideal lead can change from time to time. Consistently reevaluate to ensure that your expectations are still accurate.
Step 2: Assign Scoring Points to Different Actions
Once you know who your ideal lead is, you want to consider the various actions and behaviors they may carry out on their journey to becoming a customer. These activities can include everything from reading blog posts to attending webinars. They can also include small moments of engagement, such as liking a company post on Facebook or Twitter.
Make a list of as many different actions you can think of. You'll then want to assign different points depending on how powerful that action is. Activities that bring the lead closer to becoming a customer should be given more points, while simpler actions that ultimately mean very little should only be assigned a few points (because they still indicate some interest). The deeper the client is in the buyer's journey, the more the points their typical actions at that point should be worth. You can also assign negative points to unwanted behaviors, such as unsubscribing from your email list.
As a lead performs actions, they attract or lose points. The more points they acquire, the more prepared they are to make a sale. Monitoring how well your leads are performing different actions and accumulating points can enable you to see if individuals are moving quickly through the buyer's journey, if they're taking their time to get to know your brand first, or if they're failing to make progress. This example from Market Net Services shows you how you can monitor the scores of your various leads:
Each similar piece of content does not need to be given the same point value. While generic blogs or videos can be assigned the same number of points, you'll want to give high-performing content more weight. For example, if you have a guide or post that frequently converts new customers and clients, it may deserve a higher value. However, you'll want to constantly evaluate how well those pieces are performing to ensure they're still delivering results.
Step 3: Set Your Sales-Ready Threshold
The final step in creating your lead scoring strategy is to assign a sales-ready threshold for your leads. This is a set number of points your leads will typically have accumulated before they're ready to make a purchase. How they gathered those points and how long it took can vary, but ideally your leads will meet the threshold through exploring content, engaging with your brand, and researching your company.
Once a lead reaches this threshold, they're likely to purchase on their own, and they're also in the right frame of mind to be contacted by a sales representative. Since these leads are already well-versed in what solutions your company offers, waiting until they reach the sales-ready threshold ensures that you're not being too pushy with your approach. Instead, they'll be more likely to be open and receptive.
When determining your sales-ready threshold, you'll want to consider how you've weighted the points for different actions. Setting your threshold too low can cause you to reach out to leads before they're truly ready to purchase. If you set it too high, you may be ignoring the needs of potential customers who are ready to buy. You need to find the appropriate middle ground, so you're approaching leads at the right moment.
Your sales-ready threshold may change over time, so it's important to constantly reevaluate it. If you find that customers are frequently purchasing on their own, you may want to lower your threshold. On the other hand, if your leads don't seem prepared when your sales representatives reaches out, it might be time to raise your sales-ready threshold.
Using a lead scoring system can improve your chances of converting leads into customers. However, if you want to properly score how close your leads are to purchasing so you know when to contact them, you need to be sure your system is customized for you and your target audience.
Let's recap the three steps you can use to create a smart lead scoring strategy:
- Identify who your ideal lead is, including the criteria they need to meet in order to become a customer.
- Assign point values to various behaviors and actions your leads will take.
- Determine the point (or sales-ready) threshold that indicates a lead is ready to make a purchase.
How do you think a smart lead scoring strategy will improve your sales results? Let us know in the comments section below!
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