2. Design a customer journey the nurtures the leads until they are ready for sales
Prospects in the high fit high engagement quadrant warrant immediate action. The other quadrants merit attention too, and sales and marketing should decide together on the course of action to take to push these into the top right-hand corner. The customer journey for each segment will be different. High fit low engagement are an interesting segment to apply account based marketing to, or invite top management to executive events. Low fit low engagement can be nurtured further in a more effortless way by inviting them to webinars, proposing downloads, etc.
3. Put lead scoring on steroids by using category scoring
Category scoring is one of the strongest features in Pardot. While a lead score will already tell you that a prospect is hot for you, you may not know exactly what they are hot for. Category scoring is lead scoring on steroids. A category score will tell you what a lead score actually represents in terms of products, complexity drivers, customer pains, etc. These are categories that sales and marketing can decide on together to refine the leads and provide sales with as much detail as possible on what the lead score really means. As an example: if you are a food distributor, you will want to know whether retailer prospects are interested in dairy products, meat, seafood or any other product category. A sales rep who possesses this detailed level of information will be able to get to the point faster. And shorten the sales cycle. Additionally, category scores will allow you to kick off trigger based relevant messaging when a score reaches a watermark.
4. Put a cap on the lead score and take timing into account
When attributing scores to a lead, a high number may seem very attractive, but it may be interesting to evaluate over what period of time that score has been accumulated. A lead score of 500 looks very promising, but if took two years to get there, the prospect may not really be hot anymore. So it might be a good conversation opener for sales and marketing to chat about putting the counters back to zero from time to time, or subtract points for inactive periods, say minus 50 points per month of inactivity. This is not an easy choice, and you need to take the length of your average sales cycle into account. If your business has a long sales cycle, you should not put the counters back to zero every quarter. This really merits a good discussion between marketing and sales.
5. Adapt your lead scoring system based on feedback from sales
Will you get lead scoring right from the first time? Some do, but its rare. Setting the lead scoring system and the points right from day one does not happen often. This is another area which facilitates a good conversation between sales and marketing, and you can tweak the scoring system as you go along. Ask sales how the process went and if the scores really mapped the interest of the prospect. If sales complain they are getting too many leads, adapting the scoring system can be adjusted. A lead scoring system has to change just like human behaviour changes.
Producing actionable leads
Keep one thing in mind though a lead score is not a vanity metric. While it is a nice number to project during a sales and marketing meeting, know that a lead score serves a purpose: providing sales with hot leads that are actionable and will make sales successful. Implementing category scoring makes leads even more actionable. Category scoring is where the rubber really hits the road, and where marketing can make sales shine. And as we all know, happy sales make happy marketing.