Learn the basics and apply them to your business
According to a recent study conducted by Marketing Sherpa, only 56% of B2B companies check that the leads are valid before referring them to the sales department. This, of course, ends up being a big waste of time and resources for your agents. Think about it, instead of dealing with a potential customer who is actually interested in what you offer, your sales department may have to misuse their working hours on someone who might not. Besides that, there is a chance that your agents call your leads at a time when they can’t pick up the phone or even contact them when it’s too late, and they’ve already decided to go with your competition.
How do we avoid these scenarios while also optimizing the performance of our sales department? You guessed it, with a lead-scoring strategy. By implementing a lead scoring strategy in your company, your agents will know which potential customers they should contact first, when is the best time to call them, and even which products they are most interested in.
What is lead scoring?
In a nutshell, lead scoring consists of classifying leads based on a score awarded according to different variables or parameters. This assigned score is used to identify which are the users who are best prepared to make a purchase and what is the best moment to contact them.
This scoring can be done either manually by following business rules or automated with the help of Artificial Intelligence. In the latter, there is no need for the sales department to evaluate each lead and assign them a score; the AI would automatically classify the lead and send it to the agents based on this evaluation.
What are the main advantages of a lead-scoring strategy?
Optimization of your sales and marketing resources: Trust us, your agents will be thrilled with this strategy because they will stop wasting their valuable time on the “wrong” leads and focus on those interested in purchasing. This translates into better budget management because you will be “investing” in the “right” potential customers from the get-go.
Detailed information about your lead’s preferences: An excellent way to classify your leads it’s by grouping them according to their likes and preferences. By assigning scores based on these parameters, you can make your agents’ lives easier because they just need to check the score to understand the preferences of the contacted potential customer.
More effective and personalized messages: This benefit can be linked to the previous one, but still, it’s worth highlighting. By having more information and a better understanding of your leads, the sales department will be able to address the potential customers in the best way possible to close the deal.
What are the most effective lead-scoring variables?
Let’s take a look at some of the variables on which this rating strategy is based:
• Lead affinity – ideal customer: All companies have a “buyer persona,” also known as the ideal customer profile they want to target. To determine if the lead belongs to this profile, a value must be assigned to certain characteristics, such as age, sector in which they work, personal interests, geographic location, etc.
• Interaction with the company: This considers the number of times the lead has visited the website, navigated sections, downloaded content, interactions with the company’s social networks, etc.
• Phase of the customer journey of the lead: As you may already know, a buying process consists of different phases. Depending on the lead’s stage, they will be given a score to know what kind of treatment or content to offer them. Basically, you shouldn´t address someone who is just discovering your company with the same message as someone who has already visited your website multiple times.
BANT: the fourth variable
Apart from the three examples seen above, there is another lead-scoring variable that can be taken into account. This variable consists of four items known as BANT (Budget, Authority, Need, and Time frame). Let´s dive deeper into what these four items mean:
• Budget: The amount of money the lead is willing to spend. It is crucial to know this value because it may be much less than our product/service cost.
• Authority: The buying decision power of the lead.
• Need: The product or service we offer covers the lead’s need.
• Time frame: The time the lead intends to make the purchase.
Once all the information is classified, and the leads are qualified with a score, it is necessary to prioritize their order of contact and decide which strategy will be carried out with each one of them.
Depending on the value of each lead, you can direct them to the assisted sales channel that best suits them. Leads with lower conversion potential will be served through lower-cost channels, while higher-value leads will be served through higher-cost channels. By doing this, your agents will be able to make the most of their time, and you will not waste valuable resources and investments.