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How Predictive Lead Scoring Improves Marketing And Drives Sales

Dave Orecchio
by Dave Orecchio on Nov 13, 2017 9:37:00 AM

Inbound marketing, with its customer-centric focus and data-driven approach, has allowed companies to vastly improve the effectiveness of their marketing efforts.

Automation, in particular, has made lead generation more cost-efficient than ever.

But the influx of leads also comes with its own challenges.

A personalized, one-on-one follow up is the most effective way to close a sale. However, it’s simply not practical or cost-effective for sales reps to reach out to every single subscriber on your list.

How can you determine which leads to contact? This is where automated lead scoring comes into play. 

Predictive Lead Scoring

predictive lead scoring drives salesLead scoring is a strategy that helps businesses identify the most qualified leads by employing a strategic scoring system.

Companies have been using lead scoring techniques for a long time to determine if a lead is worth pursuing.

Traditional lead scoring is often done manually and utilizes only a handful of easily identifiable qualifying factors (e.g., email address, company size.)

The process is time-consuming and doesn’t have the capability to utilize all the customer data we have at our disposal, made available to us by the latest marketing technologies.

Thankfully, the technologies that allow us to gather a large amount of customer data also give us the tools to analyze that data.

Predictive lead scoring uses an algorithm to process the data and determine which leads in your database are most qualified.

With this information, you can tailor sales and marketing strategies to each segment of prospects so you can maximize your ROI.

predictive-lead-scoring-sales-opinion

Predictive lead scoring better and more accurate at qualifying leads and opportunities than point-based attribution

Applying Predictive Lead Scoring To Sales & Marketing

Different companies adopt different algorithms for predictive lead scoring. One of the most common methods is using data from past leads to create the scoring system.

To generate accurate results, you’d need a good number of engaged and unengaged contacts, as well as enough of these contacts that have turned into customers, in order to understand the data’s correlation with the quality of the leads.

We don’t lack data these days. The key is to identify the ones that matter. Here are 6 most commonly used types of data:

  • Demographic information
  • Company information
  • Online behavior
  • Email engagement
  • Social engagement
  • Email domain (for filtering out “spam” emails or email addresses that indicate low-quality leads)

How would I use HubSpot's predictive lead scoring app?

HubSpot's Predictive Lead Scoring App is available to all Enterprise customers and now also to teams who own Sales Pro. Here are some guidelines to run your custom Predictive Lead Score:

  • You have been storing both engaged and unengaged contacts in your HubSpot databased.
  • You have been marking contacts as customers for at least three months.
  • You have at least 500 contacts in HubSpot that are marked as customers.
  • You have at least twice as many contacts that are marked as non-customers.

If you do not have a large enough database of customers and non customer contacts in your database, then you can start with manually applied lead scoring factors. 

After you have set up the right software to analyze the right data, you can use the insights and information to improve your sales and marketing:

Maximize Sales Team’s Resources

Instead of passing all the leads to the sales team, marketers can now send only leads that are most likely to convert.

This improved collaboration between sales and marketing means sales reps can focus their time and energy on “hot” leads.

In addition, you can track how each sales rep performs in relation to the characteristics or attributes of the leads (e.g., one rep may do well with smaller companies while the other may excel with large corporations,) so you can assign the right lead to the right person.

Strike While the Iron Is Hot

When prospects show a high level of interest (e.g., appearing in the top 10% of your database with a high lead score,) they’re most likely to convert when contacted.

Set up a workflow that sends out notifications in real-time to let the sales team know about it right away.

Some software, such as Hubspot’s Predictive Lead Scoring app, also allows you to share details of the lead score to provide additional context for the sales reps. The following image shows a lead score alert that was automatically generated by our Hubspot system based on a lead score above 25. We've blurred the individual's data, but you get the idea. Sales reps love this type of real-time notice!

example lead score alert for sales

Identify Contacts For Lead Nurturing

Some leads may satisfy criteria such as demographic data, role, or company size yet their engagement level may indicate that they aren’t ready to buy.

You can screen out these leads and continue to nurture them until they show the level of engagement that indicates a high likelihood of making a purchase.

In addition, you can segment your database using the information gathered from lead scoring to run targeted campaigns.

Create Personalized Email Campaigns

Personalized email campaigns are more effective than one-size-fits-all mass emails. 

effectiveness of personalized content in marketing

Personalized content is much more effective in marketing

You can create personalized marketing communications by segmenting your list based on the attributes in the predictive lead scoring system or the history of the subscribers’ interactions with your marketing materials or sales team.

Doing so will give you insights for sending out the most relevant content that will take your prospects further down the customer journey.

Interact With Prospects With Social Monitoring

Connecting with prospects with a low or medium lead score via social media is a non-intrusive way to build trust and relationships, which can eventually increase brand awareness, interactions with your company, and their lead score.

Focus on being helpful and sharing relevant information, or simply have a friendly conversation.

Make Data Work For Your Marketing and Sales

Predictive lead scoring is connecting inbound sales and marketing by harnessing the power of data in a way that’s never been possible before.

It’s an increasingly important inbound sales strategy that will change how we deliver a seamless sales experience to prospects with a customer-centric approach.

A Guide to Inbound Sales - Transforming the way you sell

Bristol Strategy is a full funnel inbound marketing agency and inbound sales agency offering the full complement of  Inbound Marketing services that enable our clients to surpass their business objectives by transforming the way they engage with their buyer on-line.  Reach out to us to learn more about how our experience and capabilities can help your business grow. 

Predictive Lead Scoring Image Copyright: 123RF Stock Photo

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Dave Orecchio
Written by Dave Orecchio
Dave Orecchio is one of the earliest adopters of Inbound Marketing. As one of Hubspot’s first customers and CEO of a Boston-based startup, he experienced the benefits of this effective digital marketing methodology. Dave now provides Inbound (marketing & Sales) services to businesses to help them grow and realize the positive results that an integrated program can provide. Dave is a high-tech marketing and sales expert with more than 25 years of business experience.
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