Your lead scoring strategy for a great Customer Engagement
Most people will tell you that the most important thing in business is customer acquisition. And up to a point, this can’t be wrong. That is until you put customer engagement into your business equation. Customer engagement is all about holding onto the customers you already have and all the steps you will be taking in the process of building a relationship with them.
And the best way to start with your customer engagement would be to create a straightforward strategy for this, to serve as a roadmap on how to increase customer satisfaction by having valuable interactions with them across channels.
You know the problem.
You’ve got tons of leads making their way through your pipeline and you’re following up with every single one. But your conversion to paying is still low. So, what’s really going wrong?
The most common answer is that you’re following up (and wasting time) with poor-quality leads–the people who submit an inquiry without any motivation to purchase from you. There’s one thing that could be your saving grace: a lead scoring model.
Lead scoring allows you to tell which prospects are worth your time and which aren’t and it allows you to do so systematically rather than by what “feels right” at the time.
And these are the key steps to help you put it into practice.
Similar to marketing segmentation, you can start by grouping people into lead categories that define their interest scores, typically three:
- the ones you should leave behind
- the ones you should continue engaging with but aren’t ready to buy and
- the hot prospects that need a final push to become your customers
With all of that prospect information, the benefits become obvious, as you can now spend more time pursuing the prospects that matter most and ditch the ones that matter least, helping you slash acquisition costs and increase lifetime values.
Why is lead scoring so important to your business?
Although you know that you should keep following up with prospects who’ve shown interest in your service or product, you don’t exactly know who to follow up with, as 70% of leads and sales are lost because of poor follow-up practices.
And lead scoring might offer a solution for those very struggles, with the top benefits of companies that use lead scoring being a more measurable return on investment (ROI), an increased conversion rate, and higher sales productivity and effectiveness.
Lead scoring, in other words, provides the segmentation engine that your marketing automation activities need to thrive.
That’s why 68% of highly effective marketers counted lead scoring as a top contributor to their revenue, or why companies who use lead scoring regularly see a 77% higher lead generation ROI than their non-lead-scoring counterparts.
Your lead scoring strategy
Here are the steps you should take to unleash your business lead-scoring potential:
Draw the right personas
All good things start with personas. The trick is to start broad before you go narrow. There are people who consistently engage with your content marketing efforts. They click on your ads, read your blog posts, and comment on your stuff.
However, these people aren’t necessarily buying from you yet. Those will have different characteristics from the loyal customer with the highest lifetime value.
There are distinct differences. There are reasons one group has purchased, and the other is on the fence.
Whatever the case, customer segments and personas are high-level groups of people who are interested in your content, services, products, and business at various levels. To determine who your target market is, ask yourself:
- What is the identity of my company and what problem does it solve, holistically?
- Who experiences those problems and is likely to engage with my company regularly?
- Who has purchased, who hasn’t, and why (for each)?
- What language / messaging tone, style, audience, and intent has worked or failed?
The ‘five whys’ can also help you go deeper into each one:
- Who are they?
- What do they want?
- Where are they coming from?
- When do they engage with you the most?
- Why are they interested in you?
Those five simple questions will work wonders to enhance your understanding of your target market.
Next, it’s time to move on to determining your ideal customer.
Define your Ideal Customer
The most important part of the lead scoring process is determining the characteristics of people who are most likely to buy. There are three basic types of criteria you should consider.
- Explicit criteria / Information that tells you who the person is and whether or not they fit into your ideal client mold, measuring things like customer potential size, location, past purchases, job title.
- Implicit criteria/ Behavioral data that tells you how interested someone is in your service, product, or business, with metrics like number of phone calls. time-on-page, website visits, webinar attendance, email/chat interactions.
- Negative criteria / Information about leads that aren’t interested in you, with occurrences as low email open and click-through rate, long inactivity periods, very little engagement, any unsubscribes to previous campaigns.
At the end of the day, your persona or avatar will consist of a section for goals and values, challenges and pain points, objections and behaviors, and sources of information.
After developing your “Customer Avatar” and pushing deeper than demographics, you can assign different points to different behaviors and craft a solid lead-scoring process.
Lead scoring system
When creating your point system, you want to assign more points to higher-commitment actions, and fewer (or negative) points to low-commitment actions.
Then, whenever someone takes an action, they received the points associated with that action, and the higher the total, the more interested the prospect, with all this information being gathered, collected, and analyzed in a good quality help desk software.
Lastly, you will want to assign point categories for your marketing and sales team’s reference to determine who they should call and how committed that person is.
The lead scoring benchmark
Time to compare yourself to the industry’s best practices, right?
Absolutely not, as there’s no range or benchmark from other companies.
You can only keep testing and iterating your ideal customer assumptions so that your scoring system is doing what it’s ultimately supposed to: Delivering high-value leads, nurturing middle-of-the-road ones, and politely turning away bad ones.
There will be problems and issues at first and you will have to work closely with your sales team and CRM system to determine those issues and iterate until you land on the perfect formula.
Businesses that don’t practice any form of lead scoring will likely end up spending loads of money and energy trying to convert pointless leads, and they will unintentionally ignore the promising ones.
You, of course, don’t want to be one of those businesses. And you can avoid becoming one by determining who your target market is, who your ideal customer is, and then creating a point system to measure the commitment level of your prospects.
But you also have to keep in mind that, although a lead scoring model will give you a ton of info about your potential customer/clients, you will also need to take the time to use this information; there are a ton of tools out there which can make qualifying site visitors easy, but they’re only worth the monthly fee if you dedicate the time to make those metrics mean something.
Lead scoring can be a win for your business. A win for your prospects. And a win for your ROI.
But it has to win you over, to begin with.