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This post has been contributed by UpLead

You’ve established a solid online presence for your B2B commerce business. Maybe, you’ve even started optimizing it for SEO and improving your conversion rates. The objective is clear: You want to generate leads that ultimately turn into sales. But how to figure out what leads to prioritize?

This is when lead scoring comes into play. It helps B2B eCommerce companies to understand which prospects are worth their time and which aren’t.

lead scoring ranking leads

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What is Lead Scoring?

Lead scoring will rank your prospects against a scale that represents the perceived value of these prospects to your business.

It’s a methodology where you select only a few of the leads to ensure effectiveness and precision. You don’t group the prospects too—every lead is supposed to get its score and be classified accordingly.

Use suitable prospecting techniques to generate a list of leads. Afterwards, you can start scoring them to determine which prospect would be valuable to your organization.

What do B2B Commerce Businesses Need to Consider When Using Lead Scoring?

68% of the best marketers count lead scoring as a top revenue contributor, so you know it’s an important practice to know of. Sadly, about 79% of B2B marketers haven’t taken the initiative for the same.

The thing is: Lead scoring isn’t a universal process. It’s different for each business.

For example, a B2B company might prefer to learn about the job title of the lead instead of his or her location. You see, this will help them to understand whether the prospect has the authority to make purchasing decisions—something which is most important for B2B commerce companies as they want to sell their product. Also, you can end up with leads from the same company. In such a case, it would be better for you to focus on only one lead from the company – the one who is able to make a decision – instead of focusing on all of them to save effort and time.

Contrarily, a B2C company might not care about the lead’s job title. Instead, it would be more useful for them to know about their location to determine whether the lead could be a potential customer.

Nevertheless, establishing a scoring system can be beneficial for both types of companies to help them find genuine leads.

lead-a-vs-lead-b-comparison

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How to Build a Successful Lead Scoring Model?

The following is a step-by-step guide to create a successful lead scoring model for B2B commerce:

Step 1: Defining the Company and Personal Attributes of Leads

Lead and customer acquisition is only possible when you’re able to identify your target audience. So, you need to establish criteria that your lead would need to satisfy to become a customer. 

For example, your lead needs to have purchasing authority or at least be influential enough to convince the person who would buy your product. This could mean that you’re only looking for specific job titles. Company information can be another basis that includes the following:

  • Company location
  • Company size
  • Company annual revenue
  • Company industry

Remember, these are just a few selected pointers of your criteria. You need to create a list of such points to be able to identify the right leads.

An effective way to find out a target customer is to take the opposite approach – think of factors that would disqualify prospects from becoming your customer.

Identifying the core qualities of your target market is important as it helps you find prospects who are most similar to your typical customer. 

In other words, if the lead is similar to your existing customer base, they are more likely to be a good fit. It’s important for you to prioritize these prospects if you want to sell your product. Simply buying contact data is not enough – the leads need to be a good fit as well.

Step 2: Focusing on Lead Behavior

50% of the leads are qualified, but not ready to buy, according to Gleanster Research.

Start by listing all possible behaviors of your leads. When you‘re creating this list, remember that some behaviors are more important than others. But, it doesn’t mean that you should exclude behaviors that seem unimportant. You’ll realize the importance of striking a balance as you proceed.

lead-scoring-options-examples

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Here are a few examples:

  • Email opens
  • Email clicks
  • Email replies
  • Social media shares
  • Contact requests
  • Web page visits
  • Events
  • Purchase history
  • Downloads and form submission
  • Engagements with your phone support

Email-based actions are mostly centered around the efficiency of your cold emailing strategy. This is why you should cleverly draft your emails focusing on the pain points of leads, providing a solution, and including a CTA. 

Step 3: Deciding a Lead Scoring System

While a straightforward 1-100 lead scoring scale is great, as a B2B commerce business you can use additional options to save time.

Your point scoring system should be simple: more points for higher commitment actions and suitable attributes and less or negative points for lower commitment actions and negative attributes. 

Take a look at this table to get a better idea of how you can develop the scoring:

Attributes and Behavior Points
Job title is “Purchasing Manager” +15
Company revenue is $50 million per year +5
Submitted “Contact Me“ form +25
Downloaded an important document +4
Form page submission +5
Viewed pricing page +10
Visited landing page +2
Unsubscribed from receiving the newsletter -3
Visited your web page +2
Email click-through +2

Effective Lead Scoring Example for Inspiration

lead scoring types

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To help you understand lead scoring better, let’s discuss an example. 

Typically, your lead scoring should be based on three parts: online behavior, personal information, and email engagement.

Lead Scoring Based on Company Information

For manufacturers, personal information can be an important basis to give points to find out who exactly holds the authority to buy your product.

Lead Scoring Based on Online Behavior

You’ll give points based on what the user does on your website. This can be reading blog posts, visiting a page on your website, participating in contests, etc.

Lead Scoring Based on Email Engagement

You’ll be able to find out the engagement of the users to your content and products by tracking their email engagement and allotting scores afterward. 

On the basis of this, you’ve developed a scoring system that looks like the following:

If the prospect is a/an:

  • C Level Executive, give +80 points
  • Director, give +50 points
  • Manager, give +20 points
  • Intern, give 0 points

If the user:

  • Reads a blog post, give +3 points
  • Requests for a pricing list, give +10 points
  • Visits your ’Careers’ page, give -10 points
  • Opens an email, give +2 points
  • Clicks through the link in the email, give +20 points
  • Hasn’t opened three consecutive emails, give -15 points

So, on the basis of the above system, if you find a lead who is a director and has requested for a pricing list after opening your mail, your score for him would be (50 + 10 + 2 + 20) = 82. 

In a similar manner, if somebody opens your email but visits the Careers page, you should give him a score of {(-10) + 2} = -8.

Best Lead Scoring Practices for B2B Commerce Businesses

Here are some of the best lead scoring practices to help you develop an effective lead scoring system:

Neglect Leads that Aren’t A Proper Fit

Don’t score leads that will never be candidates for sales follow-up. This can include competitors, students, or several leads that come from the same company. If you end up with multiple leads from the same company, focus on the lead that holds the most power to make purchasing decisions as opposed to say an intern or manager.

Suppressing leads will be more practical than trying to score down leads and prevent them from getting passed on to sales in error.

Use Online Forms for Data Collection

lead scoring contact form oro

There’s a high chance for a website visitor to be interested in your product. Keeping this mind, it can be useful to collect more information about these visitors by making them fill online forms. After all, the more information you have about your prospects, the more effective your lead scoring will be.

The best part about online forms is that there are several options as well. You can choose from basic contact forms, email newsletter signup forms, account signup forms, giveaway entry forms, or ‘request a quote’ form.

This can give you access to important information for your business such as the leads job title, industry, budget range, and so on.

Remember, asking the right questions is important.

Creating an Effective Follow-Up Planhot cold or warm leads

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After calculating your lead scores, you‘ll be able to determine your leads on the basis of cold, warm, and hot. You need to take immediate action for the hot leads.

Create a follow-up plan to convert hot leads into customers. Email marketing, for example, can be an excellent way to encourage them to purchase your product. 

You can create an email drip campaign to send a series of automated emails to certain email subscribers at a predetermined schedule.

Another approach would be to send them relevant content that includes customer testimonials, video reviews, product certifications, how-to videos and/or awards. Converting leads through education brings tons of hidden benefits, as it helps you grow a solid community while converting more prospects organically. You can also consider using a survey to determine the kind of content to send to your leads.

A lot of leads will result in many different tasks related to nurturing. Use dedicated project management software to manage all of your tasks in one place so everyone can check in to see the progress.

Lead Scoring Automation

Luckily, there is lead scoring software that you can use for making the process faster and more efficient. Often, these tools are not stand-alone solutions but rather sophisticated marketing and sales automation tools. Some of the more renowned SaaS software include Leadspace, VanillaSoft, 6sense, EverString, and MadKudu.

lead scoring automation saas

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Conclusion

Using lead scoring will help B2B commerce companies find credible leads more efficiently.

It’s like playing basketball where nobody keeps score. You simply keep scoring baskets, high-five your colleagues, and start over again. 

There are no results. 

But, lead scoring will deliver results by telling you exactly which prospect you should spend time chasing.

About the Author:

Will Cannon is an entrepreneur and the founder at UpLead, a B2B prospecting tool that helps businesses connect with new customers and drive growth.

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