Lead scoring is a popular topic in marketing circles but how important is it for small business owners? Lead scoring can be a powerful tool for improving sales. It can also help improve the alignment and communications between marketing and sales if those are separate teams in your business. Even if lead scoring isn’t right for your small business, you can still benefit from the thinking and preparatory work that goes into implementing a lead scoring system.
What is lead scoring?
Lead scoring is a way to quantify the value of your leads. It is often described as a way to determine if your leads are “sales ready” which is another way of saying they have reached the point in their buying process where they are ready to have a sales conversation.
Lead scoring can be (but doesn’t have to be) a complex process. As a starting point, small business owners should think about how lead scoring can help them determine if their leads:
1. Are the right people at the right companies. This is the demographic data (industry, company size, title, etc.) from your ideal customer profile.
2. Have demonstrated interest by their actions, i.e. multiple visits to product pages on your website, downloading e-Books, attending webinars, been receptive to follow up calls, etc.
Do I need lead scoring?
This is going to depend upon your particular business, what you sell, and how many leads you generate and manage.
If you’re a small business marketer who only needs to generate a handful of leads every month, lead scoring isn’t going to make a huge impact on your business. In fact, most small businesses need to focus on generating more leads before they focus on lead scoring.
When people talk about lead scoring, the conversation typically revolves around software solutions to help automate the scoring and follow up processes. However, there is a lot of other work that goes into putting a lead scoring system in place – understanding and mapping your customers’ buying process, creating content, developing follow up sequences, having a defined sales process, etc. All of these items are powerful marketing and sales tools for building your business and you can start putting them in place today so that when you are ready for a lead scoring system you will be better prepared for a successful implementation.
Bill Brelsford Small Business Marketing Consultant