Designing a lead scoring model seems like a complex proposition. And if you jump into it without a solid strategy in place, you aren’t going to see game-changing results (or a happy sales team). So let’s break it down. There are clear steps you need to take to build and implement a lead scoring model:

Assemble your cross-functional squad

As we mentioned earlier, lead scoring is a team sport. It’s only useful when all the relevant players are aligned, bought-in, and using the framework on a daily basis. So before you start assigning points and determining thresholds, recruit active participants to help develop your lead scoring framework from the ground up.

In addition to marketing and sales, Suzy Balk, our Sr. Marketing Campaigns Manager, advises that product teams should be included in lead scoring. “If you’re releasing new products or features, it’s important to know what those are because you want to pull in the people who will find them most valuable. So loop in Product, because they will have those insights.”

Know your persona

First things first: make sure your sales, marketing, and other relevant teams (like product) are in agreement on what your ideal customer looks like. This means having well-documented and up-to-date ideal customer profiles (ICP) and buyer personas, which will be essential in step five.

Define your ICP

Think of your ICP like the bullseye in the center of a dartboard. It’s the kind of company you’re going to aim for: the most likely size, industry, and location to benefit from (and buy) your product and services.

You won’t only sell to those kinds of companies — just like you’ll hit the segments surrounding the bullseye during a game of darts — but you’ll prioritize them in your lead scoring by assigning them the highest points.

Create your buyer personas

Your buyer personas are imagined biographies based on firsthand experience, market research, and customer listening. They describe the individuals working at your ICP companies, and give sales and marketing teams a fictionalized human to target with messaging, content, and campaigns.

They also give you a target for lead scoring: you’ll assign points to prospects who most closely resemble your buyer personas when it comes to job title, location, experience level, and other demographic details.

Create a customer journey map

Just as you need to know who you’re trying to reach, you need to know where they interact with your brand along their buying journey. Get everyone aligned with a clear customer journey map: a picture of the most important touch points they encounter and steps they take as they move from would-be lead to loyal customer.

Customer journey maps include steps like:

  • Downloading a comparison tool
  • Reading an ebook
  • Checking out a pricing page
  • Contacting the sales team or requesting a demo
  • Completing a purchase
  • Renewing a subscription

The most effective customer journey maps also represent the customer’s mindset or emotional state at each stage, highlighting potential pain points or concerns that marketers can address. These maps can be incredibly simple or very complex, with layers in a heavily matrixed spreadsheet, but having one in place will make assigning behavioral scores in step six much easier.

Plus, companies that use customer journeys are twice as likely to outperform competitors that don’t, likely because it helps teams hone their messaging and content to answer specific needs and questions that arise during the buying process.

Set your lead score scale

Let’s be real here: in a lead scoring model, the numbers are entirely made up. The whole framework hinges on the relative importance of each piece of information or behavior.

You’re trying to answer one question: How important is this factor in terms of indicating likelihood to purchase?

So before you start assigning points willy-nilly, get a reasonable scale in mind. Are you scoring each datapoint on a scale of 1-5? 1-100?

If you’re new to lead scoring, we suggest keeping it simple with a 1/5/10/15 scale:

Keep in mind, you’ll also be assigning negative lead scoring points (-1, -5, -10, etc.) to certain attributes or behaviors that indicate a prospect is highly unlikely to buy.

Make your list of firmographic and demographic lead scoring factors as comprehensive as possible for your business, and remember — you can always come back and update your framework later. Do not let perfection get in the way of progress, especially if you’re just getting started.

Read the full blog on our partner, Act-On’s blog.

The Goose Digital Advantage

At Goose Digital, our expertise in crafting tailored lead scoring models translates directly into your marketing success. By assembling a cross-functional team and leveraging well-documented customer personas, we ensure that every point of your lead scoring system is precision-engineered to align with your business objectives. Our approach integrates insights from marketing, sales, and product teams to craft a system that not only identifies but prioritizes high-value leads effectively.

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