Why does your sales team not treat marketing qualified leads (MQLs) as sales ready?
According to Gartner, 70% of sales leads are not properly leveraged or are completely ignored. Since sales is incentivized to follow every lead marketing sends over – seems almost 70% of your marketing program dollars are wasted! It should not come as a surprise, as per Aberdeen Research, that 62% sales teams don’t trust the lead scoring metrics used by the marketing team. So, how do you prevent prospects fall through the cracks? The answer lies in the gaps to your lead scoring strategy.
7 common lead scoring mistakes that you should avoid with your lead scoring system:
- Not talking to your sales reps: For an effective lead scoring system, marketing and sales teams need to establish an objective definition of a converting lead. Including sales feedback in your lead scoring process helps in making adjustments on lead acquisition and scoring. These feedback discussions should not be limited to sales managers and directors, but should equally involve sales reps from different segments and geographies.
Quick Fix: Be proactive. Don’t let the wrong lead drain the time of your sales team. Schedule a monthly discussion with some of your sales reps, and update your scoring parameters whenever required.
- Using same scoring for different lead sources: You get leads from different sources like web forms, email marketing, social media, direct marketing, referrals and many more. Every lead source has different level of engagement, interest and cannot be ranked same. The idea of ranking different lead sources is to identify the top performing areas and create a hierarchy for your scoring.
Quick Fix: Segment your lead sources, and for each of them, assign different scores for web activity. For e.g., a lead coming from PPC and viewing demo should get more score, than a lead coming from 3rd party content syndication viewing the same demo.
- Generating behavioral indicators for overly simplistic actions: Prospect interaction matters in lead scoring but there are instances when some should receive higher scores than others. For example, one of the most effective ways to measure lead activity is email open rates. A lead who opened an email and a lead who downloaded your asset should not be given the same scores.
Quick Fix: Segment behavioral interactions for your leads. Identify which lead activities create more impact on lead conversion, and which don’t.
- Not using Score Decay: Many marketers don’t use a minimal level of lead score decay. If your leads haven’t had any activity for a certain period of time, say three months or more, then you might want to assign negative scores to them. Also, when you increase score for a lead for some specific behavior (downloading case study, attending webinar), that score shouldn’t last forever. If degradation of score value is not used over time, it can result in score inflation.
Quick Fix: Assign “expiration dates” to all positive lead scores. Expiration dates can be a viable option because positive behavior is only truly relevant in the short term. A lead that was very active 5 months ago, for example, isn’t very interested to a sales rep today.
- Considering Demographic and behavior score separately: Demographic scores helps you measure how well your leads are qualified to enter sales funnel, and behavioral score measures their level of sales readiness. However, many marketers just focus on behavior scores while pushing leads as MQL to the sales team. For e.g., if Andrew comes on your website, views demo, and downloads a white paper, even though his title is Intern, if you do not score titles he may still get passed as a lead to your sales team.
Quick Fix: There are two ways to fix this. In your marketing program, you can mark leads as MQL only when they meet a minimum threshold for both demographic and behavioral score. Else, you can add your demographic score and behavior score to get an aggregate lead score, which can be used as an MQL threshold.
- Ignoring Lead Disposition: Sales Reps mark leads under multiple dispositions. It may come as a surprise to many, when they see the number of leads getting marked as bad Leads. In most cases, these bad leads are with names like John Doe, Mickey Mouse etc. All these leads should be prevented from getting scored and going to the sales team in the first place.
Quick Fix: Create detailed dispositions in Salesforce or your CRM for bad data like bad name, bad company name, bad email ID etc. Regularly check the leads getting marked under these dispositions. Based on finding, update the filters in your demographic scoring campaigns.
- Focusing only on hot leads: Lead scoring isn’t the only factor to identify hot leads. There might be leads which have a high lead score, only because they hold a relevant position in a billion dollar company. So, you need to enable your sales team to look at both, the qualification of a lead, and their interest level. Many times, leads with high lead score may convert less than the leads with average score.
Quick Fix: Setup Sales Insights for your Marketo Account, based on both demographic and behavior score. You can use stars for demographic scoring, and flames for behavior scoring. This way sales team can focus on quality leads in a better way.