Lead Scoring That Will Top the Charts: 5 Keys to Lead Scoring Success

A few years ago, I met a well-educated, highly intelligent, and extremely creative man in essentially the middle of nowhere. He and his two PHD buddies had traveled by RV from New York to Nevada motivated by the sole purpose of sharing their art with complete strangers. I, was one of those strangers.

The night I met this trio, they introduced me to their art – a line-up of musical scores based on……wait for it……their DNA! This group of creative intellects had tested their DNA for a handful of genetically determined conditions, mapped the resulting chromosome sequences to the corresponding music notes, and then added elements of rhythm, meter and tempo to create a harmonious footprint. These musical geniuses could have stopped at the pure science of mapping chromosomes to notes, but that would have produced a one dimensional musical score. Instead they infused a dose of art which resulted in a multidimensional experience.

The same approach used to create these musical masterpieces can be applied to orchestrating a sound lead scoring methodology. Just like in the above scenario where chromosome sequences were combined with the fundamental principles of music, marketers must combine, and score, a multitude of attributes in order to create a robust and actionable profile of a lead. If you only consider one attribute when establishing your approach to lead scoring, your results will be flat.

 5 Keys to Making Your Lead Scoring Program Sing!

1. Finding Your Groove

In the ideal situation, you’re able to perform some analysis on your customer data. This exercise in analytics should identify not only which attributes define your customers, but also identify the common paths and behaviors that determine the tempo in which a prospect is converted to a customer. Once these attributes are identified you have a framework within which you can assign values, ranking leads based on their readiness to buy.

If like many marketers, gaining access to customer data is virtually impossible, you’ll need to rely on qualitative and anecdotal information — talk to your sales reps, develop customer personas, establish scenarios that reflect a prospect’s journey and make assumptions about behaviors. At the end of the day, whether your lead scoring methodology is based on predictive analytics or qualitative information, establish a lead scoring baseline and then constantly test, measure and optimize to yield the best results.

2. Scoring Behavior Only Will Get You in Treble

Scoring leads based solely on behavioral attributes without considering demographic information is the equivalent of playing Beethoven’s 5th with only a piccolo. You’re certainly not playing with a full symphonic orchestra.

Demographic and firmographic attributes tie back to your organization’s customer personas. Based on either your data analysis or qualitative assumptions, you can identify what explicit attributes are indicative of a lead’s likelihood of converting to a customer. Defining scoring logic around demographic and firmographic attributes like job title, company size, industry and geography can tell you how closely a lead maps to your ideal buyer profile.

Equally important is a prospect’s behavior. Actionable behavior indicates how interested a prospect is in your company’s product or service. “If you only use one lead score value, there will be no easy way to distinguish between, for example, the CEO with little to no interest in your solution vs. the low-level end user with a high interest. Scoring on both demographic and behavioral attributes allows you to provide more meaningful and relevant data to sales.”1

3. The Composition of Lead Scoring

Interactive scoring is the assigning of a value to specific activities such as: content downloads, event attendance, website visits, email interactions, form fillouts, etc. What’s important to remember is that not all actions are created equally. For instance, a visit to your pricing webpage or your demo webpage will be of higher value than a visit to you careers webpage. Similarly, a whitepaper download may be of higher value than an infographic download. Start by mapping content to the stages of the buyer’s journey. Once you have a firm understanding of what types of content align to awareness, versus education, consideration and preference you can weight actions accordingly. Engaging in content that is aligned with stages further along the buyer’s journey will yield a higher score.

4. The Crescendo of Activity and Time

The ratio of activity:time is an important and often overlooked pillar of lead scoring. It’s not simply about the type of content your prospects engage with, but the level of intensity in which they engage. Denseness of activity is a key indicator of active vs. latent buying behavior and sales readiness. Consider two different leads. Both leads register and attend a webcast, open and click through to content in your push emails, visit a product page on your website, and view a demo video. You can almost hear your sales team chanting, “Red Rover, Red Rover, send that lead right over!” Not so fast. What if I told you the activity lifespan of the first lead was over a 6-month period, whereas the second lead crammed all of their activity into 3-weeks? While both leads may have identical engagement profiles, one lead would be considered active and the other latent. Both leads may ultimately get passed to sales, but the lead with the intense level of activity in the shorter period of time would be considered a HOT LEAD.

5. Time to Rock ‘n Roll

Lead scoring is an important and integral part of driving higher conversion rates, improving sales productivity, and enhancing revenue performance. Invest the time up front to secure input from sales, map out a lead scoring taxonomy and gain buy-in from stakeholders across your organization. Follow this advice and the guidelines above, and you’re sure to orchestrate a lead scoring methodology that will top the charts.

Have any lead scoring tips and tricks to share? We’d love to hear your thoughts!


Musical inspiration for this blog post came from:

Taylor Swift, 1989

Beck, Morning Phase

(Sit down, Kanye.)

Want to learn additional lead scoring tips and best practices? Read on whitepaper the Essential Guide to Predictive Lead Scoring!


  1. http://spearmarketing.com/blog/top-10-b2b-lead-scoring-mistakes-part-2-of-2/