How to Create Your First Lead Scoring Program and Have It Stick!

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Short answer? You can’t and you shouldn’t.

Quite frankly, the notion of creating a ” first” lead scoring program that is successful and “sticks” is naïve and misleading and a theme largely perpetrated by the marketing automation vendors. They want everything to appear “easy” and while building a lead scoring program in the software IS easy, producing an effective lead scoring program that makes the sales team pant for your leads and that you can associate with marketing influenced or driven revenue, is not.

So how do you get successful with lead scoring and get a program that “sticks?” Here are two BIG IDEAS that will get you on the right track.

Big Idea #1: Accept that sales knows MORE than you!

Sales has the best intuitive knowledge around behavior and can best make the leap to identifying the value of what different types of behavior actually means. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been running a lead scoring workshop for a client (which ALWAYS involves both sales and marketing) and sales has a very different view of the value of different types of behavior. For example, marketing consistently rates “download an asset” much higher than sales. Why? Because they invented the asset and have an emotional connection. Working with sales will help you keep this exercise REAL.

In addition, having sales as a major part of the initial lead scoring discussion not only gives marketing better lead scoring, it also does a fantastic job of better aligning sales with marketing. This type of lead activity helps sales really begin to assimilate the value of online behavior and lead scoring, gets them excited about the program and gets them on board with working with sales on an iterative process to improvement.

Big Idea #2: Lead scoring is never, never, never a “set it and forget it” exercise!

Lead scoring often begins a discussion on uncharted territory – online behavior. How are our prospects acting online? What do the different behaviors mean? Does a Director act differently from a VP? Do prospects act differently across multiple product lines? Does behavior vary by industry? So the idea of doing this absolutely right the first time is kind of silly.

What works is setting up a lead scoring program process. First, get heavy input from sales. Second, define an iterative quality process. After all, your job is to produce QUALITY leads and in that light use Deming’s “Plan, Do, Check, Act.” Plan what you are going to do, do it, get feedback from sales and make changes. You will want to run through this cycle however many times it takes to get sales panting to get your leads.

Finally, don’t be afraid to get lead scoring up and running. I promise no marketers will be harmed in the process! As long as sales is a full part of the dialog, you will achieve success.

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