Lead generation is a critical step in the B2B sales process. Before you can sell a product or service, you must first find someone who's potentially interested in it. But once you acquire a prospective buyer's information, you should consider scoring it. Known as B2B lead scoring, it's a useful tactic for increasing conversion rates and improving overall sales efficiency.
The basis of lead scoring is to rate the quality of lead -- the likelihood of he or she buying your product or service -- by analyzing historical and current data on the prospect. Not all leads are equal. Some are more likely to buy your product or service than others. By scoring the quality of your company's leads, sales reps can prioritize high-scoring leads by contacting them first. In turn, this can help your company generate more sales and streamline its sales and marketing operations.
To put the importance of lead scoring into perspective, an Eloqua study cited by Artillery Marketing found that conversion rates were 30% higher among B2B companies that use lead scoring. The article also suggests that lead qualification rates are 192% higher among B2B companies that use lead scoring.
When using lead scoring, you must first define criteria on which to rate the quality of your leads. Examples to consider include source of acquisition (where the lead was acquired), company's budget, desire of interest and level of engagement. A good rule of thumb is to score leads on at least four separate criteria. Some sales reps believe that using more criteria helps to create better, more qualified leads, but this isn't true. The quality of your leads will remain the same; it only complicates the process of scoring them. Stick with a minimum of four and maximum of six criteria to score your leads.
While there's rule stating that you must use a point-based system to score your leads, doing so usually offers the greatest benefit. It provides sales reps with a transparent view of the quality of their leads. Rather than researching each lead to determine which one to contact first, sales reps can look at the points and choosing the lead with the highest number. However, be sure to review the lead status periodically as situations change.
When using SalesLeads as your lead generation source, calling the direct contact to uncover where the prospect is at in the project lifecycle, you will get the insight you need to identify next steps and score the project accordingly.