Finding qualifying leads has been a challenge for marketers is an understatement at best. Marketer, when implementing inbound marketing, have been primarily concerned about accumulating the high number of new leads (prospects). As a result, today’s marketing automation tools have been obliging – the tools are adding the higher number of leads, than ever before, to the sales funnel!
Impact of populating the sales funnel with an eye on quantity, as oppose to quality, has been counterproductive, to say the least. For, once you have a huge number of leads (prospects), you need to figure out who is really interested in your product and who is merely a wanderer on your site.
The process of sorting leads is one of the most time-consuming tasks for marketing departments. Furthermore, passing wrong leads to sales reps not only wastes their precious time but it may negatively impact relationships between your sales and marketing departments. Moral of the story? – despite marketing automation tools’ tendency to supersize quantity of leads, to be successful, you should focus on the quality of your leads.
This is where lead – scoring and grading – come into the picture. Lead scoring lets you assign a value (point) to each prospect based on (1) the information they share with you; and (2) how they have engaged with your website and brand across the internet. Every Pardot account comes with a default scoring model already in place.
The lead scoring system works out-of-the-box but can be customized to meet any organization’s needs. A prospect’s score is influenced by number of downloads, pages viewed, web searches and Email click-throughs. For instance:
- The number of downloads can be assigned 25 points – it may indicate where the prospect is in the buying cycle. Higher number of downloads garner higher number of points – Awesome, here come 25 points!
- Similarly, the number of pages viewed, and types of pages viewed, may indicate how engaged a prospect is with your site. If so then, Good, assign 10 points to the prospect!
- How about Website searches? Well, searches can also indicate a prospect’s interests and priorities – Good, here come 5 more points!
- And, last but not least, what about Email click-throughs? Click-throughs capture a prospect’s interest in the content or offer embedded in the email. Great, assign 50 points to email click-throughs!
Well, you get the point!
Whereas Scores are based on implicit activities (number of downloads, email click-throughs, pages viewed, forms completed, and so on), Grades – oh! don’t worry, we are not talking high school grades! – (expressed as a letter, A-F) – are based on explicit information about the prospect – (industry, title, company size, and so on). While scoring indicates how interested or engaged a prospect is with your company, grading indicates how interested or engaged your company should be with that prospect.