In my last article Delight Sales Team with Pardot’s lead scoring and grading frame, I discussed what is lead scoring and how you can use it in Pardot. If you did not get a chance to read it then, I suggest you do so now – it will help you to better understand this article.
Just to recap, Lead scoring lets you assign a value (point) to each prospect based on (1) information they share with you; and (2) their engagement with your website and brand across the internet.
What is Lead Grading?
As mentioned, lead score provides a numeric value that is based on the prospect’s interest level — the higher the lead score, the more interested they are. The problem with this one-sided model is that it is difficult to differentiate between the leads that are legitimately interested in your product and the leads that are on your site either because their friend suggested that they check out career opportunities, or because they are doing some research on your industry.
Unlike lead scoring, lead grading helps marketing departments to differentiate between leads that are mere visitors on your site and the ones that are sales qualified based on explicit information – (industry, title, company size, and so on) captured about the leads.
Applying a grading model to your marketing automation allows you to sort leads based on their profiles and characteristics; and this in turn enables you to identify which leads are a good fit for your company. Grading captures information like whether the lead is an intern completing a form for research purpose or, an EVP of Marketing; which industry do these leads belong to; the size of their company, and much more. Evaluating these characteristics helps you to categorize the prospects into ‘hot’ and ‘not-so-hot’ category. This prevents sales reps from wasting their time on leads that either have no intention, or ability, to make a purchase.
Grades are letter-based. Grades indicate how interested a company should be in their prospects. Pardot assigns a letter grade to each prospect; a prospect can get anywhere from an F to an A+ – ranging from worst to best.
- A (Great)
- B (Good)
- C (Average)
- D (Below Average or Not Graded)
- F (Poor)
By default, all Prospects are assigned a grade of D. Then, each prospect’s grade either rises or falls based on how well his/her persona aligns with a company’s ideal customer profile.
Default Profile in Pardot
All Pardot accounts come with a default profile set to measure prospects against five criteria:
- Company size: 2/3 letter grade
- Industry: 2/3 letter grade
- Location: 2/3 letter grade
- Job title: 2/3 letter grade
- Department: 2/3 letter grade