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Lead Scoring 201: Using Multiple Lead Scoring Programs

Summary

The concept of lead scoring is fairly simple – give a contact points for how well they match up with profile attributes of your buyer personas and how engaged they are with you (determined by website visit, email engagement, requests for info, etc.).  However, right out of the gate most organizations run into a big roadblock; they offer more than one product/service and therefore target more than one buyer persona.  To accurately score on each of these personas you need multiple scoring programs.  The simple concept of lead scoring just got a whole lot more complicated!  This post seeks to answer some of the questions you might thane when you find yourself in this situation.

Should I use multiple lead scoring programs?

Yes, absolutely!  If you’re trying to calculate a score for two different buyer personas and you have two different sets of scoring criteria for each you should definitely separate them into different lead scoring programs.  This will help ensure that each model is able to generate a score that is an accurate predictor of future purchases without muddying the water by incorporating to many different target personas into a single set of scoring criteria.

How do I decide what models to use?

There is a trade-off between building accurate, focused scoring models and keeping the number of models to a manageable amount.  Remember, lead scoring is not a set-it-and-forget-it project.  You need to continuously revisit and improve your model.  Creating a unique model for each of your 250 products is not going to be a manageable endeavor.  You’ll need to find a balance.  Depending on your situation you can categorize models based on product/product group or you may find it better to base them on specific buyer personas shared by all products.

What do I do with all these scores?

Leads will be scored in each model so you will end up with multiple scores on each lead.  You can then compare these scores to determine which model found them as the best fit.  Depending on how you divide the scoring models you can get a good idea of which product best suits the lead or which buyer persona they are a strong match for.  You can then base your lead routing on this to make sure they follow the most appropriate path.

Do I need to send all these scores to my CRM?

The answer to this is…it depends.  Generally it’s a good idea to at least send the score that triggered the lead to flow to CRM.  This way you can track the score later in the revenue cycle to determine if it was a good predictor of revenue.  As for including every one of the scores you have a few options:

  1. No, only send the score that triggered the lead to flow to CRM (as mentioned above).  This cuts down on CRM fields and keeps things simple for Sales.  Make sure to list which model generated the score so Sales knows what it means.
  2. Yes, send all the scores but only make one score visible.  This can be done if each scoring model is valuable to a specific sales team (such is the case if your lead scoring models and sales teams are both product based).  Layouts for each Sales group will only display the score that pertains to them.  Again, it keeps it simple.
  3. Yes, send all the scores and display them all.  If you trust mounds of scoring data won’t overwhelm your Sales team you might as well send and display it to everyone.  This will allow the reps to see where the lead sits in each model.  Be careful though, this could cause a lot of questions from your Sales folks!
How do I route leads using the highest score?

This really depends on what features your marketing automation system offers.  Some may not allow you much flexibility in comparing multiple scores.  Others may give you complete freedom to develop a custom calculation and flow.  In many cases you will need to build a way to calculate which score is highest.  Ideally your Marketing Automation platform will give you a tool to calculate this inside the system.  If not, you may have to integrate a calculator (such as the Math Functions Cloud Connector if you are an Eloqua user).  Once you have isolated the highest score you can build logic to route leads based on this high score.  Options can include send to CRM if the score is high, send to telemarketing or nurturing if it is medium, or do nothing if it is low.

Summary

To summarize, it’s a good idea to use multiple lead scoring programs to ensure you are generating accurate scores and not boiling everything down into a single muddy score.  Balance the number of models you use with the accuracy they provide to keep it to a manageable number of models.  Push at least one of the scores to CRM so you can track the outcome and close the loop on your scoring effectiveness.  Finally, use a calculator to determine which is the highest score and route the lead based on this.

This is a complicated subject but one that many of us have had to face.  Do you have any lessons learned that weren’t mentioned here?  Please share!