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What is lead scoring and why does it matter?

Anika Temperante
Anika Temperante
Director of Sales and Marketing

For medtech and B2B companies, leads are critical in order to drive sales. Your leads can come from a variety of sources: your website, trade conferences, email campaigns or cold calling, to name a few. However, as sales reps are quick to point out, some leads are more likely than others to convert to paying customers. It stands to reason that busy medtech and B2B sales professionals should focus on the leads that are the most viable.

Lead scoring is the process where marketing and sales departments determine how likely a lead is to becoming a customer. By rating leads against a series of objective criteria—such as company size, budget or purchase timeframe—companies can quickly prioritize and delegate each lead for appropriate action.

It’s a process that makes clear business sense. Yet, according to Hubspot, only 1 in 5 B2B marketers have lead scoring processes in place.

How valuable is the average lead?

Hubspot also notes that at any given time, only 50% of qualified leads are actually ready to buy. But which half? When all leads and inquiries are considered equal, sales and marketing teams could be wasting as much as half their valuable time while attempting to convert these leads.

This is where lead scoring comes in. It can help marketing and sales departments get a handle on leads so that they can use their resources well.

Why does lead scoring matter?

Lead scoring has many benefits:

  • It saves time for sales reps, who can focus on the most qualified and productive opportunities.
  • It provides data for marketing to effectively nurture cooler, less qualified leads until they’re ready to buy.
  • It ensures “hot” opportunities get the fast response they deserve, which translates into increased sales.
  • It alleviates the in-fighting and “he said, she said” that so often plagues marketing and sales relationships.

How lead scoring works

Typically, lead scoring for B2B and medtech organizations involves establishing objective, data-driven criteria with the agreement of both sales and marketing teams. (No more qualifying by “gut feeling” or wishful thinking.)

Leads are given a certain number of points, based on both behaviors and attributes. The higher the points, the more likely a purchase.

  • Behaviors may include: requesting more information, responding to an email campaign, downloading an e-book from the company website, requesting a product demo or other actions.
  • Attributes can include: business type or industry, company revenue, number of employees, purchase timing, budget, current product or solution, decision-maker role or title and other demographic information.

For example, if a medical device manufacturer sells a $150,000 product to large hospitals, their lead scoring may assign more points for facilities with greater than 100 beds and annual medical equipment budgets of $2 million or greater.

On the other hand, a B2B organization with an efficiency product targeted at accounting departments may find more value in leads scored by industry, and in prospects with titles of CFO, controller and VP of finance.

In both cases, behaviors contribute additional data to round out the assessment. A lead requesting a demo or using the ROI calculator on your website is likelier to buy than one simply entering a business card into a drawing at the annual tradeshow.

How lead scoring can be used

Through lead scoring, marketing and sales teams can determine valuable pieces of data, such as which leads are ready to make a sale right away, which will never convert into customers, and which need further nurturing. From there, marketing and sales can develop a plan.

Typically, sales teams focus on the leads that rank the highest and stand the greatest chance of  becoming customers. Marketing then handles the leads that aren’t ready to buy, but might over time, using additional calls, social media, email marketing and other tactics.

When to use a contact center

Today’s powerful CRM and marketing automation systems make it fast and easy to embed lead scoring data into your processes. However, there’s still the tricky issue of collecting enough information to accurately score a lead. Web and tradeshow inquiries, for example, often provide only basic contact information. It’s not enough to evaluate the right follow up or rank the lead.

Outsourced calling can provide immediate, tangible results in situations like these. A team of experienced callers can make contact, gather information and quickly score each lead. Callers can also nurture “cooler” leads, making periodic contact until each company is ready to buy.

At Volkart May, we believe that sales teams should focus on what they do best—actually making the sale. Our professional callers can quickly and accurately connect with you target audiences and perform lead-scoring activities. Contact us for more information.

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