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Lead Scoring Not What it Used to Be

Posted on 6.30.2012

In the land of marketing automation, lead scoring is often approached as the easily overlooked underling. Marketers are aware of its presence and its significance in the overall processes, but often tend to feel that taking the time to interact with lead scoring is either beneath them, confusing or altogether unappealing.

Lead scoring of the past could absolutely be viewed through this lens, but lead scoring of the here and now is significantly and constructively different than it used to be. The differences between the two methods are found in the following areas.

From One-dimensional to Dynamic

The way in which leads used to be scored was through a one-dimensional process, which essentially placed the bulk of significance on demographics alone. The mistake with this is that demographics are indeed important, but fail to paint an entire picture.

The key piece that traditional lead scoring lacked is the focus on psychographics, which hone in on behaviors that can be missed completely in a worksheet that covers demographics alone. Through the new method of lead scoring, marketers are made privy to a user profile that is a more honest and complete snapshot of the prospect.

From Disconnected to Directed

As a result of applying more intentionally comprehensive factors into the lead-scoring process, the leads are assessed with extreme precision. This smooth, scalable process treats leads differently based on the “bucket” they seem to belong to, allowing a custom-tailored approach to the lead.

A better understanding of the prospect’s needs breeds trust, whereas the old method bred skepticism due to being panoptic in nature. A repeatable process like this gives the marketer laser-focused leads that will be converted far more rapidly into customers than the prior lead-scoring method would afford.

The path to this starts by taking the time to deeply develop personas. For instance, by aligning psychographic characteristics to behavioral actions, scoring models can begin to assess combinations of behaviors and allow us to assume certain elements about the buyer. If our target buyer tends to express interest in ROI data and looks at high-level materials and channels, we can then score those movements with greater emphasis.

Decide to Develop

Learning to set up the newer lead-scoring method can really be boiled down to making a decision. A marketer needs to decide to develop this system and recognize there will be a learning curve. The most powerful paths for implementing this are either asking for help and being walked through the process, or willingly and purposefully embracing a chance to try and fail, recognizing the insight that can spring from that.

Growth and an understanding of the new lead scoring process can come from both of these methods. No matter which is chosen, the ultimate evolution within the marketing automation system will show its face through faster customer conversions and ultimately more revenue. Pretty much every marketing automation platform on the market enables a more advanced lead-scoring process, and the communities that support these platforms provide ample insight as to how to approach and implement.

As with anything, it is easy to be resistant to change within the lead-scoring process. Despite the initial discomfort or lack of understanding, the eventual output of implementing the new lead-scoring system is worth the growing pains tenfold.

About the Author: Justin Gray is the CEO and chief marketing evangelist at LeadMD, which helps businesses generate and manage leads through marketing automation processes and technologies.

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