The Sales Operations Guide to Lead Scoring

3 min read

We’ve talked about sales operations’ role in building a successful smarketing engine before. But let’s get into the specific tools sales ops leaders have at their disposal to make this alignment a reality. Lead scoring is one such tool, and sales operations can play a huge role in implementing and maintaining an effective model.

We spoke to our community of sales ops leaders to find out how they use lead scoring to bridge the gap between sales and marketing.

Denis Malkov, Director of Revenue Operations, PandaDoc

We have 1 million website visitors every month, between 15,000 to 20,000 trials every single month, and six SDRs. Clearly, asking them to process every single one of those trials/demo requests/form fills would be an impossible task. So our decision to implement lead scoring was a no brainer.

At PandaDoc, we are lucky to have a magnificent data science team who built out our lead scoring system internally. What’s more, it completely trounces any software that I’ve come across in the business. The model is behaviour and fit-based. Fit is demographic, technographic, firmographic criteria, company size, industry, and persona. And behaviour is what they do on our website, what content they interact with and what they do inside the application during their free trial.

Based on those two categories, we give the lead a score from A1 to D4, where the letters measure activity or behavior and the numbers measure the fit.

The lead could be a high fit but low activity. Or they could be high activity but low fit. We then decide what course of action to take based on that matrix.

Rather than being a discrete number, the letter and number combination gives the SDRs a deeper insight into the lead. If we have a high intent but non-ICP lead for example, the SDR might decide they don’t need to send a customised email and do a bunch of calls. Conversely, they might get a lead who is an extremely good fit for our business, but they just haven’t interacted with our content much yet. So the SDR can send some content and try to understand what makes the lead tick.

Read our interview with Denis.

Joe Gelata, Director of Business OS, OTTO Motors

For me, the goal of lead scoring is to distill all of that complex information for a rep into one binary field. That field could simply tell them whether they should contact this lead or not. Or it can go a little bit deeper and highlight whether it’s high priority lead.

At my previous company, we analysed our lead scoring programme to figure out what was most important: email clicks, website visits, certain types of campaigns etc. Our findings highlighted that website visits were actually detractors from whether the probability of a lead converting was going to increase or decrease.

This was an important finding, as in the past we had built our whole model around that information. We found that rather than website visits, what it came down to in many cases was the profile information, whether they were the decision maker. And also the types of campaigns they were responding to. Whereas before we might have placed value on the fact that they responded to a campaign, we realised the importance lay in what the campaign was.

Another finding was that webinars held little value for us. The greater value came when they downloaded a PDF. And then we got the analysis down to the level of content topic, looking at which topics were better indicators. Following our analysis, we rebuilt our lead scoring programme. It was ten times harder to do than the old model, but at least it wasn’t steering us away from the good leads.

Read our interview with Joe.

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