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Value of Lead Scoring - Part II: Recommended Steps In Establishing a Lead Score

Establishing a Lead Score

As a company’s lead scoring requirements become more complex, a best practice is to design a system that produces a numerical value identifying a lead as qualified and ready to distribute to sales.

Lead score ranges also determine whether to send a lead to the company’s field sales organization, inside sales or to a reseller/channel partner. It also determines whether to pursue the opportunity or to not pursue it.

Recommended Steps to Establish A Lead Score:

  1. Identify key qualifying criteria that detect the best leads (ones that typically result in actual sales.) Examples: Budget Approved, Industry, Company’s Employee Size, Product Interest, Installed Systems information, Identified Need, Decision Timeframe, Revenue Potential, and Decision Role of Contact.
  2. Identify the relative importance for each criterion and assign a maximum number of points for each one.
  3. Within each criterion, assign the number of points for each response received
  4. Determine a total score and range that determines whether a lead should be sent to Sales, kept in Marketing for further nurturing or not pursued.  Below are examples of results:
Active Project:
Total Possible Points: 30
Response Total Possible Points
Yes 30
No  0

Budget Approved:
Total Points Possible: 25
Response Total Points Possible: 25
Yes 25
No 0

No. of Networked Devises:
Total Possible Points: 20
Number of Devices Number of Points
1,000+ 20
500-999 18
250-499 15
100-249 8
 50-99 5
1-49 2

Project Timefrme:
Total Possible Points: 15
Timeframe Number of Points
0-3 months 10
4-6 months 15*
7-12 months 5
13+ months 0

* We often find that when an immediate decision is indicated, a vendor has already been selected. In this situation, the odds of closing the deal are greatly diminished.  When the contact reveals a decision timeframe in the next range, Sales often has more of an opportunity to gain a better understanding of their buying criteria and potentially shaping them to their company’s advantage. The odds of closing the deal are then greatly increased.

Decision Role:
Total Possible Points: 10
Decision Role Number of Points
Decision Maker 10
Recommender 5
Member of Team 2
Information Gatherer 0

The maximum number of points is calculated in the above examples ... 100. Sales then identifies the point at which a lead is considered qualified, kept in marketing for further nurturing, or which ones were not pursued. The scoring approach is then communicated to all sales levels (including reseller/channel partners) and people who might receive the qualified leads.

Many other criteria may be used, based on your company’s unique requirements. The objective is to remain flexible so it can be applied to different product lines or vertical markets … again based on sales input.  It is important to revisit the scoring approach each year or whenever market conditions indicate.

The value of lead scoring is paramount.  It gives your marketing group a clear idea of your sales’ expectations regarding which leads should be sent to them. Sales is assured that the leads sent to them fit their requirements, making them much more committed to following up on leads and passing feedback to marketing regarding lead status. Marketing gathers valuable information on which programs are generating the best leads and ultimately the most sales.

By using lead scoring properly, a company experiences increased sales results, higher sales productivity and an ability to allocate scarce marketing resources to those programs that are working best for them.  Wasting good leads is foolish and chasing bad leads is insane. 

Mark Friedman

Part I: Do your Sales Leads Work as Hard as You Do...
The Value of Lead Scoring

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