Editor's Note: Today's blog post comes courtesy of Alexandre Papillaud, Director, Global Demand Center at McAfee.
Lead scoring is a widely discussed strategic topic among marketing automation users. Oftentimes the immediate tactical nuances include lead nurturing, content marketing, and dynamic content.
Lead scoring isn’t an “old fashioned trick” we used two or three years ago when automation system adoption began to grow rapidly. The success and efficiency of automation tools, as well as your programs and campaigns, hinges on effective lead scoring.
Let me pitch you a perhaps-familiar story: Excited and thrilled by marketing automation, you setup your instance, turn on lead scoring, define your job role list for personas, and go score! To focus on ramping up your automation efforts, you focus on lead nurturing to advance your engagement with prospects and customers. Have you checked back up on your initial step to check if your lead scoring system is running correctly?
After you read these reporting analysis tips, go into Eloqua and in your CRM and generate these reports:
#MQLs by Lead Score and Geography
#MQLs Converted by Lead Score
#MQLs Rejected by lead Score
These three reports will help you to identify if your scoring behaves properly and here are few things you might discover:
1. Data issues:
2. Model issues:
- Standardized forms (job role for instance) are not fitting for all goes across the globe and most of the time NA & APAC (as native English countries) have better accuracy on job role selection.
- People fill out misleading information! How many contacts have you generated from those who have selected Afghanistan in the country dropdown menu? It’s the first country available in most dropdown lists, and frequently selected to bypass necessary information and proceed to the next option to access gated content.
- The longer your web forms are, the greater the probability that you’re collecting inaccurate data.
3. Internal issues:
- High ranked personas are not the same people we talk to or sell to in real life. I wish I could speak with Fortune 500 CEOs everyday, but unfortunately this is not the case. In developing your personas, be sure to distinguish target and goal audiences. Analyzing your web traffic data can help you in this task.
- Consider the score weight of “profile” in comparison to “behavior.” What's more important: having a CEO (probably not CEO as per the point above) download a white paper or a manager taking 10 different actions on your web site?
- Be prepared for massive content consumption. Is your scoring program able to assess and correctly score (means not too quickly not too late) multiple actions taken by a contact both on your web site and on social networks?
- Last but not least but definitively true. Can you trust your marketing managers? Sometimes marketing qualified lead (MQL) targets can potentially cause skewing of lead scores. A sound lead scoring program should enable your organization to make decisions based on facts and data — not just assumptions or hunches.
It’s critical to note that a lead scoring program is not a “legacy thing.” Establishing parameters to effectively score based on personas, targets, and real data is the key to refining lead routing processes. By measuring lead scoring program effectiveness over time, you can determine how to best align your nurture paths and deliver the right content to facilitate the discovery process with your community. But keep in mind the balance of scoring: Under-score and you can potentially miss opportunities; over score and you run the risk of creating frustration among sales reps experiencing high rejection rates.
Ready for more best practices on how to group and most appropriately engage with your audiences? Check out Eloqua’s Grande Guide to Lead Scoring.