Attracting leads who are interested in buying your product or service is often the first and most crucial step toward building a business.

Once you’ve got a pipeline full of leads, though, it can be overwhelming — who should your marketing team pass on to your sales team? Who should your sales team follow up with first? How do you make sure your sales team is spending its time most efficiently by focusing only on those most ready to buy — and ensure they reach out before those leads lose interest?

It’s a good problem to have, and it’s also very common.

There’s Often a Disconnect Between Your Lead Generation and Sales Efforts.

Whether you have a marketing and sales team or you’re a solopreneur doing it all, it’s important to ensure your marketing lead generation efforts tie seamlessly into your sales and closing efforts.

In a survey of over 140 executives, 46% claimed that the communication between their sales and marketing teams was a top challenge for them. Somewhere between the acquisition of the lead and point of contact for the sales team, something is going wrong, causing lost sales.

Even if they are in sync, there can be other disconnects. 61% of those polled stated that misleading buyer signals was a top challenge. Some leads may display signs of being ready to buy, when in actuality they aren’t committed, can’t afford the product/service, or accidently sent the wrong signal.

Overcome These Challenges by Using Data and Implementing a Lead Scoring System

Beyond the challenges between marketing and sales teams, the biggest challenge for 64% of those surveyed was simply a shortage of customer data. Most businesses just don’t know when to contact their leads at all — they have no way to determine who is ready to buy and who is just browsing.

Insight into your customers — such as their demographics, interests, and what actions they typically take with your marketing efforts — is crucial for understanding how to attract more customers.

When you have this information, you can come up with a lead scoring system, which assigns points to leads based on their demographics, interests, actions or any other qualifiers you dictate. You’ll assign higher point levels to things that signify high levels of interest. For example, if your clientele is often from a certain geographic location or has a specific job role, your leads who match that criteria will receive higher points. As your leads interact with your website, engage with email content and fill out forms, all data is captured and taken into account to give these contacts a score to rank them.

You’ll then be able to see quickly which leads are most qualified and ready to buy — and your sales team members will know who to spend their time following up with. This means no more miscommunication between your sales and marketing teams as both can now see which leads are the most promising, and there is a lower risk of misinterpreting buyer signals. Your team won’t have to base decisions about who to follow up with on instinct or guesswork — they’ll have data to go on.

Lead Scoring Works — and the Data Proves It.

With today’s technology, roughly 86% of marketers are currently using lead scoring as part of their strategy. 74% of these marketers have rated the effectiveness of their lead scoring systems as “somewhat to highly effective.”

As Linda West, Director of Campaign Operations at Glassdoor, has said, “Lead scoring helps companies predict where a buyer is in their purchase journey. This enables companies to meet the buyer’s expectation by intelligently tailoring communications and facilitating seamless handoffs between marketing and sales.”

With lead scoring, you will:

  • Save time for you or your sales team by having them call ready-to-buy leads instead of calling or following up with dead-end leads
  • Make more sales with minimal manpower so you can focus resources on other aspects of your business
  • Create a unique sales experience for the most engaged prospects, improving future engagement, sales and repeat business to boost immediate ROI and recurring revenue
  • Stop searching through all of your contacts to find hot leads or guessing whether an individual contact is ready for sales attention so your team can achieve maximum efficiency
  • Increase conversion rates, since the leads who do end up with your sales team will already be ready to buy

About Ben Cogburn
As Ontraport’s Traffic Manager, Ben Cogburn spends most of his time in our parking lot. Just kidding, he’s our resident digital advertising guru. As a geology enthusiast, Ben graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara with a degree in Environmental Studies. So to say that he likes rocks is an understatement. You can find Ben hanging out with his rock collection, playing video games or hunting down new figurines to add to the impressive display he has on his desk.