Implementing and truly adopting lead scoring can help put companies on the path to more efficient and effective lead management and nurture processes. This ultimately helps drive better conversion rates and financial outcomes. However, it is important that your lead scoring does not stand alone. In other words, the lead score is insufficient to drive the sales outcomes you are looking for without support from other tools, namely relevant content and an underlying decision engine fueled by segmentation.
There are different levers that we can affect as we think about how to get leads through the funnel quickly and focus time and resources on the right leads. Lead scoring is fundamental to this and generally focused on –who– to contact. It rank orders the audience to separate who to call on and engage with via high cost sales channels, and who to route to lower cost digital lead nurture tracks.
Audience selection is one of the most impactful decisions you can optimize and warrants a lot of focus, via lead scoring. However, there are other levers to pull as it relates to not just who, but also what, (and when and where for that matter). Segmentation is an important tool to deploy to compliment and elevate your lead scoring, as it focuses on these other levers.
Often times your segmentation will include the creation of corresponding profiles to and describe each segment through data combined with personas to bring them to life and provide insight into attitudes, consideration, and buying processes. Drawing on these tools, we can make informed decisions around –what- and align our messaging, offers, and content to each lead through a decision engine. This engine may take many forms but may be as basic as segment-specific business rules coded into your CRM and Marketing Automation systems.
In thinking about your segmentation, it might be a simple lifecycle-based solution. In this case, overlaying lifecycle segment with your lead score allows you to arbitrate and map the message, offer, and content that is most relevant to where the lead is in their buying journey for both push communications (outbound sales and marketing touches), as well as response to inbound activities such as a visit to your website. For example, leads in the early stages of the buying journey are in education and learning mode, and the content they receive from a sales rep or, more likely, from a marketing impression because their lead score is relatively low, should meet them where they are.
Alternatively, your segmentation may be firmographic or demographic (maybe even attitudinal) in nature. If so, an overlay of that with your lead scoring allows you to version your message and content to be as relevant as possible to each segment. At the top of your lead scoring prioritization this allows you to arm your sales team with the right conversation starter. For the leads at the lower end of the list, who are routed to digital lead nurture, it provides marketing with an automated way to version communications that will increase engagement.
In some cases you will want to do both, either through a single segmentation, or by layering the buying or lifecycle stage atop firmographic segmentation. This allows you to optimize the content category and version it accordingly, while also drawing on your lead scoring to prioritize audience selection decisions for sales.
If your lead scoring solution is one-dimensional, you’re losing engagement potential. In addition, current marketing automation and sales enablement toolsets make additional dimensions an easy add-on, transforming your existing tools into a more robust decision engine. It is as simple as defining multiple tracks or paths that scored leads are guided down. The leads are pushed to end users prioritizing who to communicate to, coupled with aligned content and messaging.
For more lead scoring tips and best practices, check out our free whitepaper – The Essential Guide to Predictive Lead Scoring.