The Grande Guide to
What’s a “Grande Guide”? marketing group. How do you send all those leads to sales?
> We know what the typical day is like for marketers. After Most marketing organizations simply hand-off a huge list of
all, we are marketers ourselves. Between brainstorming names, or upload them to the sales database, then sit back
and strategy sessions, last-minute requests and and expect sales to call them all. After a few calls, most
impromptu meetings (“It’ll just take a minute, really!”), salespeople give up, deriding the leads as “junk.” And so the
and trips to meet customers, you can barely find time to finger pointing begins.
breathe, never mind keep up with the latest marketing
trends. That’s why we’ve developed the Grande Guide > This kind of interaction is counter-productive and causes
series. In the time it takes you to drink a cup of coffee, enormous inefficiencies across the organization’s revenue-
you can become proficient in a key marketing topic, in bearing teams. It can put enormous strain on sales
this case, lead scoring. productivity. As your sales reps work furiously to stay afloat,
they’re becoming inefficient in their daily tasks … undermining
What is Lead Scoring? the goal of doing more with less.
> Lead scoring is an objective ranking of one sales lead
According to Aberdeen Research, companies that get lead scoring right
against another. This not only helps align the right have a 192% higher average lead qualification rate than those that do not.
follow-up to the corresponding inquiry, it also helps
marketing and sales professionals identify where each Performance Metrics Average Performance
prospect is in the buying process.
Best-in-class All others
> The process of defining lead scores improves alignment Lead qualification rate 35% 22%
and collaboration between marketing and sales teams.
Forcast accuracy 32% 21%
After all, by jointly establishing an objective definition of
a quality lead, sales and marketing can exchange better Marketing effectiveness 31% 21%
feedback on the quality of leads being passed to sales. Sales effectiveness 30% 15%
Plus, lead scoring helps ensure the best leads are
Lead conversion rate 28% 19%
followed up on immediately by prioritizing leads
according to revenue potential and buyer readiness. Response rate 27% 20%
Pipeline thickness 27% 12%
Why Lead Scoring Matters Today An Aberdeen survey measured the change in key metrics after
implementing lead scoring. Best-in-class companies are those that
> Doing more with less has become a corporate mantra – reported, on average, the highest increases in revenue growth, lead
conversion rates and decrease in cost per lead.
and its rippling effects are felt at all levels of an Source: Aberdeen Group, Lead Scoring and Prioritization.
organization. Consider the demand generated by your
> In the meantime, dozens of hot leads – legitimate opportunities
– are being thrown away simply because they’re on the bottom
of the pile of “junk” leads.
> With fewer deals available, your sales reps need every
Lead scoring enables organizations to advantage to get in front of active opportunities first, and
move lead prioritization from a largely
subjective process, to an analytical, develop latent opportunities earlier than the competition. To do
scientific approach that can be managed that, they need to be working with prioritized leads.
easily and cost-effectively.
02 The Grande Guide to Lead Scoring www.eloqua.com
The Grande Guide to
Lead Scoring Evolved > The main focus of lead scoring is to generate a sales-ready lead.
> If you ask sales and marketing Once you’ve generated qualified leads, you need to pass them to
executives at 100 companies telemarketing for further qualification, such as by determining
today how they score their leads, authority, need, and timing. Once a lead becomes sales-
99 will answer with the acronym,
“BANT.” That is, to qualify accepted, sales determines if it’s a sales-qualified opportunity.
opportunities, a lead must have Added bonus: by understanding your sales acceptance rate,
Budget, Authority, Need and you’ll be able to better fine-tune your scoring criteria.
Timeline for purchase. This is a
common definition developed
> Two of the most commonly used scoring dimensions are:
over the last decade for a
qualified lead. XWho the prospect is, signified by explicit data that determines
> But times have changed. Buyers fit, such as title, industry, and
start their information-gathering company revenues.
process well in advance of XHow interested the prospect is, indicated by implicit data
having established things like that determines level of engagement, such as frequent visits
budget and timeline. Even
if these factors are in place, to website and responsiveness to promotions.
buyers are unlikely to reveal this
“inside” information to a sales Score your leads
person that happens to make a against two dimensions: BEST FIT ACTIVE
well-timed cold call. who they are and what INTEREST
> Instead, buyers today rely on the HOT LEAD
Web to gather information. They
download whitepapers and case
studies, connect with peers to
validate their observations, turn
WHO THEY ARE WHAT THEY’VE DONE
to social media to crowdsource
experience. And, for the most VP, Marketing Web Visits
part, sales people have no Software Industry Form Activity
visibility into these behaviors.
$100m Rev Email Click-Through
> To keep up with the changing
buying process, advanced lead
scoring systems consider a wide NO
range of data points to determine NOT A FIT INTEREST
lead quality. While explicit
criteria like data such as job title,
EFFECTIVE LEAD SCORING COMBINES:
company revenue, and industry
Prospect demographic and bahavioral data to prioritize leads.
might suggest a good fit, implicit
– or behavioral – information is
key to determining true buying
> The steps to defining lead scores are:
> This “digital body language” XDocument the profile fit score.
reveals a lot about a lead’s level XDetermine the 4-5 explicit-data categories ( i.e., the details a
of interest in your company and prospect volunteers explicitly through a form or a business
its contentofferings. However,
card) that define a sales-ready stage of qualification.
the growing trend is to focus on
behavior – in other words, how XDefine how important these categories FIT in relationship to
frequently a prospect interacts one another.
with your company and content XAssign a tiered set of corresponding criteria values for each
– because is often more powerful category. For example, you may want to assign points to both
than relying on often inaccurate
data collected over the phone or a VP and a Director but give the VP a significant number of
on a website. points and the Director a bit fewer.
WHO THEY ARE WHAT THEY’VE DONE
Vp, Marketing Web Visits
Software Industry Form Activity
$100m Rev Email Click-Through
04 The Grande Guide to Lead Scoring www.eloqua.com
NOT A FIT
The Grande Guide to
> Consider exploring how lead scoring impacts > Infoblox increased the productivity of its telesales
compensation. If marketing is only measured on number team by 20%.
of inquiries or net-new people in database, changing > Omniture’s A leads close at a 4x better rate than
behavior to go for more qualified leads might impede C leads.
them from achieving other goals. *source: 2009 Eloqua Markie submission
> Focus on scoring criteria that has standardized data
values associated with it; this will facilitate program
execution and ease refinement as needed.
What’s Next in Lead Scoring?
> Define an SLA with sales on how long is allowed for What we’ve covered so far will help you improve lead scoring
follow-up. For example, “A1, B1” leads should be today. But it’s important to keep your finger on the pulse. Here’s
followed-up with in 24 hours. “A2-3/B2-3” leads should what we see as the next stage in lead scoring.
be followed up within 48 hours. > Expanding awareness of prospect influences. As prospects
> Provide sales with options for follow-up based on lead receive more and more messages, information, and education
disposition, including automated nurture programs that through social media during the buying process, these peer
will continue to educate the lead until it is again ready channels will continue grow in relevance. In fact, awareness of
for sales. how an individual discovered a message, along with where and
> Continuously re-evaluate your scoring system, using from whom, will feature prominently in the lead-scoring and
direct feedback from key stakeholders on whether the lead-nurturing routines of leading marketers.
ratings are accurate in terms of lead quality. Consider > Content-based scoring. Companies that regularly refine their
your sales acceptance rate to be the barometer of the scoring models begin to notice patterns in lead quality that can
health of your scoring program. be directly tied to the content that is accessed during the
> Rate and measure the impact of lead scoring on sales. buying process. Advanced organizations are experimenting with
Conduct a closed-deal analysis to uncover insights into scoring models based on content type – like whitepapers,
conversions, and incorporate those discoveries back into product information and customer testimonials – instead of the
the lead scoring program over time, with the ultimate download activity itself.
goal of making your success repeatable. > Account-level scoring. Because we market to individuals but
sell to companies, marketers must identify micro-trends within
Lead Scoring in Action a larger set of interests. In the future, we’ll more effectively
Wondering how all of this translates into real-world score leads to pinpoint when a certain role is appearing in the
results? Many marketers have improved lead quality by buying cycle.
using lead scoring.* > Customer scoring. To increase customer lifetime value, you
> Taleo saw a 56% improvement in MQL to SQL lead need to seize on opportunities for up-selling and cross-selling.
conversion, and realized 25-30% pipeline growth in That means you must understand when someone is in the cycle
certain segments. for a new product in your suite, and determine when a prospect
or existing customer has switched mid-stream and is interested
in a different product than originally indicated. Going forward,
smart marketers will analyze all customer touch points to
Benefits of an Automated identify opportunities and risk throughout the lifecycle.
> Measure campaign effectiveness > Opportunity scoring. Top marketers will analyze behavior of a
> Decrease volume of sales-ready leads lead all the way through the middle of the pipeline to predict
> Align follow-up resources for optimal the likelihood of an opportunity closing.
conversion to revenue > Predicting changes. Your lead-scoring model needs to remain
> Objectively assess the potential worth closely aligned to your sales and marketing processes, even as
of a new opportunity they evolve. With predictive-modeling tools, you’ll be able to
constantly monitor prospects’ behavior to understand how your
model may have to change.
06 The Grande Guide to Lead Scoring www.eloqua.com