Technology has revolutionized lead generation. Prior to 1989, companies relied on the media, mail, phone, salespeople and in-person visits (member when people use to knock on doors!?!?). This doesn't really fly today. Once the World Wide Web started, finding customers drastically changed.
Even though many of the tactics previously mentioned are still used, mindsets and implementation has shifted. Think cold-selling is to virtual as 'warm helping' is to digital.
The internet, websites and array of marketing and sales technology has made finding new customers more efficient and effective.
In this blog we discuss how HubSpot Lead Scoring can help your marketing and sales teams with prioritization, turning leads into customers faster.
What Are Leads?
The term 'lead' is defined by:
'A person that takes interest in a company's products or services by giving them their
These days this typically looks like a person doing online research, visiting a website, filling out a form to be contacted or to receive some type of educational download, offer, trial or subscription.
Instead of a company buying contact details and intrusively calling, emailing or mailing information to people, the engagement is (usually) welcomed because the buyer took interest first. Then depending on a person's actions, the company can start to personalize any future communication with them to try and provide a solution to their problem.
In addition, if you want to think about the entire 'buyer's journey'...leads are the 'second step' after a 'visitor' or someone that is just browsing and hasn't taken any specific action to give out their contact details.
With that said, not all leads will be equally interested or qualified and there are different types based on how they are qualified and what lifecycle stage of the buyer's journey they are in.
Sounds complicated, it's not really.
Two of the most common categories you'll see businesses using are:
- Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL): contacts who engaged with the marketing team but are NOT ready to receive a sales call. Example: a contact who fills out a form to download an educational ebook.
- Sales Qualified Lead (SQL): contacts who engaged with the marketing team AND have ALSO taken some action that directly expresses their interest in becoming a paying customer. Example: a contact who fills out a form to ask a specific question about a product or service.
Next, we'll discuss the concept of 'lead generation,' which essentially refers to the creation of leads.
This is where things get exciting, keep reading!
What Is Lead Generation?
We mentioned above that a lead is someone that shows interest by taking an action to give you their contact details...so how do you get someone to do this?
Well, you need to provide something that people think is worthy of an exchange for their personal information.
This can include things like:
- Tickets to live events
- Educational content in the form of blogs, guides, videos, and more
- A bot that answers questions
- A contact us form
The items listed above are often called 'lead magnets' or 'lead generators' and are just a few examples of ways you can draw potential buyers towards your business.
So this my friends, is the definition of lead generation:
"Warming up visitors to your business, getting them to give you their contact details and then guiding them along the buyer's journey with the goal of becoming a customer."
For those of you that aren't familiar with the 'buyers journey' or just need a refresher...
The buyer's journey is a process people go through when they become aware of, then consider and evaluate, and ultimately decide to purchase a new product or service.
This journey then gets broken down into three steps.
- Awareness Stage: The buyer realizes they have a problem
- Consideration Stage: The buyer defines their problem and researches options to solve it
- Decision Stage: The buyer chooses a solution
*This illustrates a buyer's journey for the purchasing decision of a doctor visit during an illness.
Now that we've covered what a lead is and how you generate them, we can jump into scoring your leads to maximize conversion rates.
What Is Lead Scoring?
When we talk about 'scoring leads' we are referring to a process or strategy of assigning value to each lead that is generated.
This is typically done with numbers and you can score them based on information they submitted in a form on your website or how they have engaged with your website. The options here are endless, but some of the more common metrics to score leads consist of:
- Email engagement
- Social engagement
So how do you know where to start?
It's recommended that a combination of talking to your sales team, talking to your customers, and analyzing your website analytics will help you understand converts leads and what scores to give the various lead magnets.
*HOT TIP: Most lead scores are based on a point range of 0 to 100.
So where does this all happen within HubSpot? Within a contact property called HubSpot Score.
To find it, go to:
- In the 'Search Properties' field type 'HubSpot Score'
At the bottom of the screen, you'll see two columns:
- Positive Attributes: characteristics that increase a lead score
- Negative Attributes: characteristics that decrease a lead score
These attributes can be anything that's tracked in HubSpot.
If you click the "Add new set" button next to the positive or negative attributes, you'll see a list of options. The full list is below:
- Contact properties
- Company properties
- Deal properties
- Activity properties
- Line item properties
- List memberships
- Form submission
- Marketing emails
- Email subscription
- Page view
- Product properties
- Ads interactions
*HOT TIP: Creating a lead score can be highly beneficial to your business and help you to improve the marketing to sales lead-handoff process, increase conversion rates, improve sales rep productivity, and more. If you've integrated other apps with HubSpot like Zoom, SurveyMonkey, etc...be sure to look into the additional options for lead scoring that these 3rd party apps provide.
How Can Lead Scoring Help You Find New Customers?
Now that you know what a lead and lead scoring is, it's time to take all this knowledge and start building the processes so you can start scoring.
*HOT TIP: If you need help with process building, check out our recent post on RevOps to understand how agencies (like us) help other businesses to build, implement and manage revenue generating marketing, sales and customer service processes in HubSpot.
Below are a couple examples of 3 HubSpot lead scoring strategies:
Manual Lead Scoring
Logistic Regression Lead Scoring
Predictive Lead Scoring
Manual Lead Scoring
1. Calculate lead-to-customer conversion rate: this is equal to...
# of new customers you acquire
# leads you generate
2. Choose different customer attributes you believe are high quality leads.
High quality leads =
conversations with sales team + real data and analytics
3. Determine individual close rates of each attribute: here you'll need to figure out how many people became qualified leads AND customers based on specific actions to actually assign them a score in the next step.
4. Compare close rates of each attribute with overall close rate, and assign point values.
Find attributes with higher close rates than your overall close rate, then choose which attributes you'll assign points to, and how many points. Base the point values of each attribute on the magnitude of their individual close rates.
Don't stress if your point values aren't based on actual data. You might not be able to do that until you've started the process of lead scoring and can refine your numbers as you go. Consistency is always key here.
- Overall close rate - 1%
- 'Requested demo' close rate - 20%
- Then the close rate of the demo attribute is 20X your overall close rate -- so you could award 20 points to leads with those attributes.
Logistic Regression Lead Scoring
The Logistic Regression Lead Scoring method is mathematically based and uses a data mining technique called... logistic regression.
This strategy is more complex, and is closely aligned to your actual close rates in the end.
Essentially, logistic regression builds a formula in Excel that gives you the probability of whether a lead will turn into a customer. It tends to be more accurate because it involves how all customer attributes interact with each other.
Here's some more information about logistic regression in Excel.
If this seems too complicated, start with the manual approach and you can always improve your strategy and process over time.
Predictive Lead Scoring
One VERY important thing to keep in mind is that just like the management of your website, coming up with lead scoring criteria isn't 'set it and forget it.'
As you get feedback from your teams, tweaking the scores is best practice to ensure it remains accurate.
Well that's pretty much where Predictive lead scoring comes into play.
This method uses machine learning technology and thousands of data points to identify your best leads for you... pretty amazing right?!
It reviews commonalities with your customers, as well as similarities with leads that didn't close, to determine a formula that segments contacts by the probability that they will become customers.
Predictive lead scoring ultimately allows you to prioritize leads, so you're not wasting time on contacts that won't buy and allowing you to spend time with those that will.
AND hold one...the lead scoring magic doesn't stop there.
One of the most amazing benefits of machine learning technology is that is naturally gets smarter and better over time, so in turn, your lead score gets more accurate over time, essentially optimizing itself.
Whoah... this is next level, futuristic business growth stuff and a perfect example how lead scoring will help you segment and prioritize leads, so you can connect and follow up with the people that are ready to buy!
That concludes our blog on 'How HubSpot Lead Scoring Will Make You Find New Customers.'
Are you a HubSpot user that wants to learn how to implement a lead scoring strategy to support and grow your marketing and sales teams?
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