Lead Scoring: is it worth it?

I just started reading an article on how to create a lead scoring matrix and thought I would give some real life examples of what we’ve seen.

Sales Alert indicating a new website visitorOur CRM system has website visitor tracking features built-in (Sales Alerts) and recently we’ve discussed whether we should add lead scoring as a new feature.

The key reason we haven’t added lead scoring yet is that most of our customers struggle to get prospects on to their website in the first place, let alone get them to return!

Unfortunately not every business has the time and wherewithal to build a quality, ongoing inbound marketing stream. As a result, it can be quite a shock to discover how few of their known prospects actually return to their website.

That said, in a recent study of customer data we found that when a prospect does return to your website it can be highly significant. In our sample of 6 months B2B data we found that 50% of returning prospects went on to make a purchase!

Based on the figures above most sales people would want to know when a prospect was on their website, even if it was just one return visit. The danger with lead scoring is that it might mask a potential sales opportunity from the salesperson.

In some circumstances there’s also a big difference between one visit and no visits, so make sure your matrix makes the distinction. As an example, I met with a sales training/recruitment company about 9 months ago. The salesperson travelled out of his way to meet with me. Knowing that they used a marketing automation product I commented that it must have been reassuring to know that I had been looking at their website the night before. He said he didn’t know and that he probably wouldn’t get alerted until I had hit a threshold of downloads and visits.

For anyone that travels to meetings you need to be sure of the quality of the opportunity to justify the time and expense that you will incur and therefore zero website visits can be an even more important indicator to a salesperson than multiple visits. If your prospect hasn’t even bothered to look at your website before you travel then perhaps it is worth a phone call to re-qualify the opportunity?

The end result has been that we haven’t put lead scoring in just yet. Like watching people in a car showroom the salesperson intuitively knows whether a website visitor is significant or not, they just want to know who is looking so they can make their own judgement.

Date: 16th September 2013

Author: Duncan Gillingwater