Today, digital marketers are required to wear many hats. They can be market analysts one day, and social media consultants the next.
What they often struggle with, however, is making sure leads convert into paying customers. In some companies, especially startups, there's often a severe lack of communication between the marketing and sales teams.
Furthermore, a lot of marketers tend to focus too much on acquiring as many leads as possible without establishing a clear scoring system.
What is Lead Scoring?
A lead scoring system has one primary objective - making sure that the marketing front impacts the bottom line through sales.
To do this, those in charge of lead generation need to use explicit and implicit scoring metrics:
- Explicit Metrics - These comprise of measurable and calculable factors, such as demographics (for B2C), firmographics (for B2B), estimated budget, required timelines, and so on.
- Implicit Metrics - These, on the other hand, are behavioral data such as email engagement, browsing activity, clicks, and social media interactions.
In lead scoring, a lead is attributed points whenever they meet a specific explicit or implicit metric that relates to your brand.
For example, clicking a link on your newsletter would increase the lead score by 5 points, while visiting a web page only adds 2.
As the marketer, you get to decide a point threshold that determines if a lead is ready to be passed on to the sales team.
Here are a few statistics about lead scoring and why it’s important for your business:
Image source: iContact - What Is Lead Scoring
Where does Social Media Fit in All This?
The good news is that most explicit and implicit scoring metrics are now easily available via social media networks.
Facebook, for example, offers brands a wealth of demographic data - freely available in the insights section of their business page. The same goes for Twitter and their integrated analytics feature.
When it comes to implicit data, it’s all about tracking, monitoring, and analyzing the interactions. A positive comment on your product photo and a direct inquiry, among others, signals a “sales-ready” behavior that demands attention.
It’s only a matter of being reactive to these opportunities and knowing exactly where they stand as leads.
To help maximize your success, here are a few additional tips that can help you augment your lead scoring efforts:
1. Use Social Media Monitoring Tools
There’s a wide range of social media listening tools you can use to obtain implicit data from the social space, and most of them have real-time monitoring features which automatically send alerts whenever someone mentions your brand online.
Some platforms like Mention and Hootsuite also enable you to respond to mentions, track conversations, and qualify leads into the proper segments. In doing so, you can also feed this data into your CRM or marketing automation system for a more streamlined lead scoring system.
2. Track Conversion Rate and Velocity
To fine-tune your lead scoring and social media strategies over time, make sure you track your conversion rate.
Conversion rate measures the likelihood of leads moving through sales cycle per interaction - for example, if one particular social media offer generates a lead out of five impressions, then it has a conversion rate of 20%.
3. Track Velocity
In lead management, velocity signifies the number of days required before leads move through the sales funnel. Put simply, the faster they move through the sales funnel, the higher their lead score should be.
By tracking lead velocity, you should be able to detect specific “choke points” that discourage leads from taking the next step. These may include undefined objectives, disjointed lead sources, bad customer experience, and so on.
You can also boost velocity by being more active in conversations yourself. Focus on initiating conversations more frequently and try to be more involved in sales calls with prospects.
From a marketing perspective, a single sales call may not tell you everything you need to know about your lead velocity, but at the very least, it helps you become more in touch - not only with your leads, but also with your sales department.
Social media is a goldmine of prospective customers - you just need to learn how to listen to them and determine which ones require your full attention at any given time.
By implementing the right lead scoring system, you can better manage and measure your lead flow, and improve your overall results.