Let’s say that you’ve done a great job of aligning sales and marketing and as a result, the leads are flowing in. The question now is – do you understand the quality and value of every lead? And, do you have a view on which leads should be prioritised or nurtured?

Lead Scoring is your answer to these questions. Lead scoring will examine the quality of your leads and create efficiencies within your sales pipeline, including a shorter sales cycle.


Click here for the ultimate guide to B2B sales and marketing alignment

What is lead scoring?

Put simply, lead scoring is the process of assigning a value to each lead so as to prioritise sale outreach. These values are a point-based ranking of your inbound sales prospects to help your sales team focus on the ready to convert leads and leave those that have a lower point score and therefore not ready for marketing to nurture over time. 

The numerical points that you apply can be based on a range of factors from a specific page on your website, like the pricing page to the type of industry, job title and location. The factors should be what’s important for your business.

Lead scoring works by:

  1. Determining the lead to customer conversion rate for all your leads
  2. Examining different attributes to determine what makes someone likely to close as a customer
  3. Comparing the close rate of customers with each attribute


How do you create a lead score model?

Keeping things simple is the key when thinking about creating a lead score model for your business. Talking and collaborating with your sales team is a great starting point

Generally, most lead scores are founded upon a point range of 0 – 100 for each factor that reflects the fit your prospect has with your product or service.

Here’s a list of lead scoring criteria you might consider:

Criteria icons_Improve Sales and Marketing effectiveness with Lead Scoring 3 copy Demographics
You may well be quite specific about the demographic profile for users of your product. For example, your product may only be applicable for women, so in this instance you would apply a negative score for men.
Criteria icons_Improve Sales and Marketing effectiveness with Lead Scoring 3 copy 2_Improve Sales and Marketing effectiveness with Lead Scoring 3 copy 2


Company details
It may be that your typical customer is another business of a certain size, location or industry sector. Applying points to those that fit this criterion is a great way to keep sales teams focused.
Criteria icons-38 Online interactions
Depending on which offers the prospect has downloaded you might apply a higher score. Or how many and what specific pages have been visited? You might reward or take away points based on these types of online interactions.
Criteria icons-39 Email and social media content engagement
Opt-ins, sharing of posts, clicks are all great indicators of engagement. You might apply higher scores to these factors based on the type of content such as content that’s focused on lead conversion such as a product brochure or pricing information.


How to use lead scoring to improve sales and marketing effectiveness

The very nature of lead scoring requires collaboration and alignment between sales and marketing. Lead scoring can form the basis of your smarketing SLA by working together to define what a marketing qualified lead  and a sales qualified lead looks like for the business.

Specifically, your sales and marketing team will need to:

  • Identify the scores to assign for what action
  • Agree on the score levels for leads requiring handover to sales
  • Agree on the score levels for leads requiring continued nurturing by marketing and those that will be identified as a poor fit for your business
  • Review lead scoring performance and tweak action items and scores

Explicit and implicit data for lead scoring

Using data from your marketing analytics, such as attribution reports for lead scoring point allocation is critical. This removes subjectivity and focuses the conversation on issues and solving the issues.

Data used for lead scoring can be explicit in that it represents data gained from a directly measurable action like a form fill. And you should also use data that implicit in its nature which uses an implied insight generated from the prospect’s online behaviour such as page activity, email and social media engagement.

When building your lead scoring model, it’s important to remember that negative scores can really shine a light on what actually is a best fit lead. What might attract a negative score? Perhaps a lead that’s unsubscribed or an absence of online behaviour on key buying pages.

Time spent between sales and marketing identifying explicit and implicit data will result in:

results icons-40 Improved productivity
across both marketing and sales teams eliminating wasted resources as only good-fit leads focused upon
results icons-41 Improved conversion rates
By having sales team members focusing on ideal-fit leads, conversations should
be more engaging and productive and result in increased customer conversion
results icons-42 Improved ROI
Again, with less time spent on unqualified leads and more time spent on qualified leads more conversions will result and therefore more revenue for the business
results icons-43 No more lost opportunities
Warm leads won’t be missed due sales not focusing on those unqualified leads.



Automating with HubSpot’s predictive lead scoring

Predictive lead scoring is a tool that uses an algorithm to predict which contacts in your CRM are qualified or no qualified. With the help of machine learning and artificial intelligence to create predictive scoring for your leads so you can quickly get a view of your leads and how likely they are to close.

Using a marketing and sales technology platform like HubSpot, you can easily scale your lead qualification processes to better identify your most qualified leads. For example, when a prospect attains a certain lead score, you can trigger an automated workflow to set off a series of actions. 

HubSpot’s predictive lead score uses the following data points:

  • Demographic information
  • HubSpot insights
  • Information about your business
  • Interactions logged in Hubspot CRM (such as web analytics, email interactions and form submission events)

Additionally, with HubSpot Enterprise accounts, you have access to customise your HubSpot score property to qualify prospects and leads based on up to 25 of your specific criteria properties.  

To learn how to set the criteria click here for more information. HubSpot’s Academy is also a great place to go for a free lesson on lead scoring.

Key takeaways

When you’re going for growth the focus is mostly on generating leads however, very soon you’ll need to determine who’s actually going to progress to becoming a customer - in the end it’s about the quality of the conversations not the quantity. And a CRM with predictive lead scoring is a must to undertake this at scale.

Lead scoring involves both marketing and sales working together to define the scoring criteria. Getting these two sides of the same coin onto the one page sets up the structure to generate scale for your sales team by allowing them to focus on those leads that are primed to convert.

Sales and Marketing SLA Template