Top 18 Lead Scoring Best Practices From Sales Experts

Read our roundup of lead scoring best practices from sales experts to build or improve your lead scoring system and prioritize high-quality leads.

To prioritize high-quality leads and avoid spending time on bad-fit leads that won’t end up becoming customers, you must create a solid lead scoring system. Accurately scoring newly generated leads can be tricky, but there are tactics you can use to establish a lead scoring philosophy, create a point system, and automate your lead scoring activities. We asked sales experts for lead scoring tips that you can use to qualify your leads before reaching out. 

To learn more about scoring leads beyond these tips, check out our article on lead scoring, where you’ll find a step-by-step process for building your own lead scoring system. 

Tips for Establishing a Lead Scoring Philosophy

Before setting up a point system, it’s crucial that you create a philosophy about how you and your team will handle lead scoring. Read on to see some tips from our sales experts about how they approach the art and science of lead scoring. 

Nick Turner

Nick Turner

Founder & CEO

Begin by Defining Your Ideal Customer Profile

“The first step in scoring leads is ensuring you have your ideal customer profile (ICP) well defined. You should have 4-5 attribute-related metrics — maybe it's company size, company revenue, geography, or vertical or industry. This is the foundation of your lead scoring methodology, and the ICP should be tiered out based on who is best served by your product. You can then combine your ICP model with behavioral insights of the lead (how often are they engaging, what type of content are they engaging with, etc.) to help you understand what the ultimate score should be for a particular lead.”

Nick Turner, Antenna

Staci Holweger

Staci Holweger

Founder & Doctor

Create a Repeatable Process to Assess Leads

“When scoring leads, first consider how much time and effort it will take to convert them into customers. Second, think about how long it will take your business to recover the costs associated with making them a customer. Finally, rely on your instincts — if it feels like a good lead, then it probably is!”

— Staci Holweger, LifePatches.co

Andy Golpys

Andy Golpys

Founder

Determine a Qualification Threshold Value

“Before you officially create your point system, creating a threshold value is crucial for scoring. When it’s reached, it indicates that the lead should move forward. One of the most important lead scoring methodologies is having a scoring threshold to guarantee that only eligible leads are passed along to representatives. Clearly stated criteria eliminates ambiguity and improves your scoring system.”

Andy Golpys, MadeByShape

Richard Lubicky

Richard Lubicky

Founder & CEO

Prepare for False Behavior Points

“Leads will amass a number of behavior points over time. Know that some of them might not have any intention of buying — for instance, while a freelancer won't invest in sophisticated marketing automation technology, they might still read your blog. A medical student won't go to your website for your equipment because they need it; they'll visit it for research purposes only. Your competitors are curious about what you're doing and might drop by frequently.”

 Richard Lubicky, RealPeopleSearch

Carrie Simpson

Carrie Simpson

Founder

Get Comfortable With Reaching Out Early

“In some scenarios, while our clients waited for their lead scores to rise, they lost the opportunity with the decision maker, who said, "We just signed a new contract last week!" Your competitors want that deal, too — you aren't the only company tracking their intent. Don't lose deals by being a slave to arbitrary numbers; reach out early if you think they could be a great lead.”

Carrie Simpson, Managed Sales Pros

Angelo Argentieri

Angelo Argentieri

CEO

Choose a Qualification Framework

“Utilizing a qualifying method like CHAMP paired with strong sales training for your team is a great way to ensure consistency and effectiveness when lead scoring. CHAMP qualifying is when your sales team uncovers the challenges (CH), authority or decision-making power (A), money (M), and priorities (P) of their prospects. A framework like this can foster consistency in your sales team’s scoring results.”

— Angelo Argentieri, AKA Search Group

Tips for Creating Your Lead Scoring Point System

When lead scoring, it’s important to choose attributes and behaviors that earn or lose a lead points. Below, read about some of the actions that sales experts take and the specific factors they consider when setting up a lead scoring point system.  

Nick Yu

Nick Yu

Co-Founder

Align Marketing & Sales on Scoring Metrics

“If you want to increase your lead score, you should make it a joint marketing and sales effort. The marketing and sales teams should collaborate, and both should agree on the metrics to track and attribute scores to. In the early stages of the project, you can provide insight to the marketing team by being closer to the customer.”

— Nick Yu, Beadnova

David Reid

David Reid

Sales Director

Create Scoring Factors for Event & Website Activity

“Some criteria I'll take into account are events attended and pages visited. Online event organisation has become an essential part of marketing, so I'll add points to event attendees’ overall lead score. When a lead visits our website, I’ll analyse how many pages they visit and account for that in their score. We’ve found that these are two great indicators of who could turn into a customer.”

— David Reid, VEM Tooling 

Joe Giranda

Joe Giranda

Director of Sales & Marketing

Include Demographic Data in Your Lead Scoring System

“Demographic information, such as location, age, gender, and more, can be helpful when scoring leads. This is because certain demographics are more likely to be interested in certain products or services. For example, if you sell ski equipment, you may want to score leads from cold-weather states more highly than leads from warm-weather states.”

— Joe Giranda, CFR Classic

Kathryn Read

Kathryn Read

International Sales & Marketing Consultant

Use Unique Criteria for Different Locations

“When working across a variety of markets worldwide, you need to tailor your lead scoring criteria to the markets in question. For example, I’ve used different criteria at times for Mainland China vs Vietnam, or for France vs Germany or the USA simply because there are variations in the buyers’ preferred journey. This is complex to manage within a CRM, especially as it’s not a ‘set and forget’ exercise and the customer journey evolves in different ways and at different speeds for each market. Within a large country such as the US, this can also apply to regions, as New York and California may require subtle differences in scoring.”

— Kathryn Read, Kathryn Read

Amit Sarda

Amit Sarda

Business, CRM, & Sales Consultant

Assign Weights According to Buying Intent

"Consider what shows that a lead is most interested in what you're selling. Are they opening your emails (low intent)? Are they clicking links in your emails (high intent)? Are they visiting your website and spending a good amount of time on your website (very high intent)? Are they browsing multiple pages on your website? The higher the intent of an activity from a lead, the higher the weight for that activity and score for the lead.” 

Amit Sarda, Amit Sarda

Christine Brownstein

Christine Brownstein

Chief Marketing Officer

Pick Attributes & Behaviors That Subtract Points

“Subtract points for characteristics or actions that indicate a bad fit. If you exclusively sell to a specific geographic area, you could assign a poor rating to any leads that fall outside of the appropriate city, county, postal code, nation, and so on. If a lead stops accessing your site or collecting your offerings, they may no longer be enthusiastic about your product or service. For this reason, deduct points from leads who have stopped connecting with your site after a certain period of time.”

— Christine Brownstein, Palaleather

Corey Tyner

Corey Tyner

Founder & President

Track Social Media Activity to Assess Interest

“Check if your lead is interacting with your business on social media. This is a fantastic technique to determine how interested they are in the products and services offered by your business. If your lead is active on social media and frequently posts, now is a great time to engage in a more open, casual dialogue with them to establish rapport and trust.”

Corey Tyner, Buy Yo Dirt

Jack Sobel

Jack Sobel

Founder

Consistently Refine Your Lead Scoring System

“A strong lead scoring model’s guiding principle is ‘create it and refine it,’ not ‘set it and forget it.’ Update your scoring procedures often depending on the most recent client data to keep your lead scoring model as accurate as possible. For instance, the lead scoring threshold is probably too low if a large number of leads are qualified by marketing but only a small number are converted by sales. You might also need to adjust how you weigh those factors.”

— Jack Sobel, RMBH Charities

Tips for Automating Lead Scoring With Technology

From lead scoring point solutions to CRM software with scoring functionality, there are many tools out there that are built to help you automate parts of your lead scoring process. Below, check out the software our sales experts use to track leads, automatically assign them points, and more. 

Meyr Aviv

Meyr Aviv

Founder & CEO

Invest in Tools Made Specifically for Lead Scoring

“A tactic that can help you score leads more effectively is to use software designed specifically to help with lead scoring. This type of software can automate the process of scoring leads and provide you with more accurate results. Additionally, it can help you keep track of your lead scoring progress over time so you can see which leads are improving and which ones are falling behind.”

— Meyr Aviv, iMoving

Chris Gadek

Chris Gadek

VP, Growth

Leverage AI to Score Behaviors

“AI tools use machine-based algorithms to sort and prioritize leads using patterns from behavioral data. Lead scoring comes down to fit and intent — meaning how well your product suits the needs of an individual user and how likely they are to purchase your product at a specific time. By exposing AI systems to large amounts of data concerning user interactions with your website, machine learning can identify patterns often missed by sales teams. And the more AI understands when, how, and why users interact with your website, the more accurate predictive lead scoring becomes for your team.”

— Chris Gadek, AdQuick

Martin Seeley

Martin Seeley

Founder & CEO

Use Software That Measures Email Engagement

“There are great lead scoring tools that can integrate with your email and help you prioritize and follow up with your hottest leads. For example, LeadGnome automatically scores leads based on their engagement with the emails you send them, and it offers a range of other features to help you streamline your sales process.”

— Martin Seeley, Mattress Next Day

Rengie Wisper

Rengie Wisper

Founder & Designer

Use Simple Tech Such as a Spreadsheet

“I like to use a spreadsheet with columns and formulas for each of the criteria that makes up my ideal client. Then I can just score each lead based on how well they match up with those criteria. The key is making sure you have enough information available to make an accurate judgment call — if you don't, you'll end up wasting time on leads that aren't a good fit.”

Rengie Wisper, Ever Wallpaper

Bottom Line: Lead Scoring Best Practices

Lead scoring is an essential aspect of lead generation and qualification. Without it, salespeople risk spending too much time talking with leads who are unlikely to buy their product or service, and you might even miss out on reaching out to the best leads in time for them to consider your business. That said, make sure to use these tips from our sales experts as you build out or tinker with your lead scoring system.

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