How to Build a Lead Scoring Model for Startups

First things first, it is important to know what is a lead scoring model and do you even need it? Many companies are looking forward to closing more sales and more profit with better leads. But the fact is, these “many” companies are the majority of the companies aware of the value of good leads.

Lead scoring is the process of boosting the efficiency of your sales process. It is about giving the better leads to more preference thereby leading to more closed deals. The question here is, is it really necessary for your organization? Usually, this is necessary for organizations with more leads incoming that the sales team is able to follow up on. There are ways to manually score leads, but many companies turn to a lead scoring solution for Salesforce or a website tracking tool for Pipedrive and other CRM.

In this case, lead scoring serves as a way of prioritizing time and sales management leading to more sales. Scoring can also be an alternative method to lead nurturing. A few parameters you can use to assess whether you need a lead scoring method for your startup:

  • Is your sales team having difficulty managing sales leads because of more input than to follow up on?
  • Are your leads not interested or quality leads when followed up upon?
  • Is it possible to make the sales process more efficient?
  • Is your company using a process that delivers sales content to prospects and leads at different times in the buying cycle?

If you said yes, to the majority of them, then you do need a lead scoring model for your startup.

Lead Scoring model breakdown:

The purpose of a lead scoring model is to identify and mark down high-quality leads. This leads to a better follow up process leading to better scales due to the lead nurturing cycle. Mostly these models can be graded on a scale of 0 to 100. The highest being the obvious best leads and the lowest score for the lowest leads. The lead scoring model is not a one-time thing to assign to your leads and treat them accordingly. Instead, the score can keep on increasing and decreasing based on their activities. These include responding to your marketing, website engagement, among others. An example of a scenario of a lead scoring model would be like the following.

Tony is one of your company’s leads. He has been actively engaging with your website and starts at the bottom of the cycle. Tony has a lead score of 0 at this point. He downloads a white paper or eBook from your website thereby establishing interest. This is his entry into your lead nurturing cycle. Assuming that to download the content he filled out his info, he gets some score. Let’s see how this works :
• Downloading the white paper or eBook. (Give 10 points)
• You get to know his professional credentials. (Say, he’s the marketing lead at a company X). (Give 10 points)
• He is from X and X is a startup or enterprise. (Assign 5 points)

Build a Lead Scoring Model for Startups



This was merely the first step where the prospect becomes a lead and enters the lead nurturing cycle. This leads to him enrolling in the weekly email marketing chain. As a result, some or the other time he ends up on your website again as a result of email marketing. This lands Tony in your CRM tool. Here we can assign points as such:

• Opening email and clicking on the CTA. (Assign 5 points)
• Visiting your company’s blog. (Assign 5 points).
• Checking out your product/services page (Assign 10 points).
• Lead on further to the pricing menu. (Assign 20 points)

Build a Lead Scoring Model for Startups


By now he has a score of around 55 which is half of the highest you can assign. Now what’s special and significant about this is that he’s genuinely interested.

Here at this stage, we can engage him in advanced marketing techniques. At such special points where the prospect or lead shows genuine interest or other factors which are good for your company’s time investment in them. Invite him to a webinar. There is a very high chance that he clicks that as well. Here we assign him another 20 points.

Build a Lead Scoring Model for Startups


At a point score of above 70 like in this case, it would be a very good idea for the sales team to finally get in touch with him. Your sales team gets a triggered alert or all such leads so they can reach out to them and get them to convert.
With this process, your sales team can get to know your potential client better. As a startup, it is a good idea to tell him about the company and your products and services. Get to know the lead better and based on responses, enter more information into the CRM tool. There are two ways out here-

1. He converts:

If this happens, it is great for him and you too and you can keep nurturing him as per policy. Therefore, it leads to a greater word of mouth marketing thereby leading to a further increase in possible high quality leads like our Tony here.

2. He doesn’t convert:

Tony can keep on staying in the system and based on his activity further you can engage. This is more likely to happen when the lead is confused between which company to go ahead with for their needs.

What makes a Good lead scoring model?

Lead scoring is a really good method to assign a particular grade to your potential clients. Working on the cream is better than working on the base. This is the principle for any business looking to make their name in the market. There can be many factors that lead to a good lead scoring model. It doesn’t have to be like the example mentioned above. You can assess how and which factors contribute the most to leading a client to your lead nurturing model. It can be their activity, engagement, purchases from competition, demographics, and other factors.

Source: SnapApp

Additionally, using machine learning and data science would give you a better idea as to which factors to use to maximize efficiency here. Recognizing and assessing each characteristic will help you decide which factors to use to get the best leads into the highest tier of your lead scoring model.

Moreover, there is nothing like a perfect model but a machine learning model will help you get the best out of your sales model. You can assess which ones might be false positives, as often is the case in such a scenario. Using it to recognize which ones might be the best scenario for you to get the best leads. This helps in getting the good ones at the top and not so good at the lowest point. Doing this will help your lead nurturing cycle process only the best leads which have been recognized by model already

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About Ankit Sharma

I am a freelance writer and a photographer who loves to learn and dabble in everything. I am from an IT background but tilt more towards arts and nature as much as IT and everything associated.

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