Why Behavioral Lead Scoring Matters

Why Behavioral Lead Scoring Matters

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Though many marketers may feel uncomfortable with this, effective marketing is a numbers game. That doesn’t mean there isn’t a certain amount of art to it, but, at the end of the day, we can’t come to the board meeting with only a bunch of great-looking creative and expect to be taken seriously. Like any other revenue-generating segment of the business, we measure our success in terms of leads, pipeline, and conversions. To make that work, marketers need some way to separate the good leads from the total junk. When it’s done well, behavioral lead scoring can help us improve our key metrics across the board:

  • Leads. When we pair leads with relevant demographic data, sales gets only the highest-quality contacts and doesn’t waste time following up on junk leads.
  • Pipeline. The more we know about our leads, the more closely we can estimate the value of our pipeline. As we push in more high-quality leads, the overall pipeline value will go up.
  • Conversions. By giving sales better leads along with relevant behavioral data, it becomes much easier for sales to have contextual conversations, increasing the rate of conversion and decreasing the sales cycle.

In the past, we’ve put disproportionate emphasis on demographic data — indicators like industry, job title, and company revenue — as a cheap heuristic to tell us which leads were worth pursuing. This data actually told us a lot more about the markets we wanted to attract than it said about the prospects who were most interested in our products. It also meant that, in order to keep the pipeline full, we had to compensate for sub-par conversion rates by cramming more low-quality leads into the top of the machine. It was frustrating for marketing, frustrating for sales, and frustrating for consumers who kept getting hit with broad messaging that didn’t really appeal to them.

We were stuck with demographic data because, historically, lead scoring has been basically useless. An SDR with a list of webinar leads had to prioritize based on two binary decisions about those leads: did they attend, and, if they attended, did they ask a question? People who registered got a low priority, attendees got a higher priority, and the ones who asked a questions got the highest priority. Not only was this “behavior score” overly simplistic and not particularly helpful, it treated all questions as equal (for example, a minor technical question would get the same score as a direct request for a demo).

But that’s all in the past. Today, reliable, high-quality behavioral lead scoring has streamlined our entire lead process — and is driving up those super-important metrics like pipeline and conversions.

With the current generation of webinar platforms, each lead is tagged with a reliable engagement score that lets sales know exactly how to prioritize their follow-up. This score aggregates all the in-event behaviors that let us know how interested a person is. It looks at poll responses, survey responses, additional resources downloaded, slides downloaded, widget interaction, time engaged in webinar, and all the sundry metrics that contribute to a robust attendee profile. That engagement score gets passed directly into our CRM, where the sales rep can use it to have a more contextual engagement with the prospect. The conversation evolves from, “I saw you attended this webinar. What did you think?” to, “I noticed that you answered poll #2 in this way. Let’s use that as a starting point to talk about our feature that solves that problem.”

I’ve said it a million times, but it’s worth saying again: we shouldn’t just be thinking about more leads. We should be thinking about better leads. And that takes behavioral data.

Interested in learning more? Download our white paper, Lead Intelligence: A Better Model for Lead Scoring.