Lead scoring types and stages
Visitors and leads
Who classifies as a lead? Every company has its own definition of which visitor classifies as lead. Generally speaking, leads are visitors that show more prominent interest in your company based on their characteristics and behavior and thus having higher prospect to convert. By tracking visitors’ activity and behavior, that is, their digital footprint, you can acquire enough observation and data to classify visitors and determine their level of interest and engagement and thus define them as “leads”.
You analyze the data you gathered to see what activities lead to higher conversion and match these activities to their accurate place in the marketing funnel, for example top-of-the-funnel activities correspond to higher qualified leads who are ready to engage directly with sales team. You can do this by examining historical data about lead activity and sales conversions.
You thus make sure marketing and sales teams both agree on the definition of who is classified as a qualified lead and why.
Lead scoring types and stages
Once you define what a lead means to your company, you define different types of leads. A lead scoring type represents a subset of visitors that share similar behavioral patterns that you relate to conversion rates. For example, you can define lead scoring types, such as “Returning customers”, “Partners”, “New customers”, and so on. Each type is characterized by a specific set of activities, conditioned by a behavioral pattern. For example, a “Returning customers” lead scoring type may be characterized by activities such as downloaded a whitepaper and viewed a personalized page.
Similar to personas, patterns for lead types are detected by the system once a visitor completes a specific activity or interaction within the site, for example, download a whitepaper, request a demo, and so on. Each completed activity accounts to a score that visitors accumulate, bringing them closer to being qualified leads. These levels of engagement are represented as stages of a lead scoring type. For example, the “Returning customers” scoring type can have stage 1 “Leads”, stage 2 ”Hot leads” and stage 3 “Qualified leads”. Visitors pass a stage once they pass the stage threshold, represented by a point value. The threshold of the highest stage usually is the point value that, according to your analysis, represents a visitor should be engaged by sales teams. In such cases, this step represents the first stage of a sales process.
You define how many points are attributed to a certain visitor activity using Lead scoring rules.
All scores, assigned to a contact and lead scoring type, are listed in contact profiles and reports of lead scoring types, respectively. You thus have contact details, including company and role, which you can relate to specific lead type and stage. For marketers it is valuable insight to understand what types of leads and what lead characteristics matter most and result in higher conversion rates.
NOTE: A lead's activity usually changes on a daily basis, therefore a lead's individual score also varies over time.
The most important integration between marketing and sales teams is to notify sales team once visitors pass a specific engagement threshold that turn these visitors into qualified leads. Thus, there is a clear distinction between visitors to be nurtured and visitors to be directly communicated to by sales. What is more, you can specify different members of the sales team to be notified for different stages of engagement. As a result, you make sure leads of all stages are taken care of by the proper sales division and the right communication.
Notifications are sent as emails containing the URL of the profile of the visitor that qualifies as lead.
You created a lead scoring type and named it New leads with three engagement stages:
- Cold leads
- Hot leads
- Marketing qualified leads
If visitors pass the threshold of:
- Cold leads stage – no notification is sent
- Hot leads stage – notification is sent to marketing department (potentially contacts will be nurtured by specific email campaigns)
- Marketing qualified leads – notifications are sent to the sales department (specific contacts can be targeted personally)