5 Steps to Cultivate Better Leads

Lead Scoring is about much more than numbers!

I can’t lie.  I hear the term lead scoring and part of my mathematically-averse brain shuts down a little.  I picture millions of numbers scattered across spreadsheet after spreadsheet after spreadsheet.  I envision quiet drones sitting in a cold quiet room…counting.  It intimidates me.

However, recently I had an internal conversation about lead scoring and it’s relationship to sales and marketing, and it opened my eyes.  While the numbers involved in lead scoring are absolutely the nuts and bolts of the process, the tools you use throughout can pull valuable and qualitative data that can be used across your organization - rich data that can help determine if you are properly allocating marketing dollars, delivering digestible content, and engaging your audiences.

Organizations everywhere are constantly tasked with making decisions regarding participation in endeavors that sound like they MAY be worthwhile.  The problem is that many times, there is not an objective system in place to qualify the return on those decisions.  You need a system of checks and balances. One that will help determine effectiveness of your efforts and provide insight on where you should focus attention in terms of generating new leads that could be cultivated into lasting relationships.

There are essentially five steps to revamping your approach to lead scoring to garner more value and long-term success.

1) Look at you current practices under a microscope. Where are the holes? What needs to be patched?  Assess your process from beginning to end, looking at elements like expectations, reporting, cadence and more. 

2) Lose the silos and compartmentalization and adopt a seamless approach with open communication throughout.

3) Hone in on which assets are engaging your audience.  Do they like white papers, infographics, emails, case studies, landing pages, etc.?  What drives them to answer your call to action?

4) Create cohesion between sales and marketing. Both teams need to be strategically aligned and running for the same finish line.  Encourage collaborative planning and visibility between the two departments.

5) Make sure everyone gets it.  Rather than having a peripheral understanding of each other’s roles, everyone needs to have a deeper, more complete comprehension. Both teams needed to fulfill their responsibilities, while understanding the impact of the other’s, and then how it all relates to the big picture.

In November of 2013, a SiriusDecisions Webinar called Marketing and Sales Operations: Cementing the Relationship, explored the challenges of a siloed work environment and talked about bringing the silos together to function as a whole.  It discussed the need to gain insight into the notoriously weak areas between sales and marketing, particularly lead management. 

The theme was to maintain alignment to ensure a strong connection. By involving everyone in a new process as it is happening, you will strengthen buy in and the team’s vested interested in what happens moving forward.  The end result, in addition to a stronger lead gen program is a greater sense of accountability and ownership across the company.