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How to Master B2B Lead Scoring for Sales Success

how to master b2b lead scoring for sales success

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A critical challenge for your B2B firm is differentiating promising leads from a vast pool of prospects. Studies reveal that, on average, only 27% of leads sent to sales are qualified, resulting in wasted resources and effort.

At Revnew, we faced a similar hurdle. Without an established method to assess lead quality, we risked investing time in prospects that might not convert. Statistics show that around 79% of marketing leads fail to convert due to inadequate lead nurturing.

We recognized this gap and understood the urgency of implementing a robust B2B lead scoring system. Why? Companies utilizing lead scoring witness a 77% increase in lead generation ROI. 

Therefore, we prioritized establishing a systematic, data-driven approach to prioritize leads. Our goal was to enhance efficiency and empower the team to focus on leads with higher conversion potential. 

Drawing from our experience, let’s explore four effective lead scoring best practices backed by statistical evidence. Additionally, we’ll shed light on the crucial role of an efficient lead-scoring model in B2B sales.

But as usual, let’s cover the basics first!

What’s B2B Lead Scoring?

Marketing teams usually use a B2B lead scoring system to evaluate the potential value of a lead for sales opportunities that ultimately can convert into a sales appointment. It’s an integral part of sales success and can be predetermined by implicit, explicit, and negative criteria. 

Lead scoring for B2B companies involves assigning scores that signify the following:

  • The probability of a lead converting into a paying customer
  • Whether a lead needs activation 
  • Which leads can be eliminated from the nurturing list (like a sales pitch from a different company)

In essence, you must incorporate lead scoring into your strategy if your goal is to construct a lead funnel that:

  • Cultivates buying intent 
  • Converts it into sales opportunities

Is Lead Scoring the Same as Deal Scoring?

No. Lead scoring differs from deal scoring. Sales reps use lead qualification frameworks like BANT, MEDDIC, and CHAMP to qualify high-scoring sales opportunities passed by the marketing team. It enables them to score the deals they create for more strategic closing.

What Are the Core Data Source Types in B2B Lead Scoring?

The three key types of data sources in lead scoring data include:

Implicit Data (Based on Behaviors and Interests) Explicit Data (Measurable and Specific Criteria) Negative Data (Indicating a Lead May Not Be a Good Fit/ Is Less Likely to Convert)

Social Media Engagement

  • Followers
  • Likes
  • Comments
  • DMs

Technographic Data

  • Tech Stack
  • Use, implementation and adoption of tech
Industry or Geography

  • Lead's industry does not match the target market.
Purchase Intent
  • Visits to pricing pages
  • Heightened social media activity
  • Fill up Contact Us form
  • Requested for demo
Firmographic Data
  • Organization size
  • Industry or Sector
Email Engagement
  • High Bounce Rates
  • Unsubscriptions from Email communications
  • Low Open Rates
  • Low Click-through Rates 
Email Engagement
  • Open Rate
  • Click Through Rate
  • Bounce Rate
  • Unsubscribed
Demographic Data
  • Age
  • Geographic location
  • Education
  • Income
  • Job Title
  • Work Role
Data Quality:
  • Outdated contact information.
  • Inaccurate or incomplete data.
  • Invalid phone numbers.
Online Behavior
  • Page visits
  • Content downloads
  • Engagement patterns
Intent Data
  • Behavioral data
  • Actions
  • Interests
  • Financial Instability
  • Unfit with ICP
  • Customer Service Issues
  • Extended Periods of Inactivity

Understanding the distinction between explicit, implicit, and negative data sources is fundamental to building an effective lead scoring model. Let’s see how.

How to Construct an Effective B2B Lead Scoring Model

Now, let’s check out four tried and proven tactics to create an impactful lead scoring framework that helps in lead classification to drive your business toward increased conversion rates and revenue.

1. Craft an Ideal Customer Profile (ICP)

Before prioritizing and pinpointing leads, you must delineate the attributes of your intended customers. Building an ICP is one of your pivotal phases in lead assessment.

Explore the following queries as you shape your ICP:

  • What are the primary goals and objectives of your ideal customer?
  • In which industry does your ideal customer operate?
  • How does your ideal customer prefer to engage with businesses – online, offline, or a mix of both?
  • What company size are you targeting – small, mid, or large enterprises?
  • What are your ideal customer's key challenges in their industry, and how does your product or service alleviate them?
  • Where are their locations?
  • What specific pain points does your product or service address for them?
  • What are the buying behaviors or patterns exhibited by your ideal customer?
  • What elements impact their decisions?
  • How does your ideal customer prefer to consume information or make purchasing decisions?

Once you comprehensively understand your ICP, you can target companies that align precisely with the explicit criteria. This method ensures you're not aimlessly pursuing leads but actively engaging and organizing qualified prospects.

2. Leverage Historical Data for Predictive Insights

Utilizing historical data is essential in the lead scoring process. Why? It enables you to identify patterns and trends essential for predicting future outcomes. 

Plus, the analysis of historical data offers valuable insights into the attributes and behaviors of previously converted leads.

  • Accessing this data occurs within your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system. Your CRM serves as a treasure trove of valuable information. By exploring the reporting functions of your CRM, you can discover valuable patterns and trends. 
  • Additionally, leveraging a 360-degree view of your customer allows for a more comprehensive understanding and utilization of this historical data.

To fully grasp the journey of successful conversions, enriching your data with insights derived from past data is imperative.

As such, you can refine your lead-scoring strategies and enhance predictive capabilities for future outcomes.

3. Determine Your Scoring Criteria

Setting lead-scoring parameters involves systematically determining the factors influencing your lead generation process. Here's a step-by-step guide to establishing these criteria:

  • Identify Key Attributes: Pinpoint the essential characteristics that align with your ICP. These can include aspects we mentioned earlier, like – industry, company size, location, job titles, technologies used, etc.
  • Determine Attribute Weightage: Assign a value to each trait based on its significance in the lead evaluation process. Specific attributes hold more importance based on your business objectives or past conversion patterns.
  • Establish Scoring Ranges: Create a scoring system that categorizes leads based on their alignment with each attribute. For instance, a larger company might receive a higher score than a smaller one if company size is a crucial factor for your business.
  • Review and Refine: Periodically assess and update your scoring criteria. Analyze the performance of your scoring model regularly. Then, adjust criteria as needed to reflect changes in your customer base or market dynamics.

4. Define Threshold Point Values

Once you've established your B2B lead scoring criteria, the subsequent phase involves their prioritization. You can follow a tiered categorization based on their relative importance.

Consider structuring the scoring system as follows:

  • Essential Criteria: Allocated a score range of 7 to 10
  • Significant Criteria: Allocated a score range of 4 to 6
  • Influential Criteria: Allocated a score range of 1 to 3
  • Detrimental Criteria: Allocated values below 0

Suppose a lead engages in specific actions, amassing a combined score of 9, positioning them within the "essential criteria" category. This score signifies a notable qualification, prompting the need for the following actions:

  • Initiating a tailored communication plan.
  • Enrolling in a specialized nurturing program.
  • Focusing on personalized sales outreach efforts
  • Receiving targeted sales engagement.
  • Sharing the lead with your account managers.
  • Accessing high-level product presentations.
  • Joining a group for exclusive offers or promotions.

Example of a Lead Scoring Model for Sales Opportunities

Let’s now check out an illustration of a lead scoring model that combines various criteria, their respective scoring scales, and associated actions or queries.

Criteria Scoring Scale Queries/Actions Directed to Sales Team
Company Size 1 to 5 Evaluate based on company size or revenue Yes 
Industry  1 to 3 Determine the lead’s industry or sector Yes 
Website Engagement 1 to 4 Analyze website interactions and engagement Yes 
Email Interaction 1 to 3  Track engagement with email campaigns Yes 
Job Title / Position 1 to 5 Assess the lead’s job title or position within the company Yes 
Purchase Intent 1 to 4 Analyze intent data such as pricing page visits Yes 


  • Scoring Scale: Each criterion is assigned a numerical scale (e.g., 1 to 5) to quantify the lead's alignment with that particular attribute. The higher the score, the more the lead aligns with the specific criteria.
  • Queries/Actions: This column outlines the actions or queries related to each criterion. It includes the type of analysis performed for each criterion.
  • Sales Team: Indicates which scored criteria are directed to the sales team for further action. 

Typically, criteria with higher scores (like Company Size, Website Engagement, Email Interaction, Job Title/Position, and Purchase Intent) are routed to the sales team for focused engagement and follow-up.

Bonus! Which Are the Top 5 Lead Scoring Software Solutions?

Lead scoring software plays a crucial role in evaluating and prioritizing leads, aiding your sales and marketing teams in focusing their efforts on the most promising opportunities. Here are five leading solutions in the industry.

  • HubSpot - A versatile marketing and sales platform offering robust lead-scoring capabilities integrated with CRM for effective lead management.
  • Salesforce Pardot - Salesforce's Pardot provides advanced lead scoring tools within its marketing automation suite, enabling precise lead qualification. 
  • Marketo - Marketo's automation system includes comprehensive lead-scoring features, allowing businesses to tailor scoring models to match their needs. 
  • SharpSpring - A marketing automation platform with robust lead scoring features, facilitating lead prioritization based on engagement and behavior. 
  • ActiveCampaign - Known for its email marketing, ActiveCampaign offers lead-scoring functionalities to evaluate and qualify leads for effective campaign targeting. 

Concluding Insights: Harnessing Lead Scoring for Sales Success

So, here it is. We've explored the fundamentals of lead scoring and transforming your potential prospects into revenue-generating sales-ready leads. Following a straightforward four-step process, you can establish and refine your lead scoring system as you collect more lead data. 

We’re an industry-dominated B2B lead generation agency helping businesses like yours for more than a decade. If you seek deeper insights or wish to explore additional strategies, feel free to reach out for further assistance and guidance on enhancing your profit-driving potential.

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