Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Lead Scoring - Who Deserves Gold, Silver or Bronze?

It is hard not to celebrate the recent wins at the summer games: USAs gold in Team Women’s Gymnastics and USAs dominance in swimming. But, this got us thinking about score determination for some of the events.

There are those sports that require judging and those that are determined by points, goals and computer generated touch points in a swimming pool.  Yes, all of these sports require a judge of some kind, but there are some that are more subjective.  Take gymnastics, for example: there are strict criteria for deductions, however; there is some room for interpretation that determines who will be the ultimate winner.  Who, in the judge’s eyes, wobbled ever so slightly when landing their dismount, or who showed slightly more grace in their floor routine?  On the other hand, in a game like soccer, it is obvious when someone scores a goal.  There is much less room for interpretation.

Back on this side of the pond, we are always thinking about lead scoring. What does lead scoring really mean? When do leads get a gold, silver or bronze? At what point do you send messaging, make phone calls, close deals; where do these leads reside in the funnel, and what should be your next moves? What information is your matrix based on?  Traditionally, firmographic data has helped determine lead scores; this information is fairly static i.e. company size, geography, etc., but a piece of the puzzle is missing: EVENT DATA – M&A, executive change, earnings, bankruptcy, wins, new alliances, new products, etc.

Most companies haven’t spent enough time analyzing the external temporal event data to add another layer of granularity to their lead scoring systems, making it even more accurate to forecast; close deals sooner; creating more revenue, faster.

Digital behavior simply piggybacks on all of this other important data to truly qualify the lead and place them in the correct tier in the funnel.  Do they need more nurturing? Are they ready for a phone call?  Do they need a demo?  With accurate event data, honing in on the right leads becomes that much easier to determine what your next action should be in your sales and marketing cycles.

Let’s return to gymnastics.  That wobble on the dismount can change the nature of the score and determine if they will medal or not.  Similarly, knowing that company x just released record earnings for Q2 can help to qualify that lead and determine the probability of their propensity to buy your product.  With good earnings above their projections they just stuck a dismount, hands held high. Company x just moved into medal contention.

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