5 lead scoring best practices to help you sell more 

Posted on: July 15, 2022

Reading Time: 7 minutes

Category: B2B sales

5 lead scoring best practices to help you sell more 

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A refresher on lead scoring, why you need it, and the best practices for making it work for your business.

Imagine your marketing team are on fire. Not literally of course. But imagine they are doing so well that the leads are flooding in. Piling up in the corridors. More leads than your sales team can shake a stick at, let alone close. (Sounds like they’re running a Sopro campaign to be honest, good choice).

How do you make sure your sales team are spending their time on leads that are 1) likely to convert and 2) bring in the most value to the business?

The answer lies in carrying out some investigations, and some lead scoring best practices.

It’s time to put your deerstalker on, get out your magnifying glass, and, if you can find an assistant called Watson, patronise them to within an inch of their life.

Elementary my dear!

Quick refresher: What is lead scoring?

Lead scoring is a way of assessing the quality of your leads. It examines how valuable they are as prospects to your business.

It’s not worth wasting your time trying to convert low-value or unsuitable prospects when you know it’s unlikely, they will.

For an advanced overview of what lead scoring is, check out our blog: What is lead scoring and is it right for you?

If your sales and marketing teams are acting as your Holmes and Watson duo, cracking this case involves working out where your time and resources should be focused to sign more high-value deals

And how do they do this?

Not with their powers of deduction alone, but with lead scoring best practices.

Our 5 lead scoring best practices

1.   Getting aligned

Lead scoring’s ground zero is sales and marketing alignment. Sometimes, for reasons we can only guess at, shortened to “smarketing”.

Your sales team and marketing team need to be perfectly in sync, which means having solid and dependable communication between them.

They need to agree on the priorities, discuss the tactics, blockers, resources, and channels used to nurture a lead from the top of the sales pipeline to the bottom. 

One of the key areas in this alignment is the transition of a lead from MQL to SQL.


What is the difference between a MQL and a SQL?

1.     A Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL) is a prospect that has engaged with your marketing, for example, by downloading content or signing up for your newletter. They’ve shown interest, but they might not be ready to buy yet. THey also might not fit your customer profile.

2.     A Sales Qualified Lead (SQL) is a prospect who is further along the sales funnel, have displayed an intention to buy, and fit your customer profile. They are the sort of buyer your business targets, are moving beyond consideration and they could be ready for a sales call.

Have a meeting with both your teams and work out an across-the-board sales journey for your prospects.

Your sales and marketing teams should be your crime-fighting-duo. Without the actual crime. Maybe the bad-prospecting-fighting-duo? OK that doesn’t work, but you know what we mean. 

They should shake hands on everything they do. Getting everyone together is a great way to start that communication.

Explore alignment and lead qualification further.

2.   Balancing positives and negatives

In the rush to push leads toward qualification, it’s a common mistake to focus too heavily on positive lead scoring, assuming all prospects who tick certain boxes will convert.

Our second lead scoring best practice encourages you to consider all of the reasons why someone might – or might not – become a prospect.  This will make your scoring more accurate, and ensure that low-quality prospects don’t waste your reps time clogging your pipeline.

For example:

A lead ranks high in your scoring system because they are actively researching trends in your industry, visiting your sales pages, attending your webinars, and clicking through promotional emails.

Happy days?

Not if they are also a student studying a course. Sopro once saw a spike in organic traffic to a previously poor-performing blog post. Initially, the marketing team thought we’d written about a topic that had started trending. When we looked into it further, all of the new traffic had come from the same search term – an exam question that had been copied and pasted by hundreds of students! 

A lead scoring model can help you to evaluate which are your quality leads, but can’t always tell you if that lead will convert.  This is when you need your Holmes and Watson duo on the case. What might initially look like a promising lead could be red herring.

A prospecting campaign from Sopro can help you determine which leads are most likely to convert. How? First, leads reply to your outreach email, so we’re not talking anonymous leads here. Second, we build your campaign audience based on your ideal customers, so you know they are a good fit. And third, thanks to our newly released portal feature, if they come to your website and start poking around on your pricing page, we can tell you that too. 

3.   Know thy buyer

Imagine a house without foundations. A house of cards, if you will.

How long do you give it before the walls come tumbling down?

Creating a lead scoring system without buyer personas and buyer journeys to inform it is like building a house on sand.

Here are some questions to ask yourself when creating a buyer persona:

  1. What does a great customer look like?
  2. How do they behave?
  3. How can you help them progress through the buying process?
  4. How can you agree on definitions and metrics?

 You can cover the following :

  • Age
  • Location
  • Job title
  • Size of company
  • Industry
  • Tech profile of company
  • Budget
  • Organisational culture
  • Pain points, needs and goals

It should also detail what each stage of your sales cycle will look like – and include metric-based ways to identify where each lead is on their journey.

4.   Following up

Of course, lead scoring is not just a bean-counting exercise.

The goal here is to actively progress your best leads through your funnel – all the way to the close.

Following up quickly progresses your leads through the sales funnel.

1. Use automation

A recent Drift survey discovered that as many as 90% of businesses failed to respond to inquiries within the first five minutes.

In the digital age, we have all come to expect fast responses, regardless of the channels we make contact through. And, if we don’t get a response quickly, we have many alternative options at our fingertips.

Use automation to respond to messages quickly and efficiently. Read our guide on speeding up your sales cycle for more tips.

2. Regularly review your lead scoring model

Identifying the moments where the trail goes cold can help you to see where things are going wrong.

A well-placed follow-up strategy is critical to maintaining engagement. 

5.   Monitoring and evaluating 

We’ll let you into a secret:

Successful lead scoring models take time and effort. Unfortunately, there is no one size fits all and you need to see what works best for you and your business.

It’s the old, tired phrase – practice makes perfect. And although we’ve heard it a million times, it doesn’t stop being true. So, make sure you keep monitoring and evaluating your lead scoring model. Never consider your system a done deal because there is no finish line.

Keep evaluating through performance metrics and feedback. You will soon notice the imrpovements.

Remember your Holmes and Watson –  even if you think the story is over, the next adventure is just waiting to happen… so make sure you’re ready for anything because the season of lead scoring never ends!

At Sopro, we’ll work with you to build an audience of high quality contacts, and then help you start sales conversations with them. We source your ideal prospects and get their attention with personalised emails. If you want to grow your business through prospecting but don’t know where to start, speak to us today.

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