Whether you’re looking to implement a new lead scoring model in your organization or improving the one you already have in place, there are essential ingredients for long-term success. For those new to the party, a lead scoring model helps organizations identify qualified leads most likely to become a viable prospect. Scoring provides a framework to maximize efforts tied directly to closed deals and revenue generation. 

In my years of RevOps experience, I’ve tinkered with broken lead score modeling as well as guiding organizations to implement new models. These ingredients are essential for success, creating models that actually work.

It’s Not About the Software. It’s About Human Behaviors.

You don’t need to buy a specialized lead score modeling system. That’s great news for start-ups who need to run on a lean martech stack. You can create a successful lead scoring model using your existing data within your existing systems. I believe it’s better to use what you already have rather than chasing data you may get. Don’t be lured by the bells and whistles of dedicated systems. Start first with the information and real-world experience you already have.

Things Will Go Wrong and That’s a Good Thing.

Be agile. No, you don’t have to be a certified scrum master. I’m referring to a willingness to change your scoring rubric based on real-world results. Even with the best laid plans, things will go awry. For example, you get a super hot lead and your sales team is already scrambling to work their maximum-allotted book of leads. Now what? Agile thinking may be as simple as having a contingency plan in place or problem-solving on the fly. Often these hiccups are the genesis for significant improvements. 

The magical ingredient here is the ability to be simultaneously prescriptive and descriptive: knowing when to insist on following the model and when to alter course to aid the sales process. Ultimately your target audience’s behaviors will tell you when you’re doing it right and when you’ve missed the mark.

A Model That’s Open to Influence

Here’s a crazy idea: talk to your sales team and the customers who’ve bought from you. It can be as simple as a survey or as in depth as an interview. Getting feedback from customers on what influenced their decision is gold. So is getting input from your sales team about what content accelerates pipeline velocity. The creation of a lead scoring model is a collaborative process, one that is influenced by those in the sales process. It’s also an adaptive model, integrating learnings from A/B testing.

Before Assigning Value, Talk It Out

Lead scoring projects often get tripped up with assigning values to attributes and behaviors. I’ve found that writing out a hypothesis in plain language is more useful than complex and convoluted grading rubrics. Here’s an example: A whitepaper download is more important than email. Now that you have a working hypothesis, find the data to prove or disprove it. See how simple it can be? 

Single Point of Truth Dashboard

If you aren’t already measuring all of the components represented in your lead score modeling, fix that first. You need to be able to analyze the data at a granular level and roll it up to a dashboard that everyone can use to measure results. This dashboard is the touchstone for everyone in the organization — marketing, sales, finance, success.

Now What?

Building and implementing a lead scoring modeling system is a fairly straightforward process. Here’s a Lead Scoring guide that outlines the logical steps to create one. Or, you can start a conversation with me.

Benjamin Reynolds, Founder and CEO of Alternative Partners

revenue growth

Entrepreneurial by nature and an artist by trade, Benjamin turned a career as a classical musician and performance artist into a Salesforce addiction. After working in a consulting firm, the nonprofit sector, financial services, and finally Software as a Service (SaaS), Benjamin had migrated from SFDC Solution Architecture to the broader and more holistic realm of Revenue Operations.

After seeing so many startups struggle or fail — not because of poor vision or even bad market fit — due simply to a lack of internal structure and process. Benjamin was driven to start Alternative Partners, a Revenue Operations as a Service (ROaaS) consultancy.

By converging marketing, sales, and success operations to drive accountability and efficiency, Benjamin helps clients pursue their core competency. Alternative Partners simply helps clients do what they do best, better.