A scoring model your GTM team will fall in love with

Lead scoring is one of those things companies tend to spend far too much time on and often use improperly. This has led to the cynicism of sales and marketing teams when it comes to trusting the contacts for outreach-driven activities. 

Rebrand ‘lead’ with ‘human’

Before we dive into the scoring model, let’s quickly agree on one core concept: leads are human beings. The traditional concept of a lead is broken due to many teams misusing the term. So can we just agree — unless you have a clear, documented definition your entire organization uses, you might as well just do everyone a favor and not use it at all.

I’ve experienced every way of defining the individuals we attempt to communicate to, engage with and sell to from both an individual and brand level. Hopefully, I can spare you the headache with this simple shift around prioritizing who you reach out to and how. Enter the concept of a scoring model. 

A strong and effective scoring model should accomplish two things. Here are questions the score should answer immediately:

  • Is this person someone we want to talk to grow our business?
  • What have they recently done to help shape how we reach out to them?

It’s that simple. You can craft the most complex and complicated scoring model and impress all your friends with the hard work you put into it. But at the end of the day, you’re only using this score to justify a single or set of communications. 

Dig deeper: Lead scoring for existing customers: Best of the MarTechBot

The lead scoring model

A letter grade based on ICP data

It seems like every day, there’s a new company reaching out, trying to offer the best data enrichment as if they have some secret sauce the big players don’t. Accessing this data on individuals is extremely easy — and you should use it. So, we know the first goal is to identify whether or not this is a person we want to talk to to grow the business. I like to grade this from A to D:

  • A is the ultimate ICP fit, has the perfect decision-making job title, is employed at a company that fits the buttery goodness we know we can help and is in the range of revenue where we can at least assume they have a healthy enough budget to meet our ideal ACV.
  • B is the less attractive version of A but is still worth exploring because of the other half of their score (which we will get to shortly). This means they’re at the perfect company and employee size and fit the revenue threshold but may have a “manager” title or something with less perceived buying authority. 
  • C can either be this is the right title, but everything else about their company is a toss-up — or — vice versa, where the company is great, but it’s an intern or an entry-level title unlikely to carry the influence necessary to sway the buyers. 
  • D is the catch-all for a few things. This can be students, investors, competitors and anyone else not worth reaching out to. 

Numerical score based on behavior

This is the most important portion of the scoring model as it can tell you exactly what conversation you need to have based on how and what someone has engaged with. This is also more closely aligned with the traditional scoring models. Now, how I like to do this a bit more purposefully is in the details:

  • Offer high scores to your most desired behaviors. This means demo requests, free trial sign-ups, account creations, etc., as you’ll want to quickly see that this person completed an action that deserves your attention. I often score this with an absurd number — like 100 or 1,000 — so I can quickly look at it and know exactly what to do. 
  • Offer good scores for engaging with content that focuses directly on your product. This means product guides, product overview videos, product webinars, viewing your product pages, etc. I typically score these at 10-15, so if they engage with multiple assets over a short period, their score will stand out to me enough to look at their journey. 
  • Offer very, very low scores for things that don’t equate to your product. I’m talking about single-digit scores like 1 or 2 for blog post views, a home page view, looking at educational-type resources, etc. Why? Because I want to see the score and instantly know if it’s worth diving into their journey to see if there’s any reason to reach out. It’s still important to score them because you can use this to showcase the health and growth of engagement across your database. It also shows your broader team that these engaged individuals haven’t done anything with our product yet, so feel free to ignore them. 

Now, when it comes to ensuring the relevancy of these scores, I always put a steep decay in whatever your typical discovery phase looks like within your industry. If you want a safe bet, stick with less than 60 days. After that, you should eliminate any score from behavior within that window.

Why? Chances are, if that individual hasn’t done anything with your company assets in a 60-day window, you’ve probably lost them. You should inspect it to at least uncover why. It could be they discovered a competitor, left the company, switched roles or simply found your content unhelpful. Whichever it is, it’s great insight when refining your entire GTM program. 

Dig deeper: Redefining ‘leads’ in B2B: Why data enrichment is key for lead gen

That’s it, that’s the model

So there you have it! If it seems too simple, it’s because it’s supposed to be. Scoring should not be cumbersome, nor should it take more than two people to knock it out in a single afternoon. The most important part is how you educate your GTM team to understand and use the scores to make their lives easier. 


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