Imagine your boss handing you a list of 1,000 leads.
The ask: Reach out to the best ones and start a conversation.
Then, close the deals. Oh, and do it all by the end of the week.
It’s a tall task, but one that’s all too real for anyone in ad sales.
Which leads do you call or email first? Which ones can wait for a date to be named later?
The answer: lead scoring.
Let’s explore lead scoring and the top 3 reasons it’s so important to sellers’ success.
What’s Lead Scoring?
Lead scoring is the process of assigning a value to leads and ranking them against others. Lead scoring helps sales reps maximize their time, engage with the right prospects, and, ultimately, close more deals.
Lead scoring rules vary by company, but generally, higher-intent behaviors warrant more points. For example, a lead will likely get more points for requesting a demo than they would for simply opening a sales email or returning a call.
Similarly, a lead is likely to receive a higher score the closer they are to the company’s ideal customer profile (ICP). For example, a lead in the right industry and with the right budget would likely be ranked higher than one outside of the company’s industry purview.
Data points to score your leads
- Job title (seniority)
- Company size
- Time at company
- Content downloads
- Website engagement
- Email opens
- Social media engagement
The list goes on. The more points awarded to a lead, the higher they should be on your list. It’s that simple.
Why Does Lead Scoring Matter?
The definition above should paint a picture of lead scoring’s importance, but let’s dive deeper into 3 specific reasons sellers should put a premium on it in 2023 and beyond.
1. Lead scoring maximizes your time
No hard-and-fast rule determines how long a seller works each week.
While sellers often work long and unconventional hours, there’s still no getting around the fact that there’s only so much time in the day.
For that reason, time management is critical to the success of ad sales reps. It’s cliche, but time really is money.
A lead scoring system determines which leads deserve the most time and attention.
The system of ranking contacts assures that ad sales reps will speak to more qualified leads first, close more deals, and generate more revenue earlier and in a shorter amount of time.
The system also eliminates wasted time between calls because the ad sales rep can’t decide who to contact next.
2. Lead scoring improves communication
Prospecting is a critical and unavoidable step in the sales process.
If ad sales reps want to communicate effectively with a lead, they must first research the company, its go-to-market strategy, past and current clients, competitors, industry trends, and more.
Building a lead scoring model will help ad sales reps achieve their pre-sales goal of filling their pipeline with leads who warrant the most attention and have the highest value (to them and the business).
Ad sales reps can start crafting relevant and targeted pitches, beginning with their most valuable leads.
3. Lead Scoring Ensures Every Account Is a Qualified Sales Opportunity
A lead is scored based on their characteristics, like their personal and company demographics, and their actions, such as their internet and email behavior.
A lead who is a good fit demographically and engaged with the company will be given a higher score. Going further and categorizing leads into temperatures of “hot,” “warm,” and “cold” will help ad sales reps create more manageable call lists.
Reps should prioritize the “hot” leads or those scoring between 76 and 100.
They can then call the “warm” leads, which range between 26 and 50, and then move on to the least valuable, “cold” leads, which rank from 0 to 25.
Ad sales reps can refrain from contacting these “cold” leads altogether if they feel that the leads are hopeless, saving them even more time.
Lead scoring helps ad sales reps consistently pitch to qualified, valuable prospects or contacts with a high potential of becoming revenue-generating clients.
4. Lead Scoring Helps the Marketing Team
The value of lead scoring extends beyond the sales team. A good lead-scoring system can also be an invaluable tool for the marketing team.
By understanding what you deem a “high-quality” lead, the marketing team can better craft their campaigns to target similar audiences. They can even take it further by targeting their campaigns at high-scoring leads that augment the sales process and accelerate the deal.
Think of this as an extension of the sales team. The sales-marketing relationship has always been key; a lead-scoring system will do nothing but strengthen it.
Lead Scoring: The Key to Ad Sales Success
Sales are built on a sense of urgency due to the need to engage leads quickly.
Time management, therefore, is key for ad sales reps combing through a high volume of incoming leads or a large account list to find those most qualified.
Ad sales reps must accurately, yet quickly, examine the leads who have expressed interest in, and interacted with, their company. The more leads that become prospects and revenue-generating clients, the better.
Yet, there are challenges that ad sales reps encounter, all of which prevent—or slow down—sales. It’s especially frustrating to reps when they waste their time on a lead with little to no potential to become customers.
This is where lead scoring comes into play.
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