5 HubSpot Lead Scoring Steps to Quickly Identify Qualified Contacts

Lead scoring strategies

HubSpot Lead Scoring

HubSpot is a software company helping sales and marketing professionals up their game. They provide software tools like HubSpot Sequences, HubSpot Workflows, and the HubSpot lead scoring system, HubSpot Score. The HubSpot lead scoring system can allow your sales and marketing team to make data-based decisions on the outreach, interactions, and offers used on your leads. Lead scoring is an effective way of testing how far along the buyer’s journey a prospect is, and HubSpot lead scoring is the perfect way to do this. This is because HubSpot Score integrates with their other software tools for CRM and lead management, making creating and implementing a lead scoring model more straightforward and effective!

HubSpot Lead Scoring

What is Lead Scoring?

Lead scoring is a methodology of attaching numerical scores to lead scoring criteria. Each lead in your marketing or sales funnel will receive a lead score. This score is a combination of points assigned by the team to attributes of the lead, both behavioral and demographic. This can help your team to weed out leads who would never buy from you, prioritize the ones who are likely to be ready, and inform the ones who are relatively cold.

HubSpot has a lead scoring tool called HubSpot Score. The HubSpot lead scoring tool integrates with other tools like HubSpot Sequences and HubSpot Workflows to create a seamless lead scoring system for your business. This means all your sequences and workflows can have HubSpot Score added to them, giving you more insights into your prospects.

How Does Lead Scoring Work?

The lead score for each lead is calculated by adding the point values you assign to each lead’s positive and negative attributes. Positive attributes are either historically or intuitively indicative of high lead quality. Positive attributes you might use include:

  • High Number of Times the Lead Visited Your Website
  • The Lead Visited Your Website in a Specific Timeframe
  • The Lead Visited a Specific Page on Your Website
  • The Lead is Located in Your Target Area
  • The Lead’s Job Title Indicates They May Have Buying Power

These attributes can be behavioral, such as the first three, or demographic information, like the others.

Lead scoring strategies

There will also be negative attributes to which you can assign a negative score. This will reduce the prospect’s lead score, making your marketing team less likely to push them toward the sales team. Negative attributes you might use include:

  • The Lead is Not Located in Your Service Area
  • The Lead is a Student
  • The Lead’s Job Title Doesn’t Typically Make Buying Decisions

Both positive and negative attributes can be behavioral or demographic, but the negative attributes used are usually demographic ones. Negative scores are typically reserved for items that would make a prospect expressly unqualified for sales attention.

Why Does Lead Scoring Matter?

Lead Scoring Can Distinguish Ideal Buyers From Freebie-Only Leads

Many lead generation strategies, and likely yours, include a couple of principal components. Typically a website with a blog is the central hub of the marketing efforts, utilizing SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and PPC (Pay Per Click) campaigns to direct traffic to your blog posts and pages. There on the site, a lead magnet is typically offered. A lead magnet is a webinar, eBook, or something else valuable that can give a potential customer more in-depth information about a topic, usually in exchange for an email address and other information. Some people have an email address they give out all over the place to read whatever freebie content they can.

This is fine; it’s totally within their rights to accept a free gift and ignore you afterward. However, lead scoring can help you to catch wind of this before you waste time and resources on this type of lead. By giving a positive score to anybody opening your marketing emails, you leave the freebie-only leads at the bottom of the lead score list. This lets you focus your sales and marketing teams on informing and capturing interested and qualified leads. If a lead isn’t willing to spend time hearing what you have to say, don’t waste more than a few automated emails on them.

Lead Scoring Supports Marketing Automation Systems

Create automated systems for your marketing automation

When a large volume of leads is automatically funneled into a marketing workflow, it can be hard to tell when they need to move onto sales. Marketing-qualified leads aren’t always ready to be sent to sales as soon as they receive a couple of emails with links to articles.

It’s crucial to collect valuable data about the prospects, such as whether they opened your emails, visited your site, and other information about them. However, without an automated system of scoring the leads based on how likely they are to be a sales qualified lead, you can’t confidently take them from your workflow and put them into the sales sequence. A solid lead scoring strategy using a tool like the HubSpot lead scoring tool, HubSpot Score, will identify and help you to create qualified leads, aiding in your ability to market to your audience hands-free.

Lead Scoring Creates Continuity Between Sales and Marketing Efforts

Sales teams and marketing teams have a long history of feuding with each other over lead generation and closing. Marketing teams think their sales team should be closing more leads, while the sales teams think the marketing team is sending over unqualified or underqualified leads. At least, this is a prominent issue in many small to medium-sized companies.

Imagine a system that can ensure every lead sent to sales is warm and likely to convert and one that helps your company make more sales with fewer leads. This system is lead scoring. Recognizing where in the buyer’s journey a prospect might help to recognize who is a marketing-qualified lead and a sales-qualified lead. This can improve conversion rates and make both teams happier with each other, as well as pad your bottom line.

How to Tell If Lead Scoring Is Right for Your Business

There are many businesses in the situation described above; the sales and marketing teams have a rift between them, and none of their efforts seem to line up together. However, your business may be in a totally different position than that. Consider the questions below to determine if lead scoring is the next step for your business.

Are There Too Many Leads in Your Marketing Workflows?

Sales stats for lead scoring

If there are too many leads in your workflows, it probably means you aren’t effectively utilizing the tools and features of the workflow to nudge them along their buyer’s journeys. Some leads won’t make it to the end of the buyer’s journey, which we all must accept. However, if the prospect list just keeps getting longer and nothing you do seems to slim it down, lead scoring may be able to help.

You will have to ensure the informational emails you’re providing to the leads are correctly warming them up to the purchase decision. Start by sending them general information on the topic, perhaps how-to videos or articles about a particular pain point in the industry. Later, send them information about how your products or services can help with those pain points or what your products or services are capable of. How do you know when to move on to more specific information? Well, that’s a job for lead scoring. If you assign points to positive and negative attributes for everybody in your workflow, you’ll know exactly where they are in the buyer’s journey. Of course, this also assumes you’re collecting plenty of data, so make sure to ask questions via forms and surveys and use all of the legal and ethical data collection techniques at your disposal!

Are You Unsure When to Move a Lead From Marketing to Sales?

Similarly to how a good lead scoring model can tell you when to move a lead from one type of informational content to another, it can tell you when a lead is warm enough to be worth reaching out to individually. Once a lead appears to be actively seeking information about your products or services, such as visiting your pricing page, repeatedly visiting your website, or even filling out a form asking for more information, you can send them off to the sales team. Often, this means they will enter the sales sequence. If your company uses HubSpot Sequences, you’ll have access to all the same HubSpot Score functionality you did in your workflows. This means the sales team can further utilize the lead scoring system to determine the qualification level of prospects, which can help them to prioritize the leads they spend the most time selling to.

Is Your Sales Team Complaining About Bad Leads?

Identify qualified prospects

This is one of the most common issues between sales teams and marketing teams. Often, marketing teams send leads over to sales after a period of time instead of quantitative measures like those produced by lead scoring. Even without ideal customers you’ve sold to before to test your lead scoring rules, a predictive lead scoring method can be used to increase the chances of conversion when a lead is sent to the sales team.

Do You Need More Leads in Your Marketing Workflows?

If you aren’t collecting enough leads in the first place, it’s unlikely that lead scoring is the next step to improve your processes. It could still help down the road, but the easiest things to do to fix this problem are to improve or scale up the lead generation efforts.

How to Create a Lead Scoring Model in HubSpot Score

There are a handful of essential things you need to do to create and utilize a HubSpot lead scoring system.

Step #1: Establish Your Criteria

This is where you and your team will determine your positive and negative attributes for each lead. These will start as predictive lead scoring criteria based on intuition, but if you have any data points ready, utilize them in the next step to ensure your criteria are based on evidence.

Step #2: Support Your Criteria With Data

If you have made any sales in the past or have the data of any ideal customers you’ve worked with, here’s the time to pull it out. Determine whether your ideal customers fit your criteria. Do they exhibit the positive attributes? Do they lack the negative ones? Which ones are the most common among ideal prospects? Answer these questions with rigor before moving on to the next step.

Step #3: Assign Point Values to Your Criteria

Now that you have a good idea of what demographics and behaviors you’d like to see in a qualified lead, which of these attributes has led the sales team to close in the past, and which ones your ideal customers exhibited the most, it’s time to put numbers to everything.

The best practice for HubSpot lead scoring is to make your scale a simple zero to one hundred. This scale works well intuitively, as everybody’s brain seems to do really well thinking in percentages, and it also keeps the scoring consistent. There are definitely other ways to do it, but this is perhaps the easiest. Small events like visiting your website or clicking on a welcome email might award a lead with five or ten points. Learning that they’re working in an industry, you categorically don’t serve might deduct one hundred points from their HubSpot score.

Assigning values to your leads

If you don’t have a lot to go on with ideal customers from the past, such as if you are just starting, this will be a form of predictive lead scoring at first. It may not significantly affect the potency of leads early on, but the data from sending those leads to the sales team will be enough to revise and refine them.

Step #4: Input Your Scoring Criteria Into HubSpot Score

This is the step where you get your feet wet with HubSpot lead scoring. Open up the HubSpot Score tool and put your sales and marketing team to work inputting the desired scoring system and getting used to the tool’s inner workings. As mentioned previously, predictive lead scoring will help marketing team members move leads to the sales side of things, but it will also help the sales and marketing team to guide leads through their respective systems.

Step #5: Set Up Workflows and Sequences

If you’re not already using HubSpot Workflows for marketing qualified leads, and HubSpot Sequences for sales qualified leads, your initial lead scoring process will be a purely predictive lead scoring model until you input your leads into HubSpot Workflows or HubSpot Sequences. HubSpot Score will integrate with those systems and simplify scoring existing leads. If you already have plenty of leads in one of these systems, HubSpot Score can be used to test the lead scores of ideal buyers from the past, which can be a great test to see if the scoring criteria and point values you’ve assigned make sense. It can also help you identify cut-off points, such as when the marketing team needs to involve sales or when they need to send particular media pieces.