As we’ve said before, the days of badgering customers into buying your product or service are gone. Consumers are more informed and engaged in the buying process than they have ever been before. This has lead to the necessity of a more nuanced sales approach in every step of the sales process, including defining a lead and knowing when to make the approach.
An important tool in this process is Lead Scoring, which is a system for evaluating the level of lead engagement and defining the appropriate time to move in and close. Even though there is a lot of lead scoring software available, a whopping “79% of B2B marketers have not established lead scoring” in their sales process (source: MarketingSherpa).
Small businesses need to be constantly vigilant for tools and best practices that can give them a leg up on the market (and their competition). This actually might give you a leg up and proves to be your competitive advantage. At the very least, this process makes sales a lot more efficient; which minutes and hours saved per week.
We can score leads on two criteria:
○Explicit Information on Prospect’s:
○Implicit Information on Prospect’s activities:
■Level of Interest
The apex of these two intersections is when Fit and Engagement are both high - that is the ideal time to approach your lead, compared to when both Fit and Engagement are at their lowest points. Within these two intersections are varying degrees of both Fit and Engagement. Sometimes the engagement might be high but the Fit might be low, at which point you want to watch that score to see if the Fit changes over time.
In the below table you can see the blue “cooler” colours represent low-scored leads. In these cases both Fit and Engagement is low. Once we move into the green boxes then the Fit and Engagement are increasing. An example of this might be when a lead is engaged and interested in your business, but currently does not have adequate funding available at this time. Maybe you know when they discuss their budgets or a time of year where their cashflow is higher - this would be the time to approach your lead because the Fit will be higher, matching its already high Engagement.
Make sure you are keeping track of all your leads and watching for them to move into the warmer “approach time” colours. If you have a number of leads with a high Fit rating but low Engagement, then you know you need to make some adjustments on your end to increase the Engagement level.
As Mark Hunter, the “Sales Hunter”, said, “It’s not about having the right opportunities. It’s about handling the opportunities right.” Sales leads are opportunities, but they need to be handled right to become a closed deal.
Has scoring your leads helped you to increase your closing ratio? Has approaching your leads at the right time instead of just any time led to a better reception of what you’re selling? Tell us in the comments.