Traditionally, lead scoring has consisted of customer demographics and behavior analysis to identify the relative value of individual prospects. And while lead scoring today still incorporates parts of that informational strategy, the sheer volume of data now available has made the practice far more complex.
To add fuel to the fire, new lead generating techniques widely used in the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) era, like the freemium model, contribute to an influx of relevant, usable data. The freemium model and other business drivers add new dimensions to leads, making the process of lead scoring even more challenging and more bogged down with information.
Today, data is so prolific, it’s almost absurd. There are so many data-mining opportunities that attempting to sort them out can become quickly overwhelming. But when marketers and sales professionals better understand how lead scoring has changed, they can more effectively manage data in a way that gauges prospect value. There are three main ways that lead scoring has evolved:
- An increase in the volume and type of data used: Pre-Big Data, lead scoring relied on just a few data sources, such as basic demographic information about the prospect and fairly simple customer behavior (like the nature and format of a product inquiry). But today, it isn’t uncommon for B2B sales reps to have over 50 different data sources at their fingertips. Information now comes from social media, CRM platforms, and ecommerce activities. These sources can provide a much richer portrait of the prospect, but only if the business can efficiently process the data.
- Changes in lead processing methodology: It’s not just additional sources of information that have switched up the process of lead scoring. Sales and marketing teams now have access to far more sophisticated lead sorting technologies. Innovative processes like machine learning and predictive analytics make it easier to recognize the signs of conversion opportunities—such as freemium users who are identified as highly active inside the platform being classified in a “persuadable” group.
- New channels and communication strategies: Mastering Big Data provides numerous competitive edges, not the least of which are enhanced messaging strategies and precise targeting on social media and other communication channels. Actionable data like freemium product usage, highly engaged social media fans, and email marketing leads with the highest open rates can create eureka moments, wherein marketers are able to bring prospects closer to a purchase. It’s also possible to analyze which product features freemium users as a whole engage with the most. This can help marketers build new lead-generating campaigns with more successful messaging.
With all the changes in data types and sources, marketers and sales professionals can create lead scoring practices that are far more accurate. New methods and technologies enable businesses to identify and detect the signals that proceed conversions, while new channels and platforms make it easier to reach the right customer with a targeted message at the right time.
How can businesses secure an edge in a rapidly evolving marketplace—one where it’s possible to know as much about leads as we know about our customers? By regularly updating lead scoring methods and harnessing new technologies. The SaaS and freemium era of software is challenging and highly competitive. Companies that are able to master the flow of data available to them, and use new platforms that help them turn data into actionable insights, can develop high-converting campaigns.
Authored by Titir Pal, Vice President: Head of Products and Solutions at Absolutdata.