The Future Of Lead Scoring: Now In 3D

For years, marketers have relied on lead scoring to identify prospects who are most likely to become customers. Scoring prospects based on two dimensions–who they are and how they interact with your brand–is no longer a sufficient measure to project future activity, let alone find and grow the most valuable relationships into revenue generating streams. 

There’s a new trend emerging in the lead scoring space, recently introduced to the marketplace by a select group of informed marketing technologists. It’s what they like to call three-dimensional lead scoring. 

3D (three-dimensional) lead scoring adds depth to how marketers and sales professionals view customers and prospects, and delivers a more accurate picture of where they are in their relationship with your brand and their readiness to buy. 

Here’s how it works. Traditional lead scoring provides marketers a score to help determine which targets are worthy of a marketer’s time and other resources. These scores are based on two points of data:

  • Demographics – These points are earned by prospects based on factors such as their title, company revenue and geographic location. Organizations decide which factors are the most important based on the profile associated with profitable customers.

  • Behavior – Behavior points are assigned when a prospect interacts with the company or brand. This can include visiting a website, downloading a white paper, clicking on a link and participating in a webinar, among others. 

Points are tallied and the higher the score, the more likely the prospect is actively engaged in the buying process and should be routed to sales as a marketing qualified lead.

Unfortunately, lead scoring hasn’t kept pace with today’s sophisticated relationship marketing initiatives. Scoring a prospect’s profile fit and engagement level does not reveal anything about the stage of the relationship they’re in with your brand. Two prospects can have similar lead scores while being at different stages in the customer lifecycle.

How does 3D scoring work?

3D scoring adds a third layer to lead scoring. This layer, the lifecycle stage, allows marketers to group prospects into different stages of the relationship, which gives marketers a more precise understanding of the prospect and enables more personalized communications.

Some of the benefits of 3D scoring include:

  • More effective segmentation of groups – 3D scoring gives marketers insight into stages of engagement and enables them to easily segment prospects in the stages that are most ready to buy, and to nurture those in other stages. Marketers can quickly adjust the definition of the ideal customer, then automatically find more people who fit that description. 

  • Easier identification of trends – By categorizing people based on lifecycle stage, it’s easy to identify and act on trends. For example, marketers can identify common actions taken by all prospects in the Qualified Prospect stage. They can then develop strategies to encourage prospects to take these same steps, thereby growing their marketing qualified leads.

  • More efficient testing of strategies – Since marketers can view groups of prospects based on any criteria (demographic or behavioral), it’s easier to do what-if analyses of strategies and messaging.
  • Easier midstream adjustments – The lifecycle layer allows marketers to quickly and nimbly incorporate key learnings as they happen.

Because marketing is becoming more sophisticated, adding a lifecycle layer to lead scoring gives marketers greater insight into customers and prospects, which enables marketers to make better decisions to drive revenue.

1 comment about "The Future Of Lead Scoring: Now In 3D ".
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  1. Terence Lee from TCMPi, November 1, 2012 at 12:19 p.m.

    Good summary Troy, thanks. The challenge with lifecycles is that most selling organizations make the common mistake of aligning lifecycle to the sales process, vs. the Buying process. For example, in the B2B sales process of a software company there is a common step of "Demonstration" - a demonstration was performed for the prospect. However, the buyer's process may require 5 demonstrations, to multiple people in different divisions. Noting you have conducted a demonstration informs the sales process but is actually a poor indicator of their willingness to buy. Would be interesting to accomodate both: where do we, as sellers, believer we are in the sales process, vs. where we believe the buyer is in the buying cycle. For example, the Vision Lock selling methodology is based on buyer process - sounds great, but in reality, it is not so easy to align the Vision Lock "buyers clock" to actual buyer behavior.

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