Marketing automation vendors sprout like mushrooms from the ground. The digitization of the communication process offers utterly new possibilities. Those are based on the assessment of customer behaviour – the so-called scoring. But scoring often ends at the lead generation phase. Wrong!
The last decade has not only seen breakthrough growth in the amount of information but also in the number of communication channels. A normal B2B organization that used 4-5 communication channels 20 years ago is using 30-60 today. The challenge: How to stay relevant for all your target groups across all those channels? The possible solution would be assessment of all customer interactions with lead scoring. Clicks, downloads or time scrolling a product page can be interpreted. Among challenges is filtering out job candidates, press or competition that are part of the communication flow as well.
It is common to distinguish between implicit and explicit scoring. Points are given for digital interactions but also for the profile data. Contacts that perfectly fit a target group are rated much higher – for instance, with a points system. Data may come from automated data enrichtment or from user input. High performance technology solutions for the B2B segment enable automated extension of user profile data with important information like industry, number of employees in the company, last year’s turnover etc. This runs with IP Resolution, the technology that converts your website visitor’s IP address into a domain name. By adding extra data to the user profile you can significantly influence your lead scoring. This is much less a technical challenge than a need for reasonable assessment of digital interactions in your target group! What does it mean if a potential ideal customer downloads this or that whitepaper? What does it mean if my lead hasn’t visited any of my digital channels for over a week or even unsubscribed one of the channels? sich sogar aus einem Ihrer Kanäle abmeldet? How do I react to this in a relevant and adequate way?
WHAT MAKES LEAD SCORING SUCCESSFUL?
Successful lead scoring is meant to assess all interactions of the lead in coordination between marketing and sales. Successful ‘scorers’ have 2 things in common. They continuously check their scoring with the sales! Is our assessment for this interaction too high or too low? Are the contacts that we gave to the sales after reaching a score still at the beginning of the Journey – or are we too late? These controls are very sensible and have few clear mechanisms. They are tuned according to business model, market segment or product. Think about capital goods: the communications process and the related scoring may protract to 1 to 3 years. One thing is common anyway: the need for a close and ongoing cooperation with the sales or other departments. Scoring istn’t a one-off project but a long-distance race.
The other big challenge: ALL interactions should be assessed. Example: a planned customer project is being prioritized or delayed to the next year. The budget has been cut. These inputs would impact the further communications dramatically. Would we support this kind of contact with communications? If we would, how? Can our lead process support this lead to stay warm or hot? When, if at all, should we break the communication during the sales process – and when should we resume it? This information should come from the sales activities. This is not trivial but relatively simple if the sales are in-house. But building these processes will be a challenge when your sales partners should become part of the system.
WHY SALES PARTNERS SHOULD BECOME PART OF YOUR SCORING
How do you normally organize the processing of leads with channel partners? They are not part of your own organization. Also, vendors and channel partners seldom share a common database. This is the reason why they have few chances to develop a well-judged, conclusive and efficient process for customer management. However, to have one is critical for the positive perception of the Customer Journey. For the scoring there’s no alternatives as well. How do I get feedback from a channel partner in digital form, so that my scoring works along seamlessly? Here is the clue: lead management must be approached as a holistic process. It doesn’t end in marketing. To get things right, we should understand lead management as a top level principle that suggests organizing your tools, channels and processes in the way that promotes rewarding customer relations. The lead is no use for you unless you can follow, assess and develop it across the entire lead cycle. Everyone in the organization should contribute to this: marketing, sales, customer service – as well as your channel partners and all their staff and departments.
When this doesn’t happen, data in the chain is missing. The effect for your sales? The lead is left behind in the process and the communication is no mor relevant for this customer! Way of contact, scope and content in your communication stream are totally different depending on whether the prospect has become a customer, purchased from a competitor or your are still in the bidding phase. When this feedback is missing, your following communication would come to naught! Therefore: lead scoring doesn’t end up in marketing. It starts from the very first contact and never stops. Innovative organizations can use scoring, say, to conclude which customer would most probably leave in the next months. Other staff in the organization should counteract automatically as well.
If you are interested in experiencing the leadtributor live in action or if you have any questions, we would be glad to hear from you: firstname.lastname@example.org or +49 89 716 77 59 40.