Recently I posted an article on the ETI website entitled “Leads don't sell. Only sales people do” that focuses on how important sales people are to the lead generation process. This got me thinking about Lead Scoring. Many service agencies as well as CRM systems offer the ability to score leads. The thinking here is that if a lead gets a higher score then the sales person should have an easier time closing the sale.
Lead Scoring Methodologies
While methodologies vary between systems, the basic premise is the same. Essentially a score is attached to various pieces of information. Some score all the elements. Some score only 3 or 4 critical ones. Some weight the elements in terms of importance ... some don’t. (eti Sales Support has offered a sophisticated lead scoring facility for some 15 years that allows for scoring any numbers of data elements including weighting as outlined above.)
Mostly however, regardless of the method used, the majority of the leads will fall into a broad band in the middle.
So how effective is lead scoring? In our experience – very little. First if the score is provided to sales persons then what happens next becomes virtually obvious. If the score is high they will pursue the opportunity with vigor. If it is low they will hardly bother to make the call. If however, it is in the middle then we are faced with the regular sales behaviors as discussed in the “Leads don't sell. Only sales people do” article.
If on the other hand the rep is not provided with a score you can then measure the effectiveness of your sales force according to the actual results. This would be a useful metric to identify strengths and weaknesses both in the sales process as well as that of each individual sales person. Based on our experience however, few clients show much interest in such performance metrics. (This is probably a good subject for another blog.)
So is lead scoring worth it? In our experience rarely. It’s just another gimmick that focuses on process rather than on real sales force productivity. We have not, in the 20 years we have been in the Lead Generation / Lead Qualification business, found Lead Scoring to be a practical or an effective sales management tool.
So what works? Without divulging some secrets, ETI has a far more effective “Bubble Up” Technology as well as comprehensive Lead Rating systems which has a far greater impact on the positive outcomes of lead generation and lead qualification projects. If you are interested in this aspect please call 1-800-466-4384 (option 1) We’ll be happy to elaborate.