Why You Need To Be Scoring Your Leads To Show ROI

lead scoring
James T FletcherJames T Fletcher
CEO, Principal Consultant


Lead scoring is a top priority for many marketers, there’s no doubt about it. On average, organisations that use lead scoring have a 77% lift in lead generation ROI compared to those that don’t score leads.

The expression goes “there are many ways to skin a cat” and we’d say the same applies to lead scoring:  there are many ways to score a lead. The main point is that you need to be scoring your leads to know which ones are hottest for sales to pick up.

And it’s not just important to score leads in order to hand them off to sales. Sure, we always talk about sales and marketing alignment when we talk about lead scoring, and about how you need to score leads to qualify those leads to pass them on to sales… but the conversation about the importance of lead scoring often stops there. Leads go to sales, sales hopefully closes the deal, and that’s the end of the impact of your lead scoring.

That’s simply not true.

Lead scoring: tracking more than just conversions

Lead scoring’s impact is felt all the way through to your bottom line. You need to be scoring your leads not just to track conversions, but to track the real numbers that tell your revenue generation narrative. You need to score leads to boost – and prove – your ROI.  

In fact, a Marketing Sherpa report found that Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) netted a 138% increase in ROI after implementing lead scoring in their marketing strategies. At a time when CMOs are increasingly pressed to show their revenue impact, scoring leads to show impact on ROI is one of the best tools that marketing execs can deploy to show how well their lead generation strategy works, how they reach their objectives, and how each lead contributes to the company’s revenue.

The good news is that marketing automation software allows marketers to quantify the value of each and every lead, so that you can understand where the good leads are coming from and adjust your strategy (and resource outlay) accordingly.

lead scoring

Here are our three key actions to make sure that your leads are delivering ROI to your company:

1. Test your attribution model and customer journeys

Your customer journey should align with your attribution model, so look at how your touchpoints are performing across all your omnichannel campaigns. This data should be feeding directly into your marketing automation platform – and, if it isn’t, you’ll want to connect that right away!

You can look at which points lead to better conversions for different kinds of customers and adjust both your lead scoring model and your user journeys accordingly, making sure there are as few drop-off points in your user journeys as possible. Any drop-off points require a rethink in your strategy: they could be addressed with something as simple as a retargeting campaign where you offer services or products that make sense at that stage of your lead’s journey, or with a lead nurturing campaign to prepare your lead to buy from you eventually. This will help you improve your customer relationships and give you the insight you need to better approach potential customers in the future.

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2. Make sure your CRM and marketing automation platform are integrated

Your sales team needs CRM data to be  as up to date as possible so that you can truly align sales and marketing teams. This will give your sales team an accurate profile of each lead and ensure they receive all the information they need to approach leads in the right way.  

So go beyond ensuring that your CRM and automation platform are syncing well. Make sure your fields are accurately mapped and that you are deduplicating your data regularly so that you can score your leads accurately.  Not only will this prevent the sales team from wasting their time on weak leads, but it’ll ensure no one drops off the radar during the handover between sales and marketing.

3. Run reporting that produces actionable insights, not just numbers

Don’t just settle for data or random numbers that exist in a vacuum.  You need actionable insights: therefore, you need to set up your tactical and strategic KPIs carefully and then consider the kind of reporting you’ll need to set up to track performance in those areas.

Once you’ve established these metrics, you’ll begin to see whether the leads that were rated as the best leads actually produced the most revenue and exactly how much income these leads generated. If you find differences in what you had strategised and what the data actually shows, you can investigate why there is a discrepancy (could it have been an issue in the messaging, or the content marketing strategy for that particular kind of customer, or maybe a stage in your lead nurturing campaigns) and then adjust your strategy based on these results.

Lead scoring boosts ROI:  that’s why 68% of highly effective and efficient marketers highlighted lead scoring as a top revenue contributor. It’s time to rethink how we talk about lead scoring – and recognize its importance in proving your strategic return on investment.

Marketing automation tools make lead scoring easy – let’s talk about maximising your lead scoring campaigns.