How to close deals with lead scoring and automation
In my blog post on inbound marketing, I explained how to attract website visitors and convert them into leads. Now that you've done this, the next objective is to transform these leads into paying customers!
In this third step, marketing and sales activities are really close. This is the moment where marketers and sales people meet the most often to develop the right lead acquisition strategy. Who said sales and marketing couldn’t work together? ;-)
Next steps in converting leads into customers are providing these prospects with more information - information that's relevant to them and based on their past actions and also gathering information about their needs. Here's where lead automation tools really help. Create automated marketing campaigns according to leads’ actions and interests, afterwards rank the inbound leads automatically.
Closing deals with email marketing campaigns
First let me introduce you to Nic, our dedicated lead manager in the marketing team.
In a nutshell, his job is to make sure our sales team receive qualitative leads by improving our lead generation program. Nic has created different marketing emails to send to leads depending on their behaviour on our site and what they are interested in. Here are the different categories:
- people interested in using Odoo in their company
- people interested in selling Odoo
- people who downloaded the software
- people who used the software online
Of course, there are times when leads don't fall into just one of the above categories and Nic is prepared for that as well. For example, people interested in using Odoo in their company who have also used the software online could receive an automatic and personalized email containing either a white paper or news about promotions.
Here is an example of how you could organize your automated marketing email campaigns in a diagram view:
As I wrote in my second blog post on inbound marketing, don’t forget to always add a call to action in your content. Every time you create marketing material with a clear objective, you must include a call to action.
Next, Nic sets schedules for sending out marketing emails – for instance, right after someone has finished the online registration for the CRM app, they are sent a "how-to email" with a call to action to register for a webinar or a demo.
Nurturing leads with email marketing campaigns is a good way to qualify needs, to support the potential customer in the buying decision cycle and to increase the lead conversion rate by triggering sales.
Now it's your turn to start building your own email marketing campaign. There's some great information to help you design your email in our blog posts Easy rules for doing effective mass mailing part 1 and part 2.
Closing deals with lead scoring
Once your marketing campaigns are up and running, you'll attract more qualitative inbound leads. Now you need a system to sort them so that you can send those qualitative leads to your sales team.
Lead scoring, a technique in the third step of inbound marketing, is basically ranking leads based on explicit or implicit data.
When deciding on a lead managment strategy with your sales team, you should set a graph to score leads based on two dimensions:
- explicit: demographics (company, location, company size, contact information, etc.)
- implicit: behavior (visited a specific webpage, replied to an email, etc.)
Here are a few examples of scoring rules that could be used. The following conditions are based on the explicit dimension and they are additional. Moreover, the quality score is 100+:
- Phone number is not provided = -50
- Not a professional email address = -10
- Country is [one of your key market] = +50
- Company size is 5-20 = + 6
And here are some examples for the implicit dimension:
- Visited the lead automation page = +1
- Visited the pricing page = +5
- Didn’t visit for 10 days = -3
Therefore each lead is rated and ranked. Leads are automatically sent to your sales team according to their score. By focusing on the leads with the highest scores, the ones that are the most valuable, you will increase the sales team's efficiency. The scoring system is not set in stone and you can reshuffle it until you find the perfect fit. Lead scoring also helps with deciding on which areas to target your marketing. To optimize your lead management even more you can set different parameters to apply after the ranking. For example, assigning a specific sales person for specific rules based on criteria like countries, sector or whatever you decide.
Inbound marketing is a long-term vision
As I mentioned in my previous blog posts, inbound marketing is a long term strategy that needs to be constantly nurtured. But do it right and your leads will become customers!
In the next blog post about inbound marketing, I’ll discuss the final stage of inbound marketing - "Delight".