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HubSpot Lead Scoring: Everything You Need To Know!

Discover how to use the HubSpot lead scoring system to help your sales reps qualify the best leads to convert for business growth in 2023 with this guide.

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What’s the top priority for most businesses? Capture leads, nurture them, and move them through the sales funnel toward a purchase decision, of course.

However, quality leads can be hard to come by, and even the ones that are marketing-qualified (MQLs) take a lot of effort to convert into sales opportunities. You need to analyze the actions of your website visitors and gauge their search intent or revenue-making potential to be able to direct your attention to the best leads on the table who are sales-ready and are looking out for the right deal.

This is where lead scoring comes in. Lead scoring is a brilliant way to categorize your leads based on their actions on your website or their manner of engagement on your social media channels. Once you qualify them, your sales team can communicate with them effectively to convince them to become paying customers. 

One of the best lead-scoring tools in the market is currently provided by HubSpot (yes, every market’s favorite all-in-one platform). 

In this blog, I will walk you through everything you need to know about lead scoring, including the benefits of lead scoring, lead scoring models, and types of lead scores. The next few sections will cover how you can set up your lead scoring system on HubSpt and what are some of the best practices for doing the same. Let’s get to it, then!

What is lead scoring?

Lead scoring is the process of assigning a monetary or numerical worth to each lead generated by your business. 

The objective is to assign a negative or positive score to a particular prospect based on who they are, how they engage with your brand and other key attributes that you pre-determine (for example, contact C has looked at a particular product page, opened three marketing emails).

Lead scoring plays a significant role in assisting businesses in qualifying, prioritizing, and further distributing the best leads among sales team members to pursue conversion. 

Lead scoring processes achieve this by employing a point system in which point values are given to key sets of criteria, properties, and behavioral actions associated with a contact in a company's system. Points accumulate (or are subtracted) over time, and the total of these points is known as the lead score.

For those using the HubSpot lead scoring system, this is the Hubspot score attributed to a specific contact’s record.

Benefits of lead scoring

Here is why you should be considering lead scoring for your organization if you haven’t already:

  1. You get to identify your ideal buyers

An efficient lead scoring system helps you answer two very important questions:

  • Does the lead match your ICP (ideal customer persona)? If the information provided by the lead lines up with the requirements you've set for your potential buyer personas, then the lead score for them automatically increases.

  • Is the prospect intrigued? Has your lead shown any signs that your content, products, or services appeal to them? Marketers and salespeople must follow up with relevant information as soon as possible to profit on engaged prospects demonstrating an interest in purchasing what you're selling. 

Ideally, lead scoring will help you identify prospects who answer "yes" to both queries, indicating a good match for both parties. HubSpot lead scoring makes this a lot simpler to find the perfect potential customers for your business.

  1. Lead scoring helps with marketing automation functions

Adopting a lead-scoring strategy involves implementing a method that quantifies both marketing-qualified leads (MQLs) and sales-qualified leads (SQLs). This is significant because it helps marketers report precise numbers to the management level and gives them a simpler method to determine ROI. It also makes lead quality concrete and quantifiable. 

Based on lead scores, marketers can enter leads into specific nurturing campaigns based on their lifecycle stages to offer relevant content to them. Lead scoring, thereby, enables a business to automatically assign these kinds of contact "lifecycle stages" through a workflow. For instance, you could create and email a customized business solutions checklist to a lead who has met the marketing qualification criteria or dive deep into a relevant case study from a sales package on a call with a lead who has completed the sales qualification criteria.

Lead scoring gives you insights into what every individual lead is looking for and tailors and automates communication to nurture them further down the sales funnel. 

  1. You can align your sales and marketing operations

The most vital benefit is that lead scoring inadvertently gives the sales and marketing departments a means to define what MQL and SQL mean for their business together. 

Suppose these two departments have mutual knowledge of the documented lifecycle stages. With lead scoring, both parties are held more responsible and consequently less likely to hold each other liable for failing to perform their duties (a common problem that most companies face today). 

This process makes it possible to keep track and evaluate whether marketing is producing enough SQLs or whether sales is taking due advantage of the chances presented to them. By providing both marketing and sales teams with a common language to use when talking about the quality and quantity of leads, lead scoring also improves the efficiency of those efforts. 

In this next section, let’s define the different lead scoring models.

Lead scoring models

A lead scoring model demonstrates the qualities you specify and the points you allot to indicate the prospect's suitability for your offered product or service. Lead scoring models are typically based on a point range (for example, 0-100 or 0-10), but they can differ depending on your unique business requirements. 

Although a higher lead score typically indicates a more qualified lead or account, you are not required to set a maximum score. In the end, the measured characteristics are more important than the range. 

Lead scoring algorithms are either based on behavioral or demographic data.

  • Behavioral lead scoring model

Lead scoring models based on behavioral data account for a prospect's vital interactions with your brand or product. This frequently includes information about a product's use (such as the last login date, signups, workspaces, etc.) or events (e.g., page views, form submissions, shopping carts, etc.).

  • Demographic lead scoring model

Lead scoring models based on demographic data utilize data you have gathered pertaining to your ideal customer personas. You can include anything here—the job title, industry, business size, location, email, phone number, yearly income, and more. The specific profile criteria can vary from one customer to the other, but it is usually better to incorporate as many data points as possible into your lead-scoring model.

Now, I will tell you how these models are supported by the different types of lead scores.

Types of lead scores

Regarding lead scores, the more granular they are, the better. How can you classify your leads and assign them relevant scores based on your specific use case?

Here are some questions that can help you classify your leads and score them in a way that would be helpful to your business:

  • Does the client match your ICP or ideal customer persona?
  • How much has the potential customer engaged with your brand and its marketing content over the past 30 days?
  • Are your existing customers happy with your products or services? Have they recently reported more concerns, or are they looking to continue a contract exceeding limits?

A multi-lead score strategy can enable your business teams to use more effective segmentation. If you use Hubspot Lists to manage contacts and accounts, this is particularly useful.

Multiple lead scores establish a more accurate view of your leads, even though they result in more work. In order to create the most accurate representation of your prospects, you could develop a holistic lead score, which compiles and aggregates all of your data into a singular score.

Finally, let’s get to the real stuff you are here for. You can set up lead scoring models on Hubspot in the following ways.

How to set up lead scoring on HubSpot?

There are three ways to do this:

1. Manual Lead Scoring

  • Calculate the conversion rates of all of your leads

You can find that out by dividing the number of new customers you acquire by the total number of leads you generate. This conversion rate is an important benchmark to set up your lead scoring model.

  • Select different attributes of existing customers who you believed to be high-quality leads at the start

These could be varied, such as customers in a particular sector, those with a significant number of employees, or those who signed up for a freebie the first time they visited your website.

You can choose these attributes based on your conversations with your sales, customer service, or analytics teams, respectively. Still, ultimately, it is a judgment call for marketing professionals to make.

  • Calculate the individual conversion rates for these data points

Calculating the closure rates of every action a user takes on your website—or the kind of user who takes that action—is crucial because it determines the responses you'll give. You must calculate the number of people who, based on their behavior or relationship to your primary customer, qualify as leads (and eventually become customers). 

  • Compare your overall conversion rate with the ones of each attribute and assign point values accordingly

You should account for mostly those data points with close rates noticeably higher than your average conversion rate. After that, you can decide which attributes you want to give marks to and, if so, how many points. You should base each attribute's point value on the size of each one’s unique close rate.

The actual point values will be somewhat arbitrary (remember, judgment call). However, you must strive to be as uniform as you can. 

For example, if your overall conversion rate is 2% and your "grab this free e-Book" close rate is 40%, the "requested demo" attribute's close rate is 40 times your overall conversion rate. Consequently, for the leads who download your free e-Book, you could attribute 40 points to them as their lead score (for individual criterion) or part of it (if criteria are aggregated).

  • Segment contacts into lists and create workflows to automate lead scoring

Once you have input the scoring criteria into the HubSpot lead scoring tool, you need to segment your marketing-qualified and sales-qualified contacts into lists. The attributes in both lists should be separated by an AND, not an OR. They should also state that the lead has a HubSpot Score higher than or equal to the lower value in your criteria.

Workflows help automate the lifestyle stage attribute, and you need separate workflows for MQLs and SQLs. You can name them HubSpot Lead Scoring: MQLs List and HubSpot Lead Scoring SQLs List, respectively.

Next, follow the steps listed below to set up your workflow:

  • Choose the HubSpot Lead Scoring: MQLs List first and enroll all current contacts who meet the enrollment requirements.
  • Select a checkbox to allow contacts to be re-enrolled from the HubSpot Lead Scoring: SQLs List. This ensures that a contact will immediately re-enroll when an SQL's point value decreases from a SQL to an MQL for any reason.
  • Lastly, add an action to your process and choose to CLEAR the contact property's "Lifecycle Stage" setting. Following that, add another action to SET the value of the same contact attribute to MQL, and this closes the workflow. 

2. Logistic regression Lead Scoring

The manual method is tedious but simple and will probably not give accurate results. To be mathematically sound, try the logistic progression method.

Logistic regression entails creating an Excel formula to determine the accurate chances that a lead will convert into a client. Since it uses a holistic strategy and considers how all of the customer data points—like industry, company size, whether someone requested a trial or product demo, and more—interact with one another, it is more accurate than the manual method.

3. Predictive Lead Scoring

This is the easiest way to build a lead score that greatly benefits your company.

Since developing scoring factors isn't a "set it and forget it" process, you will need to adjust your lead-scoring method regularly. This ensures that it continues to be accurate as you receive feedback from your team and stress-test your scores. 

Thanks to technology, lead scoring does not have to involve a human setup that performs ongoing tweaking; your team can spend that time forging stronger relationships with your clients. This process is called predictive lead scoring.

Predictive scoring uses machine learning to sort through thousands of data points and find your best leads. Through this approach, HubSpot develops a formula that ranks your contacts by significance based on their potential to become customers by looking at the information your existing customers and the leads that didn't close have in common. 

By prioritizing leads, you and your sales team can avoid pestering leads who aren't (yet) eager while interacting with those who are. What makes predictive grading so great? It makes your lead follow-up approach more effective as your predictive score improves over time, like any other machine learning application. 

If you want to explore HubSpot’s predictive lead scoring process, you can learn about it here.

Best practices for lead scoring on HubSpot

If you want to be an advanced lead scorer, here are some best practices you should follow:

  1. Leverage all the data that HubSpot makes available to you

Using HubSpot as your CRM and its third-party integrations, you have a huge volume of data available at your fingertips pertaining to your ICP. Think about it. You know the traffic sources that led customers to your website, the last time they replied to an email you sent, the offers and packages they are interested in, and a wealth of demographic information. 

Utilize all available information to identify the highest-value leads, then add all the essential actions and attributes to the lead scoring tool. 

  1. Add different scoring attributes for both fit and engagement

Fit scoring automatically considers numerous factors, including the client's sector, company size, and other crucial characteristics that will directly affect whether or not they are a target client.

However, engagement is crucial and examines how frequently leads interact with your business. 

Both have value. HubSpot's enterprise plan allows you to create up to 25 different fields, and you can construct separate lead-scoring fields for each to achieve clearer and more specific outcomes.

  1. Subtract points for negative value actions

HubSpot's lead scoring system enables you to penalize leads for some undesirable traits and award points for their positive qualities.

Negative attributes that lower scores when particular actions are done or qualities are met are something you must set up.

Most company owners and salespeople can recognize certain warning signs in potential customers that indicate that these leads are less likely to convert. For example, they may not be reading emails or have only signed up for the free trial with the lowest value. It could be that they fit into a particular industry or provided a specific response to a qualifying query. 

You should consider the behaviors and attributes that reduce a lead’s chances of converting or placing them in a lower-value audience segment and try those characteristics as negative value actions.

Here’s an alternative—try RevenueHero! 

The HubSpot lead-scoring system is decent in its functionality. Still, it is only available for use by those who sign up for either the professional or the enterprise-level HubSpot plans—the most affordable of which begins at $450 per month. We believe we may have a better solution for you!

Sync your Hubspot lead-scoring model with RevenueHero!

This software application can speed up your lead-scoring process by evaluating form entries directly on your landing page or website. You can set your criteria and observe RevenueHero instantly qualify leads. 

Using RevenueHero also helps you double your form-fill to meeting booking ratio and enables potential leads and existing customers to schedule appointments with sales reps from any page on your website, including the webform on your landing page. The leads are evaluated, and communication is prioritized based on their potential to generate revenue for your business (based on their lead scores).

Here are some additional features of this lead qualification and distribution tool:

  • Round Robin meeting scheduling: allows you to automate meeting distribution and direct prospects, based on their intent and complexity of pain points, to your most experienced sales reps.

  • Meeting process automation: aids you in conducting meetings of value by sending out contextual reminders and notifications to prospects beforehand, which increases meeting attendance and eliminates no-shows.

  • CRM synchronization links your meeting outcomes to your CRM so that you don’t waste time chasing inviable leads and nurture only those interested in investing in your products or services.

  • GTM stack integration connects seamlessly with third-party applications already used in your organization to aid in hassle-free data conveyance and improve your sales processes and communication practices (especially with high-value leads).

Interested to know more? Schedule a demo on the RevenueHero platform today! 

Madhurima Chatterjee
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