Build A Lead Scoring Program in Four Steps

Introducing a lead scoring program to your marketing automation efforts will no doubt benefit your organization. Improved sales and marketing alignment, increased sales productivity, lower acquisition costs — need we say more?

Yet in creating a lead scoring program, many marketers struggle with a paramount question: where do I begin? Building a lead scoring program can seem like a daunting task, but, in words of William Wordsworth, “To begin, begin.” It’s time to dive in head first; here are four steps to help you start building your lead scoring program:

  1. Make sure Sales and Marketing teams are aligned
    You can build an intellectual, efficient lead scoring program based on real data, but if your sales team isn’t on board with the model’s criteria or the plan for follow through, your efforts are moot. Meet with sales and marketing stakeholders and define your objectives. Address the following questions:

    Who is the target buyer (see below)?
    How will lead scoring affect day to day efforts by the sales team?
    Who will be held accountable and how?
    How will this be communicated to the teams?
    How can we incorporate feedback?
  2. Understand Your Target Buyer
    In order to score a lead or contact on their perceived interest in your product, it’s important to understand who your target audience is. I encourage you to dig into the data — you may find that the decision makers are not who you imagined.
    Who has bought your product before? What’s their role, function, industry, geographic locale, and company size? Are they engaged with particular areas of your website? Do they come to your events? Are they interested in specific emails? Is there anything else about them that stands out? Once you have this data, you’ll be ready to define your scoring model criteria. If your organization has multiple products and the target buyer is different for each, consider creating multiple scoring models.
  3. Define and Build Your Scoring Model
    Lead scoring takes into account two types of information: profile data (attributes that matter) and engagement data (actions that matter). When defining your profile and engagement criteria, start small with two to four profile fields and engagement actions. If you build an extremely complicated model, it’s more difficult to interpret and iterate on your results. Once you’ve chosen the attributes and actions that matter, you can add weighting to prioritize. See examples below:

    Now that sales and marketing teams have aligned their goals and actions, you’ve defined your target buyer and determined your scoring rules and weighting, it’s time to put your model into use. Run your leads and contacts through your program, and let sales take action.
  4. Evaluate and Iterate
    Your lead scoring model should be regularly evaluated. Encourage qualitative feedback from your sales organization and get quantitative data by monitoring which leads are performing through the funnel. Be prepared to regularly update your model to incorporate your learns. 

Hopefully this blog has provided some tactical information to help you build a lead scoring model to boost sales productivity with your marketing efforts. To learn more about email marketing best practices, refer to our guide, 3 Steps to Effective Email Marketing.



Bluewolf, an IBM Company, is a global consulting agency and proven Salesforce strategic partner that builds digital solutions designed to create results. Now.