B2B Marketing Zone

Building a Blueprint for Sales and Marketing Success, Step 3: Understanding Lead Scoring

Building a Blueprint for Sales and Marketing Success, Step 3: Understanding Lead Scoring

Building a Blueprint for Sales and Marketing Success, Step 3: Understanding Lead Scoring

Step 3. Understanding Lead Scoring

Mr. Stacy Gentile of Invigra and Jeff Linton of Act-On Software delivered a webinar about The Blueprint for Sales and Marketing Success. This series of posts addresses key points made in the webinar.

Lead Scoring

Once your list is built, you need to begin figuring out who on your list is most worthy of your time, or of your sales team’s time. If you’re using marketing automation, then you can apply lead scoring to answer  this question.

Start by looking at three things: demographics, digital behaviors, and qualification questions.

Demographics. You should be able to award points to a contact based on different industries, job titles, revenue, geography; you can add as many factors as have meaning for you. The goal is to develop a reliable system that will let you say, “This person (with a higher point score) is more important to us than this person.”

Digital behaviors. Set up a lead scoring system that tracks a prospect’s entire digital footprint.

  • You can assign points to email activities such as email opens and click-throughs
  • You can assign points for website visits, and  assign different points for different pages
  • Anytime someone downloads a white paper or watches a video or attends a webinar, they should get points for that behavior
  • But: All assets do not have equal value. You should consider which papers/webinars/etc. provide the best buying signals and score those higher. Look at the buyer’s journey, study your buyer personas, and score to map to those
  • Make sure you have enough content to score; that means interesting emails with links, downloadable assets such as white papers, webinars, videos, etc.
  • Don’t forget to score offline behavior as well, such as trade show attendance or golf tournament participation, or how someone answers questions in a qualifying phone call
  • You can even assign negative points; if someone is spending a lot of time on your site but is obviously focused on your careers page, they’re probably looking for a job and it would be a real waste of time for a salesperson to follow up. You want to assign a negative score so that doesn’t happen

The point is to be able to look at a prospect and say, “Not only is this person a good fit for us in terms of industry, revenue, company size, etc., but they’ve also amassed a large digital footprint in relation to other people who haven’t scored as high.” If you’re a salesperson looking at this in the system, it’s pretty easy to figure out who you should call first – and who you shouldn’t call at all.

Qualification questions. These are generally used by sales development reps.You want good, solid qualifying questions that will help get to the core reasons that someone visits a particular page, and let you understand where they are in the process. Not the selling process, note; you want to know where they are in the buying process. Score answers that point to sales-readiness higher.

Lead scoring nitty-gritty

Here’s a screen shot showing what lead scoring can look like, and how it helps you determine your top-, mid-, and lower-level prospects. You just follow the process through and assign the numbers to create the program.



Two prospects can look exactly the same on paper, and in the old days, a salesperson didn’t have much help figuring out who to call first. But now, having marketing automation infrastructure and tools in place makes it a no-brainer. Time and focus are critical factors in sales success; with lead scoring you can’t help but get better results.


Watch The Blueprint for Sales and Marketing Success webinar, and stay tuned for Step 4, “Content Marketing.”

Posts in this series so far:

  1. Build a Solid Sales Infrastructure
  2. Know Your Targets & Have a Good List

Mr. Stacy Gentile is the President of Invigra, a fully integrated B2B Lead Generation company that helps organizations fill the top of their sales funnel with three primary services: Sales Infrastructure Improvement, Content Marketing and Outbound Sales Calls.

Jeff Linton is the Manager of Product Marketing at Act-On Software, Inc. 


Sherry is the editor of Act-On's Marketing Action blog. She also writes and edits eBooks, white papers, case studies, and miscellanea. She is an award-winning creative writer.

  • Tim

    Great article. I think Lead Scoring is many times a better way to “qualify” a lead as opposed to just depending on qualifying form fields. Figuring out the sweet spot for where the lead’s engagement necessitates a handoff to sales is the key. Engagement is a solid metric to measure and the beauty of the lead scoring option in act-on is that you can have certain activities weighted higher if those are the traditional measure stick for lead qualification.

  • I agree with Tim. Lead scoring is a huge part of what made us look closer at Act-On and leave our other provider. The problem we are running into is what those scores should be based on other areas of business and what they want to weight them. All part of the learning curve, but even so our results have been much cleaner and the contacts more sonsistent.

  • Cory

    Great article and thanks for including the visuals. I especially like the idea of awarding “negative” point to certain leads such as students. Our company get lots of inquiries from students and teachers doing research but actual sales from this channel are limited when compared with other groups we serve.

    I am curious to know if there is a recommended scale to start with for lead scoring.

  • The point that stuck me the most was how all assets do not have equal value.

    I was thinking of consider papers/webinars/participation as the best buying signals and score them higher.

    Even your mention of scoring offline engagement as well.

    The information provided through the platform is excellent for understanding “who to call first”

    Thank you!

  • Our company is actually re-evaluating this right now. We have looked at several factors to help us determine point values, which seems to bee the trickiest part of all of it. We also have triggers set up so that once the points reach a certain number, the sales rep for that region will be notified. This article really helped put a few things in perspective though. Thanks for the thorough explanation and great ideas!

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