Lead scoring is a way to identify your sales prospects that are most likely to buy. Using a combination of factors that measure level of interest and quality of fit, a lead scoring system automatically sorts your leads from hottest to coldest.
For example, if you use email marketing, you can score leads based on if and how often they read your emails. In this guide, we show you how to set up your own lead scoring system, including how to automatically track email opens, link clicks, and more using CRM products, such as Freshsales CRM, which sponsored this article.
How Lead Scoring Works
Effective lead scoring evaluates sales leads on a point scale and assigns each lead a score based on the likeliness it will turn into a sale. For example, a set number of points can be rewarded when a lead opens an email or clicks a link to your website. When a certain score is reached, your system can automatically label them a “hot lead” and put them above your lead list so your sales people can see the most qualified leads.
A good lead scoring system will measure for two things:
- Are they a good fit for your product/service?
- Are they interested in your company?
To measure whether they’re a good fit, you’ll score a lead based on how well they match your typical customer profile. For example, a company that installs security systems for retailers might look at their lead’s industry, store size and existing security system. Based on these three characteristics they can determine how good of a fit they are and score the lead appropriately.
To measure their level of interest, you’ll look at how much a lead interacts with your business. This can include email opens, phone calls, website visits, etc. Basically, anything that indicates a lead is aware of and interested in your product/service.
Once you’ve defined the characteristics you’d like to use to measure your company’s leads, you can set up the parameters within a CRM, like Freshworks, which will evaluate each user’s behavior based on the score you assigned.
How to Create a Lead Scoring System
Once you’ve defined the characteristics you’d like to use to measure your company’s leads, you can set up the parameters within a CRM, like Freshworks, which will evaluate each user’s behavior and assign a score. Characteristics will vary whether you’re a business-to-business (B2B) or business-to-consumer (B2C) company.
Characteristics that show a customer is a good fit (B2B):
- Number of employees
- Store/office size(s)
- Do they already have a system/specialist that does what I offer?
Characteristics that show a customer is a good fit (B2C):
Actions, on the other hand, are generally the same for B2B and B2C businesses. However, you will be limited to what you can track. For example, Freshsales CRM is focused on email tracking, but unlike other tools, it can also monitor your lead’s application activity such as creating a ticket and web activity such as viewing a specific page on your site.
Actions that show a lead is engaged:
- Opens email
- Clicks link to your website
- Submits webform
- Downloaded white paper
- Viewed web page
How to Design a Point System?
Once you have a list of positive characteristics and actions in mind, the next step is to design your point system.
Consider using a simple scale of 100 points as your top score. With Freshsales CRM, you can assign ranges to determine whether a lead is hot, warm, or cold. For example, if a customer fits your profile and has engaged with your emails, the person might score between 70 – 100 points. This would be the threshold to label them hot leads. A little bit lower, say at 50 points, you can categorize them as warm leads. If leads score around 30 points, make them a cold lead.
Your point system will likely take some trial and error to perfect. You may not know how much weight to put on each characteristic and action until you try it out. Too much weight on email opens, for example, could lead to “bad fits” ranking highly. Likewise, assigning too much weight to the wrong characteristics could result in “hot leads” who’ve never actually interacted with your business.
Next, we’ll show you an example to help you start your own point system:
Lead Scoring Example: Security System Installation
Let’s say I install security systems for small retail shops. My ideal customers are small luxury stores who need protection for their expensive products, although I occasionally work with other retailers and, once in a blue moon, non-retail businesses.
My scoring system is going to reflect these preferences. Luxury shops will get an immediate 25-point bump. Other retailers will get a modest 10 points, and non-retailers will start in the negative. I usually avoid non-retailers unless they show an exceptional level of interest in my emails. Likewise, I serve stores in the 2,000 – 5,000 sq ft range best but can work with those a little smaller or larger so customers with stores in that size range also receive a point bump.
The other half of my scoring system is based on how engaged potential customers are with my email marketing campaigns. Using a system like Freshsales CRM, I can set up email campaigns AND track when emails are opened and links are clicked.
So let’s see my point system in action:
If a lead comes through that is a luxury store (+25) with an interior that’s 1,800 sq ft (+25) and does not currently have a security system (+10), they’re immediately at 60 points. Now, let’s say they’ve opened 2 of my promotional emails (+10) and clicked at least 1 link (+10). They now total 80 points and would be classified as a “hot” lead.
I can now keep a close on eye this lead and allot extra resources toward them – whether that’s marketing materials, free samples/trial, a sales presentation, etc.
How to Set Up Lead Scoring in Freshsales CRM
Since a CRM consolidates your leads and helps you manage contact with them, it’s the ideal place to set up your lead scoring system. Freshsales CRM is an especially great option because they have email marketing built in. When a recipient opens or engages with an email, you can automatically add to their score.
Specifically, there are two types of actions you can reward points for automatically in Freshsales CRM:
- Opening an email
- Clicking a link inside the email
The cool thing about Freshsales CRM is points are added automatically if your lead meets certain characteristics. For example, if you want to reward points for matching your profile — be that the customer’s industry, location, job, etc. — you can do this by adding rules in the platform’s lead customization option. Before Freshsales can automatically add points, you can either use the auto-enrich function so the CRM can enrich leads with social and publicly listed details, or you can manually add these details based on email sign-ups or client calls. Likewise, points are also automatically added for visiting a page on your website, downloading a whitepaper, or registering for a webinar.
Next, we’ll show you how to set all this up in Freshsales CRM. We’ll start with automatic email scoring, and then we’ll show you how to configure the platform to automatically score leads based on their characteristics.
1. How to Assign Points Based on Characteristics
You’re not just limited to email interactions because Freshsales CRM also allows you to add or subtract based on lead characteristics. To do so, you have to set up the rules just like how it’s done for email activity. Take note that the automatic scoring will only be triggered after you enter the lead’s basic information.
Follow the step by step instructions below to score leads based on characteristics:
- Click “Add Rule”.
- Choose a field from the drop-down box. There are around 50 fields that you can score for.
- Select a condition from the drop-down.
- Depending on your lead field, you’d either have to enter the value or select the value from the drop-down box.
- Select add or subtract points from the drop-down box. Enter the value in the next box to determine the score.
- Hit Save.
2. Add Points for Email Interaction
First, log into Freshsales CRM, and click “Admin Settings” at the bottom of the left-hand side of the screen. Click “Lead Score Customization,” and then click the “Email Activity” tab. If you aren’t Freshsales user already, you can sign up for a free 30-day trial by following this link.
Here are the step-by-step instructions on how to score leads based on email activity:
- Click “Add Rule”.
- Choose a field from the drop-down box, for example, opened or clicked.
- Input the subject line of the email. Be sure that it is the exact subject line of the email that you plan to send and score your leads.
- Choose a time limit for your email.
- No Time Limit – the lead clicked a link or opened an email at any time, and no score will be subtracted.
- Last 7 Days – the lead clicked a link or opened an email within 7 days and after that, the score will be subtracted.
- Last 30 Days – the lead clicked a link or opened an email within the 30 days and after that, the score will be subtracted.
- Then select add or subtract points from the drop-down box. Enter the value in the next box to determine the score.
- Hit save.
3. Filter Leads Based on Lead Score
It doesn’t end there. As your leads begin collecting points, you can use Freshsales CRM to filter leads based on their score. This feature enables your salespeople to quickly see which of your contacts are ready to buy and which of your contacts need more nurturing. To filter leads, do the following:
- Click “Leads” at the top left-hand side of the screen.
- Click “Filter” at the top right-hand side of the screen.
- Hit the + button to add “Lead Score”.
- From the drop-down under lead score, choose a condition. For example, if you want to see all warm leads, choose “between” to indicate a range.
- Enter the values to specify the covered range. For example, I’d enter 40 and 70 if I was filtering for hot leads.
The Bottom Line
Lead scoring takes the guesswork out of determining your most promising leads. At a quick glance, you can find the leads who best match your criteria. Or, save even more time by filtering your leads based on their lead score. As a sales manager, you can ensure no promising lead has slipped through the cracks.