What do you do when your leads are constantly being disqualified, nurtured, or stuck? Time to adjust your lead scoring.
What is lead velocity and why should companies focus on it?
Lead velocity is the rate at which your leads move through the lifecycle/marketing funnel. Simply put, it’s how long a person stays in each stage and how long it takes to become a qualified lead, opportunity, or customer.
Learning how long it takes for a person to move through your lifecycle or customer journey can help forecast pipeline, or indicate to the marketing team what efforts should be made to increase qualified leads when possible. Keeping a pulse on lead velocity can help find bottlenecks with processes, oftentimes related to lifecycle and lead scoring.
How does lead scoring factor in?
Lead scoring is how we determine who is a qualified lead for the sales team, who is not yet ready, who is ready again and who will never be ready. Velocity will help determine what needs to be adjusted and where.
How to use lead velocity to inform lead scoring:
There are any number of examples for leaks or bottlenecks, but here are some common indications that something needs to change and how to fix it:
Records are staying in MQL for too long:
- Are there too many MQLs for the team to be diligent on follow up? Increase score to become MQL and allow the sales team to catch up. Once there’s a reduction in MQLs, discuss with the team what volume increases productivity and adjust scoring to create the best balance.
- Are the records not warm enough and not answering? Increase the score threshold to allow records more time to work their way to ready.
- Are the records stale/have already found a solution? Decrease your MQL threshold to allow records to come through more quickly for immediate outreach (and maybe add some tasks/alerts to this too!)
Recycled stages are moving too fast/slow:
- A great way to optimize both lead scoring and lifecycle is to require different scoring to re-MQL after hitting a nurture or recycle stage. We do this with separate MQL triggers – one for records reaching MQL from early stages, and one for reaching MQL from nurture/recycle stages.
- Lowering the threshold to re-MQL means that record is more valuable and should be allowed to re-MQL quickly. This may be better suited for quick sales cycles where readiness can change rapidly.
- Raising the threshold to re-MQL will take that person more time to come back in. This will be more important for longer sales cycles where timing isn’t as critical.
Other ways to use lead scoring and lead velocity together:
If you’re tracking demographic and behavior scoring/rating separately or using an alphanumeric person rating model (link to other articles related to this), consider reporting on how different combinations move through the lifecycle.
Higher demographic scores may be faster or slower to move depending on how you’ve prioritized this information. If enterprise companies are scored higher for demographics, they may move more slowly through the lifecycle. This can, once again, help determine pipeline forecasting, and help a salesperson prioritize middle demographically scored individuals if they are looking for a quick win. (Or perhaps move enterprise scoring to a lower threshold).
If a person with a higher behavior score moves through opportunity stages more quickly, this may be a really great opportunity to continue marketing personalized content to this stage to increase velocity of closed/won.
While data can be manipulated to tell any story, there’s no denying that a story is being told. Lead velocity paired with lead scoring, can be a great informant on your personas, marketing efforts, and conversation tool with the sales team. If you haven’t implemented date/time tracking within lifecycle stages, implement this as soon as you can to start identifying where the funnel can move more quickly.