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Lead Scoring Basics: Calculating Person Scores in Adobe Marketo Engage


Lead scoring is a shared sales and marketing methodology for ranking and prioritizing leads for sales readiness. A solid lead scoring program will enable marketing to improve marketing intelligence for campaigns and improve the lead management process for your sales team.

What is lead scoring?

Lead scoring consists of two components. Demographics or qualifications which defines who you want to do business with and Behavior or engagement which defines who wants to do business with you. With those two pieces of data working together, you will be able to create a scaled system that will help your sales team prioritize their effort of prospect follow up by level of commitment.

Why should companies do lead scoring?

Sales is spending a lot of time hunting for new prospects and farming those inbound prospects. But how do they know who they should contact? Scoring programs provide alignment between Marketing and Sales strategy for objectively ranking and prioritizing leads for sales readiness with a focus on the most promising leads, which leads to a more measurable return on investment, an increased conversion rate, and higher sales productivity and effectiveness. With marketing automation, lead scoring becomes a science allowing an accurate indicator for both fit and commitment

When should a company do lead scoring?

A lead scoring program should be put in place incrementally. Start with an easy target and expand on it as you go and collect more data. The point of scoring is to increase the likelihood of a closed-win. The amount of data you have will indicate how easy your target needs to be from the start. For example, if you only have a handful of closed-won deals in a year, you won’t have very accurate statistics. You might have to start with measuring a prospect’s likelihood of becoming a sales-accepted lead (SAL).

How should a company do lead scoring?

Start with demographic and behavioral data and keep these scores separate and distinct. To do this in Marketo Engage, you will have to create new score type fields – one for Behavior Score and one for Demographic Score.

Set up operational programs to increment these score fields. Determine how often you want to increase behavior scores for certain actions and the minimum threshold required for other actions. Define the criteria for a good fit based on demographic data and batch your database through those campaigns one time so people aren’t being double scored.

Fine-tune the process and the model as you go. With marketing automation in place, lead scoring becomes an iterative process. Scoring is a proxy for readiness and it will vary depending on your marketing activities. The first time you set it up, it won’t be perfect. But don’t lose hope. Keep making adjustments as you learn more and gather more data.

When it comes to more advanced qualification, you can create a scoring matrix combining both behavior score and demographic score to form a lead grade. The lead grade will contain a letter grade for demographic score (A-D) and a number for behavior score (1-4 or more). You can also try your hand at demographic gating. Demographic scores tell you who is qualified but demographic gating goes a step beyond and informs how targeted your efforts are based on the percentage of people who are a good fit – demographically qualified.

Who should do lead scoring at a company?

Lead scoring should be a team effort within an organization. Marketing and Marketing Ops would be the owners and executioners of the initiative, however, the marketing team should be sure to include sales, customer success, and any other key stakeholders during the initial process. Scoring will only work if the resulting process is a shared methodology between marketing, sales, and customer success. Sending qualified leads to sales using a scoring system built without their input or buy-in is akin to shouting into the void.


Lead scoring is powerful but remember, it’s not a one and done process. Every quarter to two quarters, companies should re-evaluate their scoring program based on the conversion rates as well as any anecdotal feedback sales may have from the leads that have been passed over. Markets and industries change quickly so what may have been a high value lead before may not be in the future and having a regular cadence of reviewing your scoring program will allow you to stay on top of the data trends you are seeing.

Utilizing the Etumos scoring framework, you will be able to easily identify both aspects of a lead’s score and provide value for both your sales and marketing teams. Other lead scoring programs just working off of behavior score can create noise for your sales team, utilizing demographic data separately can help ensure you are providing the right leads to your team at the right time.

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