Lead volumes can be hard to predict or control, sometimes flooding your sales team, and sometimes leaving them high and dry. Lead scoring, when integrated with your lifecycle program, can help you manage lead volume without over-architecting your automation. (There’s a trend with MOPs, and that is to keep it as simple as possible to help you scale!)
What is Lead Volume?
Lead volume is the amount of leads in your system at any given time. This is usually discussed as it relates to the volume in each lifecycle or sales funnel that may be impacting your team. Typically, you will want to be able to predict a steady lead volume or flow across your funnel, and oftentimes your pipeline prediction will indicate the lead volume that is required to hit that goal.
Why should companies look at lead volume and how does it relate to lead score?
As mentioned above, companies may indicate a pipeline or closed/won goal for the year and then do the math to help the demand generation and sales teams determine how many records should be in the system given a certain conversion rate.
If we know that approximately 20% of MQLs become Opportunities, then theoretically, you can control your pipeline by passing more or fewer MQLs to your sales team. When your lifecycle program is tied to lead scoring, it makes it much easier to manage this volume.
When should a company tie lead scores into lifecycle?
Ideally if you have both, they should tie together, but if you’re still evaluating the effectiveness of your scoring program, then maybe wait a few more weeks to make sure it wouldn’t stop your MQL flow or flood it. Ultimately though, do it as soon as you can.
How should a company accomplish this?
Use scoring to indicate where a person is at in the lifecycle if it relates to a marketing owned status. For example, with our standard lifecycle stages, this would apply to Marketing Accepted, Marketing Engaged, and Marketing Qualified for your success path, and Nurture, Recycle, and Disqualified for your detours.
I recommend using Marketing Accepted as any record in the system that doesn’t come through immediately as Disqualified or other status, so records with a behavior score of 0. Then I would use any behavior score above 0 but less than your MQL threshold to be a Marketing Engaged or any other engaged-type status. This indicates that a person has interacted with your brand in some capacity. Next, use a scoring threshold for your MQL. Usually we see a combination of behavior score, demographic score, person score, or potentially grades or ratings for your ideal lead. Finally, make sure your Disqualified, Recycled, and Nurture records re-start or have detractor in their behavior score for these actions.
Now that the two processes are intertwined, you are able to shift marketing volume at any time! Seeing a slump in a sales or marketing stage further along in the journey? You can adjust MQL or Re-MQL scoring criteria to increase the volume. You can always shift it back to reduce the volume again.
How to “Level up” with lead scoring
Next steps would be to rely on an alphanumeric rating system that concatenates the behavior score and demographic score to give more flexibility on the type of lead that is going to be increased. Rather than a simple person scoring number that could truly mean anything about the person’s behavior or demographic score, use an alphanumeric rating scale that can allow you to increase better demographic records with lower behavioral scores, or vice-versa. This gives you greater control over what is passed to the sales team.
This will enable you to reduce reliance on “if, then, or” Smart Lists that can slow down processes and rely on the concatenated value instead. It also will allow more flexibility on when a record re-MQLs from nurture/recycle.
Lead scoring influences a lot of processes between sales and marketing, and when used properly, can make a strategic difference in your lifecycle. Start running reports on how tweaks may affect your volume and “leveling-up” may look like for your organization.