Developing an effective lead scoring methodology in Dynamics 365

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Lead scoring models provide marketers and salespeople with a way to see how close a lead is to becoming an opportunity or even a sale. Typically lead scoring models calculate a score for each lead based on demographic details such as location or job title, and/or behaviors like opening a marketing email or visiting a website. Each action itself can generate a point value for the lead that adds up to an accumulative score. So how do you know if your scores are accurate for where the lead is in the sales cycle? The key to making an effective lead scoring model is reviewing and adjusting point values as you go. Before diving into methodology, let’s look at how lead scoring models work in Dynamics 365 Marketing.

How to create a lead scoring model in Dynamics 365 Marketing

The Lead Scoring entity in Dynamics 365 is located in Dynamics 365 Marketing. If you are unfamiliar with Dynamics 365 Marketing, it is Microsoft’s answer to Hubspot – a robust digital marketing application built into the Dynamics 365 ecosystem. On top of email marketing, event marketing, social media marketing, and marketing automation – Microsoft has built a lead scoring entity to track lead scores based on marketing campaigns within Dynamics 365.

For more information about setting up a lead scoring model in Dynamics 365, check out this blog that walks through the entire process. It’s important to note that before a lead can be scored it must be associated with a contact or account record in Dynamics 365.

Scoring methodology

The most important piece of a lead scoring model is the point values attached to lead actions or contact attributes. If a point value is set too high, a salesperson may mistakenly think that the lead is ready for the next step in the sale cycle and attempt to move them forward at the wrong point. While initial point values should be considered carefully, it will take constant evaluation and adjustment to get to a point where your lead scoring model accurately tells you where the lead is in the sales cycle.

A quick google search will turn up point scoring methodologies that tell you exactly what point values you should assign to each action. The truth is there is no one size fits all method when it comes to assigning point values. Your sales process and target market is not the same as every other business. So where should you start? Here are some ideas to think about when building your first scoring model.

Determine a scoring scale

Every lead scoring model needs a scoring scale. Until you know what score range a lead can have, you won’t be able to give an action a point value. An easy scoring scale is 0-100. This allows you to think of a lead’s progress in the sales cycle as a 0-100 percentage. The issue with this scale is the volume of scoring actions. If your organization runs email campaigns regularly, certain actions like email opens and website visits may add up quickly. A 0-300 scoring scale may be useful for organizations that have a high volume of scored actions.

Determine a grading scale

Once a scoring scale is determined, a grading scale needs to be added to provide the lead owner a glanceable look at how hot the lead is. You can have unlimited grades in a lead scoring model, but that doesn’t mean you should over grade. A great place to start is to set 3 grades that evenly split up the scoring scale. For example if you are using a 0-100 scale, you might set a Cold grade for leads scored between 0-33, a warm grade for leads between 34-66, and a hot grade for leads scored 67 or above. You can also play around with naming conventions of grades such as A,B,C or another unique identifier. Additional grades can be added at any point meaning it is easy to segment leads further based on their position in the sales cycle if you determine it necessary.

Set Point values

After determining a scoring scale and grading scale, the final step is to define what points should be given to a lead when they take an action or belong to a specific demographic. Point values should be relative to your scale, so if you are using a 0-100 scale, the point value of an action should be lower than if you are using a 0-300 scale. This blog will not provide specific point values you should use, but instead provide recommendations on actions that should be valued higher than others.

Basic actions that show interest in your company should be valued lower than others if scored individually. Examples of these types of actions include single email opens, email forwards, email clicks, website visits, etc. If, however, you are grouping these actions into a single score, that value might be higher. An example of this would be setting the score of a single email open to 2 points or setting 5 email opens to 15 points.

Other actions are more deliberate and thus should carry higher point values. Examples of these types of actions include Event registrations, form submissions, segment subscriptions, etc. Understanding what types of actions lead to higher chances of a sale will improve the accuracy of your lead scoring models and help your salespeople focus on the right prospects.

Get help with your lead scoring model in Dynamics 365

Schedule a call with a Dynamics 365 consultant to discuss your sales process and provide recommendations for building and monitoring an effective lead scoring model in Dynamics 365 Marketing.

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