How to Use HubSpot Lead Scoring For Better Marketing

Reading Time: 7 minutes
Shelby Catalano
By Shelby Catalano

May 26, 2022

Better marketing results in better sales – everybody knows that. But what if I told you lead scoring was a guaranteed way to improve both? 

With HubSpot lead scoring, you’ll identify highly qualified leads and enable your sales team to take the right action at the right time. Here’s how you can best leverage HubSpot to set an effective lead scoring model so you can focus your time and energy on making the biggest impact.

What is lead scoring?

Lead scoring is a method of evaluating user behavior and assigning your leads a “score” based on their activities. When you store all of your contact information in a central CRM, such as HubSpot, you are able to gain insights into all their interactions with your business and predict their likelihood of becoming a customer. 

Most lead scoring models are mapped out on a numerical range from 0 to 100, with points being added for leads displaying ideal characteristics, and subtracted for those that don’t.

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With HubSpot lead scoring, you can take into account activities such as: 

  • Opening emails (or not opening emails)
  • Visiting your website
  • Viewing high intent pages (such as pricing or contact pages)
  • Downloading content
  • Periods of high activity
  • And much, much more.

Think of lead scoring  as an effective filtration system that brings your best leads to the surface – enabling your marketing and sales teams to concentrate on leads with attributes worth pursuing. 

Practical Applications

While lead scoring is widely known, only 44% of companies are using lead scoring in their marketing and sales strategy. This ranking is a great way to signal high-quality leads so sales can prioritize contacting them early. And contacting early has been shown to – yeah, you guessed it – lead to more sales.

For lead scoring to work effectively, businesses need to improve communication between their marketing and sales teams. Both teams play an equally important role in creating an effective lead scoring model that works as intended.

For example, Sales can identify which leads have produced the most meaningful conversations and what the triggers were that caused them to reach out in the first place. Marketing teams can help to identify where those leads came from and trace their journey from visitor to opportunity by asking the following questions:

  • What channel did they come from?
  • What content did they download?
  • What emails did they click on?
  • Did they attend a webinar?
  • Did they read a case study?

From there, you can look at ideal customer profiles, as well as those who didn’t close and understand the differences between them.

Tip: If you’re curious about playing around with what attributes you’d want in a lead scoring model, HubSpot has a calculator you can use as a blueprint! Use this as an example and not as gospel, though, or else you’ll shoehorn yourself and not think expansively about your own data.

It will time some time to create a HubSpot lead scoring model – and it will need to be tweaked and refined over time – but that initial time investment will reward your business with great results, including:

  • Segmented leads for better sales readiness 
  • Improved sales and marketing alignment
  • Better data to Inform business decisions
  • Reduced time to close sales
  • Higher volume of sales qualified leads

Use Case: Developing a New Core Customer Base

An HR outsourcing company focused on supplying payroll services to mid-size healthcare offices branched out to the financial sector due to an influx of leads and referrals. Because they’re accustomed to higher levels of compliance, this felt like a natural switch. 

To effectively strategize for this switch to be profitable, marketing and sales teams created content that drew in these types of leads and adjusted campaigns appropriately. This was accomplished by:

  • In the “industry” field of a contact us form drop-down, they added “Financial”  as an option to separate these leads from others
  • Prioritized companies who were based in North America
  • Analyzed open and click through rates on emails to see levels of engagement
  • Saw what website pages they visited before converting on an offer
  • Interviewed new financial customers to figure out why they chose their business and compared it with sales team insights

Keep in mind, you’ll want to create similar criteria for what you don’t want, as well. So for the above example, if your lead was based in Europe, for example, it’d detract points from their score. 

How to Create an Effective HubSpot Lead Scoring Model

As with many marketing tactics, there are multiple ways to bake this cake. The deluge of data can be quite overwhelming when you start trying to get too granular with a lead scoring matrix, so my advice is to not dive too deep and get lost in the numbers. HubSpot lead scoring is an ongoing process you’ll be continuously improving and updating, so don’t stress about getting it to be “A+ perfect” on your first attempt. Think of it as a first draft that will undergo multiple rounds of edits and revisions.

Here are some tips to get your started on your first lead scoring model:

  • Start with one scoring system for one core customer. Once you’re able to show the improvement through data, adjust your process for other core customers (if applicable). 
  • Include the top 3 to 5 things in your model as a good fit and add to it over time. For example, you can choose HR Managers who convert on 3 of your offers and fill out their phone number in your form as more likely to be sales ready – each of those attributes will get points depending on the close rates, which helps you assign point values. 
  • Consider predictive lead scoring, which uses HubSpot’s machine learning in your data to find out those commonalities of customers who closed vs those who didn’t. 

For smaller businesses, manual lead scoring is viable, but is not sustainable in the long term as more factors come into play. But in the end, you’ll be able to live and breathe the idiom “work smarter, not harder” with a strong HubSpot lead scoring system. 

Getting Sales and Marketing Working Together

Lead scoring is a great way to enable your sales team to be more efficient and impactful. But first, you’ll need to get your sales and marketing teams to play well together. Download your free Growth Stack Guide to learn more about Sales and Marketing Alignment and what steps you can take right now to move the needle.

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