Differences between lead scoring and lead grading
Lead scoring is based on a lead’s behavior. This is strictly based on a lead’s activity and does not depend on the lead's company, geography or industry. Points are attributed based on a lead’s actions such as form completions, page visits, webinar/event registrations, email interactions, or other custom data.
By assigning values to such specific lead actions, the lead score is regulated across all leads. In addition to adding points for positive behavior, the absence of behavior can remove points by negative scoring. The higher the score, the higher the perceived interest level of the lead and therefore better suited for a sales conversation.
For example, downloading a white paper could be worth 15 points as it demonstrates a high level of interest, whereas opening an email may only be worth 2 points. Negative scoring is associated with lead inactivity such as subtracting 10 points once a lead has been sent three emails and hasn’t opened any, or removing 20 points if a lead has gone two months without visiting your website.
Lead grading is based on the lead’s demographic information. Lead grading is focused on whether the lead fits the buyer personas that typically purchase your product or service. This grading is regulated by demographic information rather than numerically across all leads. Letter grades are given to leads based on how closely they fit with your ideal customer profile.
For example, a SaaS company may be looking for companies making over $25M in annual revenue with more than 10,000 employees, because they are the best fit for their product. If a lead comes in matching that description, they could receive the highest grade possible, an A. However, if a lead comes in from a company making $25M annually with only 7,000 employees, they would not be disqualified, but would have a lower grade, like a B.
Lead Score and Lead Grade Combinations
Once you understand lead scoring and grading, now it’s time to look at all of the different combinations of lead scores and grades. As you can see in the image below, there are four combinations that you’ll need to have a strategy in place to handle. Here are some best strategies that can help you in pairing lead grades and scores together :
High Score And High Grade
These are your money prospects since they have a high score which means they’re definitely interested in your product and a high grade means they would be a great target for you to pursue.
Strategy: Assign them to sales as quickly as possible, and prioritize them. Remember, it is important to act upon leads that are interested in the moment, as that interest may fade quickly or they might find another solution to solve their need.
High Score And Low Grade
The high score indicates these are leads that are very interested or have shown a significant degree of intent. However, they have a lower grade which means they may not be a great fit for your product or that they may be interacting with your content and website for another reason, such as job seeking.
Strategy: In many of these cases, it’s likely not worth assigning these leads to sales for further follow-up. However, if a lead's score is extremely high, it may be worth taking a manual look at whether it could possibly be worth reaching out.
Low Score And High Grade
These leads are a very good fit for your product or service as indicated by the high grade, but a low score means they have been showing minimal interest. There could be a number of reasons for this less interest, such as - they aren’t in a purchasing position, they are very busy with other things, they aren’t aware of the solution you are offering or the problem they are facing, or they just have a less interactive buying behavior.
Strategy: It can make sense to nurture the leads more thoroughly before handing them off to sales. This type of nurturing can involve very targeted and personalized content that can raise awareness and help “educate” the prospect on their needs. This nurturing will keep your company top of mind in the event that these leads do decide to further investigate your product.
Low Score And Low Grade
These are your lowest-value leads. The low score and low grade show that these leads are neither interesting nor a particularly good fit for your product.
Strategy: Consider deleting these leads from your database and disqualifying them to make sure they’re not impacting the quality of your lists. This deletion can be done more efficiently through CRM data cleanup tools and automation.