When it comes to B2B marketing, digestible information is everything. Your business needs lots of data, certainly. But quality is more important. You need usable, useful information that can help drive your business forward. The issue here is taking your data and calculating the value of it. After all, all the data in the world is for nothing if you aren’t able to analyse it effectively. This is where Pardot’s lead scoring comes in.

What is lead scoring?

Simply put, it’s a way of gauging a prospective customers interest in your organisation. This is achieved by scoring each action a prospect takes on your website or marketing emails and displaying the cumulative score against each prospect record in pardot and Salesforce.

Where do I start?

To effectively lead-score, you need a well planned approach. Working with your implementation partner, it is important to discuss each potential scoring category and the importance of it to your organisation. For example, Organisation 1 may have 20 forms on the website and therefore only want to apply 10 points for each successful form submission. Whereas Organisation 2 may only have 1 ‘contact me’ form on their site and therefore a form submission may be much more valuable to them as a company. In this case, they may want to apply 30 points for a successful form submission. The below steps outline a structured approach to take when defining your

Step 1: Understand Marketings impact on Sales

Before you go about establishing an effective model, you must spend time understanding how your business’ marketing assets impact sales. Consider your emails, downloadable content, forms, key web pages, social media posts etc. Consult with your sales team to understand what it means to them when a prospect takes action against each of these marketing assets. Don’t think too specific at this point (specific scoring for individual pieces of marketing material can be managed using completions action on that specific piece of material). For example, right now you aren’t looking to define a score for each individual form on your website. This is a generic score you will apply to ANY form that is submitted. If you have specific forms that need to be scored more heavily, this is managed on the form itself that needs a different score.

Step 2: Rank the Pardot Data

At this point, it’s safe to say you’re starting to get an understanding of what actions would indicate a key prospect. You should have a clear idea about what assets work for your business, for your sales process, for your sales team and which most appeal to the demographic of your target audience. Now it is time to start applying a score to these actions. If this is the first time doing this, work closely with you implementation partner in defining what these scores should be. At nadcoms, we recommend splitting each action in to either a high (30 pts), medium (20 pts) or low (10 pts) category. There may be a couple of exceptions to this rule, but if you can try to keep within this wherever possible, it is a good starting ground. Remember that these scores are not static. It is highly recommended that regular reviews of the scoring system are carried out and, if needed, changes made to align wit your companies needs (these may obviously change, over time). Any amendments made to the scoring framework will be applied retrospectively meaning that all prospects scores will be recalculated using the new scoring rules you set.

Step 3: Decide on a Threshold Score

Once you have defined your scoring matrix, now you should look at defining your threshold score to identify when a prospect becomes a Sales Ready prospect. This threshold is the score that needs to be achieved before Pardot automatically pushes the prospect over to your Sales Reps. Set up automation rules within Pardot to assign to specific users or to assign using salesforce’s assignment rules for your organisation.

Step 4: Empowering Sales

Now you have carefully mapped out your scoring system and strategy for identifying your key prospects and you’ve passed the prospect to your sales team, what’s next? How you approach those best prospects and the manner in which you do so is specific to each individual organisations and prospect themselves. Pardot cannot make these decisions for you, but it can provide the data for more informed decision making. The score itself is just an indication of the intent of the prospect. using the Pardot activity table, your sales team have all of the information at their finger tips to mould a sales strategy that is specific and targeted to that client. You should design and devise a plan for what to do next, how your sales team should approach each customer and the methods and tools they will use for doing so.

As you can see, Pardot provides all of the tools to help the Sales team target the customer at the right time; exactly when the customer is ready. But to get this right, it is essential to plan and understand what a key prospect looks like to your organisation. Working closely with the Sales and marketing teams, define your scoring framework based on the importance of your marketing assets. Once built in to Pardot, define a threshold to determine when a lead becomes a key lead. At this point, automatically pass the details to the relevant sales reps and give them all the tools they need to decide on the correct approach to close the sale.