I have never found a description online that succinctly explains what exactly lead scoring is, and the value it can drive in a B2B organization. With this in mind, I have laid out SiriusDecisions’ perspective.

Lead scoring is a methodology used to rank prospects against a scale that represents the perceived value each lead represents to the organization. The resulting score is used to determine which leads a receiving function (e.g. sales, partners, teleprospecting) will engage, in order of priority.

When a lead scoring model is effective, the key benefits are:

  • Increased sales efficiency and effectiveness. Lead scoring focuses sales attention on leads that the organization deems most valuable, ensuring that leads that are unqualified or have low perceived value are not sent to sales for engagement. Through this prioritization process, sales receives higher-quality leads, which increases conversion rates – the percentage of leads that teleprospecting and sales accept from marketing, the percentage that become sales qualified, and the percentage that become won business.
  • Increased marketing effectiveness. A lead scoring model quantifies for marketers what types of leads or lead characteristics matter most. This helps marketing more effectively target its inbound and outbound programs and deliver more high-quality leads to sales.
  • Tighter marketing and sales alignment. Lead scoring helps strengthen the relationship between marketing and sales by establishing a common definition for which lead types are ready for teleprospecting or field sales attention. It provides a common language with which marketing and sales leaders can discuss the quality and quantity of leads generated. Alignment and trust correlate directly with the accuracy of the scoring model; if too many false positives pass the scoring filter, the scoring model loses credibility and, ultimately, its positive impact on marketing and sales alignment.