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Demographic Scoring: This is How We Do It!

A critical piece of sales & marketing alignment!

When I started in the world of marketing, my job was (like many) to sift through leads and forward them to sales. And, like many other marketers, the biggest complaint I heard from sales was that their leads were NOT qualified enough. I’ve heard them say, “You’re wasting my time with these leads,” or, “These leads are crap,” or the infamous, “Can you check these leads before you send them to me?” Hey buddy, does it look like I have time to do that for you?

When I was first introduced to marketing automation, I immediately recognized it was something that could help sales with their complaint. Me, being a marketer, while always being a huge advocate for sales, could finally help the sales team get more qualified leads. At that point, my passion for marketing automation and lead scoring flourished.

Demographics are just as important

Many lead scoring programs I’ve come across have been pretty one-dimensional, essentially placing the bulk of significance on behaviors alone. What this approach gets wrong is that while behaviors are important, they often fail to paint an entire picture.

Most every client I see focuses on behaviors more than demographics. But the best way to think about this should be in terms of 50-50.

Picture this with an equation:
50% behaviors + 50% demographics = 100% of a lead score

With equal quality on both sides, you end up with leads that are much more qualified than just scoring on behaviors alone.

Buyer Personas

A decent start to determine which demographics you should be scoring on would be to take a look at your buyer personas. Common demographics used within a scoring model are job role, number of employees, and industry. Reviewing your buyer personas in detail can help to gather this important information.

If you don’t have buyer personas yet it may be a good initiative for you to explore.

Creating buyer personas can help you determine:

  • Which prospects are more likely to be “sales-ready”
  • Which prospects have the potential to be your ideal customer
  • Which prospects are involved or have say in the decision-making process
  • Which resources your prospects will trust as they evaluate their options

Look at Your Data

If you don’t have buyer personas another option is to look at your data.

Take a deep dive into your data to determine which demographics are typically being populated on records with closed-won opportunities and then compare that to the data on the entire database. This can easily be pulled by creating a couple simple Smart Lists within Marketo or even creating some simple reports within SFDC.

Based on your data analysis you can then determine which demographics are most important and where they rank against each other. For example, maybe number of employees is 10% of the demographic score compared to job role—which is way more important—and is 80% of the demographic score.

Remember, whatever is decided here, the total weight of demographics should = 50% of the entire Lead Score.

Keep Analyzing with Sales

Like most anything in Marketo always keep an eye on your lead scoring model and adjust as needed. Work with your sales team regularly to get their feedback and understand if the leads they are getting are “good” leads or if they are still “crap.” Scoring gets evaluated daily whether marketers are listening or not. This means that sales could be in the background saying those same things I mentioned above.

Proper lead scoring is a critical element of sales and marketing alignment. For marketers, it’s of the utmost importance to understand sales’ point of view. It’s very important to pull them into the process—but without wasting their time. Make them part of the process, make them feel loved, and make the process at the very least a quarterly endeavor.

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