Traditional lead scoring is broken. Conversational nurturing is how to fix it

Written by Ilan Kasan

Co-founder and CEO at Exceed.ai.

Lead scoring has always been an integral part of every lead nurturing strategy. When a lead first comes across your product, they often aren’t ready to buy. Turning away and hoping that they’ll come back to you when they’re ready to make a purchase, in another few weeks, months, or even years, is unrealistic. 

You need lead nurturing to build your relationship with the lead so that when they are ready to buy, your company is top of mind and the choice of vendor is a no-brainer. But how do you know when the moment is right to strike the deal? 

By using lead scoring. 

Why is lead scoring so important?

Lead scoring means gathering information about:

  • Lead fit,  are the company firmographics and personal info fit the mold (company size, title etc)making a purchase. 
  • Lead intent, i.e. how well your company matches the lead’s needs. 

The lead score tells you how likely it is that a lead will convert to purchase, and guides you about when and how to communicate with them in a way that will drive the sale.  It also helps make sure sales reps don’t waste time on unqualified leads (or leads with lower chances of closing).

Traditional lead scoring takes leads that enter your funnel from many sources and at a number of different touchpoints. It needs to measure where each lead is in their journey, track what type of response they are ready for, whether it’s a demo, a case study, or more information about your value proposition. Ultimately, the score tells you if the time is right to hand the lead over to sales to follow up and secure the deal. 

The trouble is that close to 80% of leads never become sales. (According to MarketingSherpa)

In an ideal world, lead scoring should help you quickly identify which leads are worth investing in so that you can see greater ROI on sales and marketing campaigns. 

But today, the world of lead scoring is far from ideal. 

Traditional lead scoring isn’t working

What if the lead that you’ve just tracked while they downloaded two white papers, read through three case studies, and requested a demo, isn’t really a stakeholder preparing to make a purchase, but instead, an MBA student doing research for her next paper? 

Your lead scoring system judged that she was ready to buy, but that’s far from the case. All you’ve done is waste time and money, and cause frustration for your sales reps.

Marketers know that lead scoring is important, but they’re struggling to implement it successfully. 

  • 79% of B2B marketers say that they don’t have a trusted system for lead scoring
  • 57% say that their top priority is to convert qualified leads
  • 61% send leads directly to sales, but only 27% of those leads are sales qualified

One survey by DemandGen found that 63% of marketers aren’t sure about their leads’ goals at each stage in their journey, and 45% say they need to improve their segmentation of leads based on intent and behavior. 

Why is lead scoring broken?

Up until recently, lead scoring was little more than educated guesswork, based on sparse clues like how much content has been downloaded at which times, what content types and topics were consumed, and the extent of lead engagement with your content. 

There’s no clear visibility into prospects’ intent, authority to buy, or position along the marketing funnel. There was no direct communication with the lead and no opportunity to ask why someone is interested in your content or what their goals or pain points may be. 

Fortunately, today, there’s a better way: conversational lead nurturing. 

How conversational lead nurturing can rescue your lead scoring process

Our AI-powered conversational nurturing platform can replace your traditional lead scoring to deliver greater insight into lead intent and greater accuracy for lead scoring. 

Marketing experts at Hubspot tap conversational nurturing as a rising marketing trend, reporting that 45% of marketing agencies use conversational marketing.

Using conversational nurturing enables marketers to talk directly with their leads and ask them about where they are in their customer journey. With conversational lead nurturing, you can harness AI to carry out individual conversations at scale, giving you an in-depth understanding of their needs and pain points. 

AI-powered nurturing conversations empower marketers to:

  • Check whether the lead has purchase authority
  • Discover the lead’s pain points to judge fit for their product
  • Ask about the lead’s buying timeline
  • Verify the lead’s approximate budget

along with many more questions that help determine an accurate lead score. 

Accurate lead scoring requires direct conversations that open up windows into the lead’s position along your marketing and sales funnel. 

Learn how conversational lead nurturing can help you find your next sales leads

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