Inbound Marketing Blog

Return to Blog Index

5 Steps For Grading Inbound Marketing Leads

Share this post:

Inbound Marketing LeadsWhether you have 50 or 50,000 leads, it can be difficult to determine what leads should be contacted by sales and which ones should continue to be nurtured. With the Hubspot 3 lead scoring tool, determining who is a sales-qualified lead has become much easier, though.

You can approach lead scoring from numerous angles. We recommend that your lead score be comprised of two types of criteria: explicit and implicit. Explicit data is information you gather from completed forms that can determine if this person matches your ideal customer persona. Implicit data is information about a user’s online behavior that can determine their level of interest in your product or service.

The following are steps to start scoring leads in the Hubspot 3 lead scoring tool.

1. Start by looking at your buyer personas.

You will want to make note of any explicit data already present in your buyer personas. This data should also be acquired in your landing page forms. For example, if one of your personas is ‘Accountant Alan’ who is 35-44 years old and works as a

Manager at an accounting firm with 100-500 employees, the data you would make note of would be:
  • Company size (100-500 employees)
  • Job title (Manager)
  • Industry (Accounting)

Notice I didn’t add his age to this explicit data. This is because in this hypothetical, data on his age was not acquired in the landing page forms on my site.

2. Go to the Hubspot 3 lead grading tool (located in the Contact Settings).

It is time to begin putting in some rules for your lead scoring. Start with the explicit data you determined from the buyer persona(s) and add a numerical value to each criteria. The more important criteria should have the higher numerical value. Also, to keep lead scoring as simple as possible, aim to have all your criteria add up to 100. It could look something like this:


Explicit Lead Data

3. You are ready to determine what implicit behavior is important for scoring your leads.

This behavior should indicate that this lead is very interested in your product or service based on their online behavior. Examples of implicit behavior are:

  • Number of website visits
  • Number of emails opened
  • Visiting a certain webpage (like a pricing or product page)
  • Filling out a specific form (like a demo form)


Looking at the behavior of previous leads that converted into customers may help determine what implicit data best describes a qualified lead. If you don’t have that type of data yet, don’t sweat it - you have to start from somewhere and this lead scoring isn’t set in stone.

Remember to give larger numerical values to the more important factors. Also remember, aim to have all your criteria add up to 100. Below is an example of implicit criteria for lead scoring:


Implicit Lead Data

4. Save your lead scoring.

You have done it. Now it is time to sit back and let Hubspot grade your leads. You may also want to set up a workflow to notify sales team members when leads reach a certain score or higher.

5. Get feedback from your sales team one month later.

Just like anything else we do in marketing, we want to evaluate how well our efforts are working. Talk with your sales team and ask how the lead scoring is going. Do the grades accurately reflect the lead’s readiness for purchase? If not, what would they like to change?

Continue to go back every month and make edits until you and your sales team are confident the lead scoring formula is effective.

Not ready to tackle lead scoring on your own? Don’t worry. That’s what we’re here for! Contact us to learn how we can work together to get your lead scoring program launched.

Photo Credit: Mountainbread via Compfight cc

Topics: Inbound Marketing

Posted by
As a marketing manager, Virginia helps small to medium sized businesses plan and implement successful online marketing programs using HubSpot. She is a proud alumnae of the University of Florida's Journalism and Communications College, where she received her BS in Advertising. When she isn't working on inbound marketing programs for clients, she enjoys cheering on the Florida Gators, trying out new restaurants, and exploring Houston.
Find me on: