How to Get Started with Lead Scoring in HubSpot

07/29/2020 3 min read Written by Kelly Groover

Leads. Marketing wants more. Sales wants more. And we all know the big bosses want more! 

So how do you make locating and communicating with more qualified leads faster? Lead scoring, of course. For HubSpot users, getting started takes a few steps.

What is Lead Scoring?

If you’re new to lead scoring, you might have a puzzled look on your face. Lead scoring is the process of assigning values, often as numbers referred to internally as “points,” to every lead you generate. Your marketing and sales teams can score leads to multiple contact information and contact activity attributes. 

Actions you deem more valuable, like repeatedly visiting a pricing page, for instance, should be marked with a higher numerical value. Less relevant information, like someone with a junior-level job role, should be marked with slightly lower numerical values. No matter what you decide, your sales and marketing teams should be on the same page, because you’ll need to nail down what scores someone as a marketing qualified lead (MQL) and as a sales qualified lead (SQL). 

What is An MQL, and What is An SQL? 

Every lead scoring model will be different for every company, but generally speaking, MQLs and SQLs are the same things – but how someone reaches those levels may vary. Generally speaking, an MQL is a contact who’s engaged in a certain amount of marketing activities on your site that would deem them worthy of being nurtured more contextually and personally by marketing. An SQL is someone who has surpassed MQL status and is ready for sales to communicate with directly. SQLs are typically the closest to becoming customers, so doing the proper work to get them there is crucial – as is scoring your leads so sales is aware!

What Does Lead Scoring with HubSpot Look Like?

You can score leads in HubSpot in two ways -- manually or using their Predictive Lead Scoring tool. Their lead scoring tool automates qualifying and prioritizing your leads by scoring them across thousands of data points. When used in tandem with manual, or traditional scoring techniques, you can build the criteria that HubSpot’s machine learning will base their qualifications on.

So, what are examples of these “thousands of data points?” As that phrase suggests, there’s a bevy of instances (which you can see in their entirety here). The categories include contact information, email information, conversation information, HubSpot sales properties, contact calculated information, ads properties, web analytics history, and private content access properties. If you have a Professional or Enterprise account, you can have a developer create custom score properties if you don’t see an action or demographic fact you need in your model.

Another critical aspect to consider when building your lead scoring criteria in HubSpot is whether or not an action or information is a “Positive Attribute” or a “Negative Attribute.” As mentioned earlier, visiting the pricing page on your website is a positive attribute, which means you add points to that lead’s score. On the flip side, a negative attribute removes points from a lead’s score. Something like that could include a contact unsubscribing from your newsletter or someone whose job is outside your ideal buyer profile.

How to Set Up Your Lead Scoring

Once departments are on the same page, you can log in to your HubSpot account and get cracking:

  1. Identify and list your criteria – Make sure that you document all the ways leads can interact with your company and information on demographics from lead capture forms that will be used in your lead scoring model. 
  2. Determine your point values – Sales and marketing alignment is crucial because not only will you want to set a point value for everything you’ve listed, but you’ll want to set point amounts to reach MQL, SQL, and other statuses. For example, a score of “80” may determine an SQL. Additionally, during this step, you’ll need to mark what’s a positive and negative attribute.
  3. Go to the lead scoring page in your HubSpot portal – Now, comes the time to input it all. After you’ve navigated to this page, assign your positive and negative attributes and the points associated with each. An example might be allotting eight points to someone who filled out a demo request form.
  4. Automate  – You can either manually add up points or use HubSpot’s automation to score them. You can then set up workflows to have alerts sent to marketing when someone becomes an MQL and notifications for sales about SQLs.
  5. Optimize, optimize, optimize! – In the marketing world, setting and forgetting is a potential recipe for disaster. Make sure to make improvements over time to ensure you’re sending the correct leads to individual departments.

Use a Partner

Need a little help? Reach out to the experts at Lynton for help determining point values, positive or negative attributes, or any other aspect of lead scoring. Be sure to look out for an upcoming Lynton Cast episode on lead scoring as well!

By: Kelly Groover

Kelly serves as the Specialist of People and Talent for Lynton. She lives in Savannah, GA with her husband, daughter, and two dogs. When she's not managing conversion rates and lead generation for the company, she's typically playing soccer or watching football.

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