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Lead Nurturing vs Lead Scoring: The Differences + Benefits

Lead Nurturing vs Lead Scoring: The Differences + Benefits

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December 13, 2022
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Min Read time
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Lead Nurturing vs Lead Scoring: The Differences + Benefits

Discover the differences between lead nurturing vs lead scoring, how you can benefit from each strategy, how to nurture leads, and a tool that can help you ace both.

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December 13, 2022
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Min Read time
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Table of contents

Lead nurturing vs lead scoring: the ultimate combo. 🤝

… Is what the competition will say when you employ both these methodologies!

If these two terms don’t ring a bell for you, here are some quick definitions:

Lead nurturing involves engaging a lead who may not be ready to buy your product yet.

On the other hand, a lead scoring model helps your sales team prioritize leads by assigning scores based on how likely leads are to buy.

So, which lead management strategy should you use?

In this article, we’ll cover what these terms mean and how they differ, and the best practices for a nurturing strategy. We’ll also highlight why these lead management tools work best together and introduce you to a unique tool that can help you knock both out of the park!

Lead Nurturing Vs Lead Scoring: What They Are and How They Differ

Let’s first take a look at lead nurturing campaigns.

To understand lead nurturing, think of your marketing team as a mother hen taking care of her chicks 🐣.

Get a lead out of their shell and turn them into a potential customer with a lead nurturing campaign!

The nurturing process involves continuous communication between a company and its prospects to build a relationship with a potential customer and increase conversions. 

Typically, a nurturing campaign relies on social media marketing, content marketing, marketing automation campaigns, and more.

So, how does a lead score model come into the picture?

If a lead nurturing campaign is about making friends, scoring decides who your best friend is.


This methodology assigns scores to leads, like judging contestants in a talent show.

But instead of judging the singing skills of a prospective customer, you’re assessing them based on other criteria. For example, one criteria could be their reactions to your inbound marketing resources or their in-app actions.

This lets you classify a sales-ready lead vs those that need more work to get there.

A lead scoring model typically determines how purchase ready a lead is based on three types of data:

  • Explicit data: Awards points to a lead based on their profile data (e.g. job title, geographic location, or company size).
  • Implicit data: Assigns points based on the user's engagement and activity with your marketing efforts. For example, social media interactions, email marketing (open and click rates). It also takes in-product actions into account, such as using beta features, meeting daily active user conditions, and viewing the product pricing page multiple times.
  • Negative score: This makes a lead qualification system more robust by subtracting points from users who perform certain activities or fulfill criteria that don't meet your buyer persona (e.g. users who unsubscribe from your email list or users under the age of 25).

Why are these three data sets important?

Implicit and explicit-based lead scoring models help sales teams prioritize qualified leads, improve conversion rates and reduce sales cycle time. 

Negative scoring is an important part of lead qualification too, as it weeds out the leads who aren’t as interested, thus reducing the risk of wasted resources and time.

Next, we’ll look into how lead scoring tools and lead nurturing campaigns can help you get ahead of the competition. 

Lead Nurturing Vs Lead Scoring: The Benefits

Lead Nurturing Benefits

Any marketer worth their salt knows a lead nurture program can offer a sales and marketing campaign juicy benefits, like:

1. Building Trust

The lead nurturing process helps a campaign feel more authentic. You show that you want to provide your target audience with helpful information instead of just making a sale.

2. Boosting Brand Recognition

Regular, personalized communication stands out from the competition and makes you memorable in the mind of a prospective customer.

3. Increasing Team Productivity

Often, the lead nurturing process is implemented with a marketing automation platform, allowing a nurturing campaign to run in the background so employees can focus on other marketing efforts.

4. Increasing Engagement

Multi-channel inbound marketing strategies (content, email marketing, social media marketing, etc.) increase the chances of a potential customer engaging with your company. 

5. Higher Conversion Rates

Targeted content produces 72% higher conversion rates when aimed at the correct points of the sales funnel!

However, that last point is where most people run into trouble.

Correctly focusing lead nurture efforts at every stage of the sales funnel isn’t easy and requires a few deductive skills.

The trick is to know the difference between a low-priority prospect and an effective lead.

But how can you spot an effective lead?

Put your detective tools back in the garage!

Lead Scoring Benefits

Lead scoring is an elegant solution to this scary problem! 

Don’t just take our word for it — a mind-blowing 68% consider this methodology a revenue contributor!

Here are some of the biggest benefits: 

1. Effective Lead Segmenting 

Lead segmentation classifies a buyer based on what stage of the sales funnel they’re at. Sales teams can understand the target better through reliable data rather than intuition.

2. Seamless Prioritization

Lead qualification increases workflow efficiency. The sales team can only target a high-priority inbound lead, while the marketing team can focus on non nurtured leads.

3. Better Targeting

A segmented database helps your sales rep develop more relevant and targeted content for different stages of the sales funnel.

4. Increased Close Rates And Agent Productivity

Effective lead scoring ensures that your sales rep only goes after leads that have a very high chance of converting. Not only does this boost conversion rates, but also increases productivity as nobody’s wasting time on poor leads.

5. Boosting Lead Generation

A study found that organizations using a lead scoring model had a 77% boost in lead generation ROI over those not using any scoring model.

Now, let’s take a closer look at the lead nurturing tactics you can use to create a stellar nurturing strategy.

The Best Practices For A Lead Nurturing Strategy

Like with every relationship, nurturing a prospect takes work. 

So now the question is:

How do you go from ‘do I know you?’ to —

Don’t worry, we got you!

Most companies employ automated lead nurturing tactics to expedite the nurturing process. Traditionally, these tactics involve marketing efforts such as:

  • Email marketing 
  • Content marketing
  • Social media marketing

However, innovative product-led companies are now depending largely on in-product and in-app nurturing tactics to lure in the ever-elusive inbound lead.

For instance, in-app notifications can effortlessly improve any lead nurturing strategy by giving a prospective customer a nudge, such as sending gentle reminders about time-sensitive discount offers. 

Psst… Toplyne leverages product usage signals to help you build a smooth pipeline of product-qualified leads!

Additionally, best practices like sales-assist motions are key for reeling in a successful lead. 


A sales-assist team provides that all-important human touch, and helps you attentively nurture a promising prospect with a personalized approach.

Your sales-assist team is also responsible for helping users once they’ve hit a paywall or a point of friction in your product. This way, leads can have an improved user journey, and are more likely to convert. 

Now, the moment you've been waiting for.

Why use both of these lead management strategies together?

Why Lead Nurturing and Lead Scoring Work Best Together

A lead nurturing strategy without a lead scoring model is a lackluster nurturing strategy.

Like Mac and Cheese — they just make sense together.

Can they be used separately?

The short answer is: yes.

But here’s the bottom line:

Companies get the most out of lead generation efforts by using both. 

Applying a combination of marketing automation, lead scoring, and lead nurturing campaigns increased qualified lead numbers for around 37% of marketer professionals!

It’s not just digital marketing teams that benefit from a nurturing campaign. A nurtured lead is likely to be a successful lead — and you can pass them to the sales team for a higher chance of a closed sale.

Vice versa, a scoring system helps the marketing team to:

  • Strengthen a marketing campaign with more targeted content.
  • Measure the effectiveness of their inbound marketing nurturing tactics.

Additionally, you reduce the risk of having a sales rep chasing non nurtured leads that are unlikely to close a sale.

You see our point, right?

Without a score and lead nurture system, your sales process is at risk of being unsustainable in the long run.

Looking for an easier way to pounce on conversion opportunities?

You don't want to miss this next part.

Make Every Lead Count with Toplyne

A bundle of leads is like a basket of puppies.🐶🐶🐶

They might put a smile on your face, but they’re a LOT to handle.

Fortunately, Toplyne’s top-of-the-line tech makes the scoring and nurturing process so much easier! 

This unique platform helps product-led companies with lead segmentation using science-backed models that can automatically identify attributes and actions indicating conversion opportunities.

This way, your sales team can prioritize hot leads and spot those who need more nurturing.

With Toplyne, you can build a well-oiled pipeline of product-qualified leads. Naturally, this paves the way for boosted growth metrics and improved win rates and NRR (net revenue retention).

As if that’s not enough, Toplyne isn’t just a run-of-the-mill marketing automation tool. 

It’s a headless sales AI that can feed into a range of digital marketing and sales assist tools, meaning it can blend smoothly into your sales team’s existing tech stack without any change management!

Are you curious about how Toplyne’s lead management system works?

Here’s the big secret:

  • Toplyne enables you to pinpoint nurtured leads, AKA the hottest users 🔥. By filtering leads, you can see which are most likely to convert to paid subscriptions and which are best served cold.
  • It doesn’t end there — you can also see which accounts are great candidates for upselling and cross-selling.
  • Next, choose an audience you’d like to target — accounts (a group of users within an organization) or individual users.
  • Keep your eye on the prize! Consider whether you’re after conversion or expansion opportunities and pick one to be your business goal.
  • Then select the buyer persona you want to target so you can either prioritize hot leads or focus on re-engaging prospects that need more nurturing.
  • Toplyne’s data-led models allow you to create an accurate buyer persona through lead segmentation, according to user product data.
  • Narrow down your target audience  even further and look at sales capacity, percentage, or a custom filter. You can even turn a percentage of users into a control group to see how impactful your lead nurturing tactics are. No more shooting in the dark!
  • Best part? Toplyne isn’t a marketing automation platform that will force your sales team to rejig their entire tech stack. It’s a boundary-breaking headless AI tool that you can connect to your existing CRM apps like Salesforce or HubSpot.
  • That’s right! Since Toplyne requires zero change management, you can seamlessly integrate it with the CRM apps of your choice. No need to worry about complex onboardings or cumbersome data transfers. Let your sales team stick to what they do best - selling!

Lead Nurturing Vs Lead Scoring: Who Wins? 🏆

You guessed it: the real winner is you!

You get the best of both worlds by combining a nurturing campaign and a lead score model!

You can:

  • Lead score to distinguish between an unqualified and qualified lead.
  • Have the marketing team prioritize leads who need more attention through their nurturing process.
  • Have the sales team only target nurtured leads and increase close rates.

A match made in heaven, indeed. And Toplyne is where they live happily ever after!

Use Toplyne to build product-qualified pipeline AND improve your lead nurturing process!

Sign up for Toplyne for free today and fast-track your leads to conversion!

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