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Marketo Lead Scoring Guide (Setup, Benefits, Alternatives)

Marketo Lead Scoring Guide (Setup, Benefits, Alternatives)

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December 6, 2022
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Min Read time
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Marketo Lead Scoring Guide (Setup, Benefits, Alternatives)

Discover what Marketo lead scoring is, if you should use it, the setup process, and pros and cons of the tool. Also explore an alternative solution.

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December 6, 2022
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Min Read time
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Table of contents

Spot qualified leads right off the bat and shorten the sales cycle — these are just two of the awesome benefits you get with Marketo lead scoring.

Any marketer worth their salt knows about Adobe Marketo Engage. 

As an Adobe product, this marketing automation platform is kinda the sheriff of marketing technology. 

Sounds great, right?

Hold your horses!

If this is your first rodeo with Marketo Engage, you need to know what you’re getting roped into! 🏇

In our definitive guide, we explain what Marketo lead scoring is, how the tool lead scores, and how to implement it.

Additionally, we’ll explore the pros and cons of Marketo Engage, then introduce you to a kick ass alternative for spotting the most promising leads.

Let’s get into the good, the bad, and the ugly.

What Is Marketo Lead Scoring?

Marketo is a marketing automation platform that lets you identify a lead’s level of interest in your SaaS product.

Their marketing technology utilizes a lead management system to establish whether a prospect is a qualified lead by scoring and segmenting them — but not in the Frankensteinian sense! 🧟

The lead qualification process is what allows you to segment your audience.

In a nutshell, once you’ve tallied up the lead scores from a lead’s pattern of behavior towards your product, this data will help you categorize prospects as “purchase-ready” or “just not that into you.”

Before we cut to the chase: Why is a lead scoring system essential?

A scoring campaign allows your sales team to prioritize and target leads for closed sales, whereas a marketing team will know which leads with slam-dunk marketing efforts. 

As you can imagine, this level of prioritization cuts the sales cycle short (which is great). 

But if scoring sounds like too much math, move over to action. Use Toplyne’s headless sales AI to target users most likely to convert!

To check if you fit the bill to use Marketo, keep reading!

Who Should Use Marketo?

So who gets to sit at the cool kids’ table?

We can divide Adobe Marketo Engage users into three main groups: sales reps, marketing executives, and marketing teams. 

Each group can use this marketing automation service. Here’s why:

  • A sales rep can benefit from Marketo sales insight as they’ll gain more context from the prospects’ digital profiles and behavioral scoring data.
  • Marketing executives can build a smart campaign by scoring leads who need to be targeted with specific marketing efforts.
  • Digital marketers can implement more effective lead nurturing tactics with more accurate and reliable data.

All onboard with this effective lead scoring tool?

But wondering…

Just keep walking straight ahead…🚶

How Does Marketo Get Its Data?

Marketo Engage employs marketing automation tech that uses two main types of information to lead score: explicit and implicit data. 

Let us clarify.

You can derive implicit information from the online behavior score of a lead, such as the number of times they viewed your product’s pricing page.

Unlike behavioral scoring, explicit data gathers demographic information about a prospect, including gender, geographic location, age, job title, etc.

Additionally, negative scoring helps identify which leads aren’t the right fit, such as a prospect outside your target region.

A combination of explicit and implicit data is the main force behind this marketing automation tool’s predictive lead scoring system.

Here’s the interesting part. Marketo isn’t alone in this. Increasingly, state-of-the-art tools use data-led models to predict conversions rather than relying on traditional scoring.

What’s the difference, you ask?

A traditional lead scoring model requires your sales team to manually input user information in the tool. They’ll need to then study indicators of a user’s engagement. 

Every. Single. One. 😞

Not even superheroes can survive that tedium!

Plus, even though negative scoring is important, traditional lead scoring has a serious case of tunnel vision — focusing more on getting rid of bad leads than lead qualification.

On the other hand, predictive lead scoring is one of the best practices in the SaaS sphere. It’s like your own personal crystal ball. You can practically see into the future! 🔮

As an algorithmic tool, this lead scoring model differs from traditional methods in three main ways:

  • More behavioral scoring data: Covers more ground by tracking new information, historical trends, and several “big data” sources to predict lead quality.
  • Adaptive: Compares current and previous customers to automatically create a qualified lead profile. The software adjusts to every new bit of information it gains.
  • Automation: It will then automatically score a prospect against the profile of a qualified lead and identify the leads most ready to become paying customers.

Like magic, predictive lead scoring does everything traditional lead scoring does — but faster and better.

As long as you know…

How to Set Up Marketo Lead Scoring

First time using Marketo’s scoring model?

No need to sweat it.

There's a simple solution to your first Marketo instance! 😌

Here’s how marketing operations professionals set up Marketo:

  1. Go to Marketing Activities on the left side of the page.
  2. Right-click on the Learning folder and select New Campaign Folder.
  3. Name the folder "Lead Scoring" and click Create.
  4. Right-click the "Lead Scoring" folder and click New Smart Campaign.
  5. Write "Change Score" as the name and click create.
  6. Go to the Smart List tab.
  7. You'll find the Triggers folder on the right side. Drag the Fills Out Form trigger from the right side into the gray box on the left.
  8. Now select My Form.
  9. Go to the Flow tab.
  10. Drag the Change Score flow action on the right side into the box on the left.
  11. Assign a value to the Change field. This value can be anything (like +5, for example).
  12. Go to the Schedule tab and edit the Smart Campaign Settings if needed. Then click the Activate button.
  13. A confirmation screen will pop up, so click Activate again.

And voila! You now have a campaign that will run every time someone fills out a form. It’ll keep going until it's deactivated.

It sure is!

In addition to convenient automation, here are a few other benefits of using a Marketo lead scoring system.

Benefits of Marketo’s Lead Scoring Model

The tool provides multiple solutions to simplify the buyer’s journey, such as:

  • Identify the most promising prospects: By tracking the behavior score of prospects, you can become a regular Sherlock Holmes and identify the most qualified leads with deadly precision. Elementary, my dear Watson! 🕵️
  • Prioritize: Now that you know who’s who, you can assign the sales rep best suited to the specific needs of a prospect. It’s a match made in heaven!
  • Speed up your sales cycle: Not only is a lead score the best matchmaker around, but it’s also kind of like speed dating. By cutting out the guesswork, you can breeze through the sales cycle by spotting the hottest leads in a heartbeat.
  • Save, save, save: It's a bird, it's a plane — no, it's Marketo’s lead qualification system! A speedy sales cycle with the most qualified leads will boost the chances of closed deals, saving on resources, money, time, and headaches!
  • Account based marketing strategy: You can use account based marketing strategies within Marketo to target high-priority accounts, such as key stakeholders. This helps simplify lead management if you have a group of buyers within the same account. 
  • Measure your success: Make better decisions on where to reinvest your money in the future by understanding which channels and campaigns are reeling in high-quality prospects.

Sounds promising?

We’ll delve into why Marketo isn’t the most effective lead scoring tool below.

Three Biggest Challenges with Marketo’s Scoring Model

Take the bull by the horns. Discover why Adobe Marketo Engage might not be for you. 

Here are a few cons:

1. Limited Functionality

You know how people say never to skip leg day when working out at the gym?

It’s because you shouldn’t just focus on one area. 

Turns out, you can’t stretch your muscles with Marketo. It only scores leads.

This means you’re missing out on make-or-break opportunities for your company, like upselling, cross-selling, or reducing churn.

Here’s why that’s important:

Upselling and cross-selling help keep customers engaged and boost average order values.

As a result, you might have to find alternative software that can provide you with a real workout! 💪

Sweating it?

Here’s a cool drink of cucumber water 🍹 for you: Toplyne can help you spot find cross-selling and upselling opportunities, reduce churn, boost win rates, and more! 

2. Limited Integrations

Integrations ensure systems can work in harmony for maximum data consistency. HIGHLY recommended for a lead scoring system.

Turns out?

Marketo has limited and inflexible integrations compared to other tools that require no change management.

Okay, Marketo isn’t a total lone wolf. It integrates with Salesforce Marketing Cloud, for example. But most organizations tend to use a variety of tools to score leads.

Want your data to remain accessible and compatible with other data sets? In that case, you may need alternative software that offers flexible integrations for effective lead scoring.

3. Data Siloing

Customer interactions are like the wild wild west. Minus the gun-slinging… sometimes 👀

The point is, your prospect will choose when, where, and how to interact with your product. 

Some prospects might use social media, while others might read content from your blog or sign up for demos. 

It’s all fair game — IF you track multi-channel communications.

Integrations with product usage tools allow you to analyze this valuable user behavior.

Unfortunately, since Marketo doesn’t offer many integrations with these kinds of tools, the data from these interactions can get siloed in the different software you use. 

Pretty soon, your user is going to say…

Don’t let that happen with…

An Alternative to Marketo: Lasso in High-Intent Leads with Toplyne 🤠

Toplyne is a spectacular headless sales AI platform with a proven track record. The likes of Grafana and Canva use Toplyne to expand company size and convert free customers

With Toplyne, you can:

  • Build a smooth pipeline of product-qualified leads
  • Boost win rates
  • Improve net revenue retention (NRR)

Saddle up! Here’s a more detailed look at what you can do with Toplyne:

  • Identify leads hotter than the Mojave desert to see who’s most likely to convert.
  • Or you can filter by accounts with the potential to expand (upselling and cross-selling).
  • Select a target audience, such as accounts or individual users.
  • The sky’s the limit. Select either expansion or conversion opportunities as your business goal.
  • After defining your company's goal, it’s time for some target practice! Choose the type of leads you want to target.
  • Get a bullseye and segment users according to their unique behavior score and product usage data.
  • Then, you can even narrow it down even further by looking at percentage or sales capacity.
  • Unlike Marketo, Toplyne can sync product-qualified leads with more than Salesforce Marketing Cloud — it also syncs with tools like HubSpot or Customer.io — all without any change management!
  • Need a little more connection? Toplyne’s headless sales AI means it has an impressive range of flexible integrations, such as Salesforce Marketing Cloud, Braze, Appcues, and more!

Now you can lasso in prospects that seem to be drifting astray, saturate your pipeline with product-qualified leads, and guide them towards conversions!        

So kick back, relax and enjoy all the lead management features Toplyne has to offer!

Marketo Lead Scoring: The Scores Are In 🏈 

The results?

A sales rep may benefit from Marketo sales insight as the tool focuses on only qualified leads. At the same time, marketers can attend to prospects who need nurturing.

But it's inflexible integrations and data siloing DO NOT work in its favor.

Sort the wheat from the chaff with Toplyne!

This revenue-boosting, headless sales AI keeps things simple. With multiple integrations to track and score leads, your sales team won’t have to worry about any change management!

Be ready to give Toplyne a:

Want in?

Sign up for Toplyne for free today to spot qualified leads through powerful scoring!

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