B2B Lead Scoring Best Practices in 2023: The Ultimate Guide

Apr 11, 2023
min read

In today's competitive B2B SaaS landscape, effectively prioritizing and nurturing leads is essential for driving sales success. As a VP of Sales, implementing B2B lead scoring best practices can significantly improve your sales team's efficiency, shorten sales cycles, and foster better alignment between sales and marketing.

In this ultimate guide, we'll delve into the key elements of a successful lead scoring model, the importance of collaboration, and the impact of technology on lead scoring.

The Fundamentals of B2B Lead Scoring

Lead scoring is the process of assigning a numerical value or score to each lead based on various factors, such as demographics, behavior, firmographics, and technographics. These scores help sales teams prioritize leads, ensuring they devote their time and resources to the most qualified prospects.

An effective lead scoring model typically considers four key elements:

  1. Demographic factors: Information about the individual, such as job title, industry, and company size, can help you determine their decision-making authority and potential fit for your solution.
  2. Behavioral factors: Prospect actions, such as product usage signals (like #designs exported, #pricing page views, #shared projects, #team members invited, etc.), website visits, content downloads, and event attendance, reveal their level of interest and engagement with your brand.
  3. Firmographic factors: Details about the prospect's company, like industry, size, and location, provide insight into their needs and potential for a long-term business relationship.
  4. Technographic factors: Understanding the technologies your prospects are currently using or exploring can help you tailor your pitch and offer a more targeted solution.

For B2B SaaS companies, an efficient lead scoring system is vital, as it accelerates the sales cycle, improves sales team efficiency, and enhances marketing and sales alignment.

If you want a more detailed breakdown of what lead scoring is, read our detailed "What is lead scoring?" guide here.

Building a Data-Driven Lead Scoring Model

To develop a data-driven lead scoring model, follow these steps:

  1. Identify relevant factors: Determine the most important demographic, behavioral, firmographic, and technographic factors for your business. Consider factors that have historically correlated with successful sales conversions.
  2. Weight factors based on their importance: Assign weights to each factor to reflect its significance in the overall lead score. Factors with a higher impact on sales success should be given greater weight.
  3. Analyze historical data: Analyze your historical sales data to identify trends and correlations between lead characteristics and conversion rates. Use this information to inform your lead scoring model.
  4. Incorporate AI and machine learning: Utilize artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning algorithms to refine your lead scoring model continually. These technologies can help identify patterns and correlations in your data that may not be immediately apparent, enhancing the accuracy and predictive power of your model.
  5. Test and refine your model: Regularly evaluate the performance of your lead scoring model and make necessary adjustments based on your findings. Continuously refining your model ensures that it remains accurate and relevant as your business evolves.

Aligning Sales and Marketing Teams for Success

Collaboration between sales and marketing teams is crucial for creating a successful lead scoring system. Here's how to foster alignment:

  1. Establish lead scoring criteria together: Sales and marketing teams should collaborate to define the criteria for lead scoring, ensuring that both teams have a shared understanding of what constitutes a qualified lead.
  2. Share goals and objectives: Both teams should be transparent about their goals and objectives for lead generation and conversion. This alignment helps to create a cohesive strategy for nurturing and converting leads.
  3. Continuously refine the lead scoring model: Sales and marketing teams should regularly review and update the lead scoring model, incorporating feedback from both sides to ensure it remains effective and relevant.

Integrating Lead Scoring with Your Tech Stack

Seamlessly integrating lead scoring with your existing technology stack is crucial for maximizing its effectiveness. By connecting lead scoring to your CRM and marketing automation platforms, you can ensure that lead scores are updated in real-time and accessible to both sales and marketing teams. This integration facilitates a smoother handoff between marketing and sales and enables both teams to make informed decisions based on the most current lead information.

Case Study: How InVideo Transformed Their Sales Process with Behavioral Lead Scoring

Come mid-2021, one of InVideo's priorities was to increase the predictability of PLG conversion funnel. The ability to rapidly experiment with and deploy sales-assist at scale was the need of the hour.

The problem? Threefold:

  1. Low conversion rates creating the need to identify users who are most likely to convert using product usage, demographics and billing data
  2. Rapid experimentation with PQL strategies and GTM channels without the dependence on engineering bandwidth
  3. Integrating into existing workflows & avoiding change management

Signing up for Toplyne in late 2019, InVideo changed their GTM play:

  1. They built a 360 view of our users by stitching together user actions (product usage), demographics, and billing data all in one place
  2. Segmented users - who are most likely to convert, buy more, churn, etc.
  3. Integrated into existing workflows by syncing target users and related information into the platforms their sales team knows and loves.

InVideo used Toplyne's look-alike models to identify self-serve users who most resembled paying customers, and funneled these users into Salesforce.

Within three months of use, InVideo saw their sales conversion rates go up by 1.8x to 2x.

Read more about the InVideo story here.

Staying Ahead: The Future of B2B Lead Scoring in SaaS Sales

As technology continues to advance, B2B lead scoring will evolve to incorporate new tools and capabilities. Predictive lead scoring, powered by AI and machine learning, will become increasingly prevalent, enabling sales teams to better anticipate customer needs and identify high-potential leads more accurately. Additionally, as customer success and retention gain importance in the SaaS industry, lead scoring models will need to factor in post-sale engagement and satisfaction metrics.

How to skip this guide entirely

We get it, you have a busy life. Long guides are probably not your thing. The good news? You can skip the whole guide and jump straight into state-of-the-art B2B lead scoring imlementation wtih Toplyne.

Toplyne is designed to streamline the process for SaaS Sales VPs looking to optimize their lead prioritization and nurturing. With an intuitive interface and advanced algorithms, Toplyne makes the lead scoring process efficient and effective.

By integrating demographic, behavioral, firmographic, and technographic data, Toplyne's advanced AI and machine learning capabilities create a comprehensive and accurate lead scoring model. As a result, sales teams can focus on the most qualified prospects, saving valuable time and resources.

Additionally, Toplyne emphasizes the importance of collaboration and facilitates seamless cooperation between sales and marketing teams. By providing a centralized platform for both teams to access, update, and analyze lead scores, Toplyne fosters better alignment between sales and marketing.

Toplyne's adaptability is another key feature. Every business is unique, we get it. You can apply custom business context on top of Toplyne's behavioral AI to tailor your lead scoring models accordingly. Toplyne's integration with popular CRM and marketing automation platforms ensures your engineering teams can rest easy and not be dragged into your lead scoring internal tooling.

We're not just saying this because we built it, but our guide highly recommends Toplyne to any SaaS Sales VP aiming to master B2B lead scoring. Just ask Canva, Vercel, OpenPhone, InVideo, Pictory, Murf or - should we keep going?

Join 8,000+ growth leaders