Guide to Lead Scoring for Salesforce CRM

Published by Jamie Finch and Nilangan on

Updated on 28th February, 2023.


With the emergence of digital marketing that has brought global reach even to the smallest of businesses, the need for qualifying leads has become more relevant than ever. This is primarily because easy access to lead generation can generate both qualified and unqualified leads. While many leads may not be a fit for your business from the get-go, some may become qualified eventually as you progressively nurture them.


With many customers choosing the self-service route, at least at the beginning of the funnel, it can take a while before your leads become ready for the sales conversation. Moreover, if a company has thousands of leads to work with, which is often the case, working with them on an individual level becomes all but impossible. This means that the sales team needs to only talk to leads who are relevant and talk to them when they are actually ready to buy.


This is achieved with lead scoring. If you are using Salesforce CRM, your ideal lead scoring workflow would be to use marketing data to score your leads and then get this data in your CRM. While Salesforce natively provides lead scoring with its Marketing Cloud offering, those who are using the CRM or Sales Cloud only might find it an expensive addition. In this article, we will discuss how you can get real-time lead scoring on your Salesforce CRM without making a premium expenditure on Salesforce.



What is Lead Scoring?

Lead scoring is a method used to qualify leads gradually as they progress through the buying cycle using different profile and behavioral characteristics. First, the lead is qualified based on profile characteristics like company size, industry, job role, etc. Then, as they progress they are qualified based on their activities. These criteria will typically include factors like whether or not the lead has signed up to a newsletter, or perhaps whether they have shown an interest in particular products. This will then give marketers an idea of how far along the sales funnel particular leads are and this is precious information when it comes to marketing.


If a lead is considered to not be ready, for example, they can be nurtured further hopefully until the point where they are ready to make a purchase. This helps to prevent trying to close the sale too soon which could potentially result in losing the lead altogether. Plus, of course, it means those that are ready to make a purchase can be approached with an offer when they are already receptive.


Benefits of Lead Scoring

One of the biggest benefits of lead scoring is increased efficiency. Your sales department only has a limited amount of resources. If you are generating more leads than you can handle, your reps wouldn’t be as productive as you want them to be. Your best sales reps deservedly charge a bucketload of money. Why would you want to waste their time on deals that won’t happen? Lead scoring helps you deploy a system of identifying high-quality or high-intent deals and passing them to your sales reps. This eliminates the need for your sales reps to manually vet leads and helps them spend more time on selling.


Another benefit is improved lead quality. Your marketing team has access to a bucketload of data. By using these data attributes, they can determine how closely your leads match your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) and how much intent they have. The intent is usually determined by observing lead behavior both on and off your website. The lead scoring process can determine which leads have a higher chance of buying. Once you identify these prospects, you can double down on marketing efforts and amplify channels that are bringing the highest quality leads.


Lead scoring also helps with increased conversion rates. As mentioned earlier, lead scoring can help your sales reps identify and prioritize the highest quality leads. It helps them put more effort into leads that are more likely to buy, which transforms into better conversion rates for your business. Additionally, it can help you identify failure points in your funnel that are causing your conversion rates to drop. Addressing them improves your conversions even further.


Predictive and Point-Based Lead Scoring

The most common method of lead scoring is to use a point-based system. This involves assigning a number of points to a particular action or profile characteristic.


It is easy to see how this can be effective, after all, it’s a reasonable assumption that somebody who’s spent time looking at a particular product page, for example, has at least some interest in that product. Likewise, if a lead has taken a ‘negative’ action, such as unsubscribing from a newsletter or dropping off from a product trial, you know that they are less likely to buy from you.


The total number of points can then be calculated and when a lead crosses the desired threshold, they can be considered qualified and moved to the next stage.


Another method of lead scoring is predictive lead scoring and this doesn’t work by assigning points to certain actions. Instead, it uses a method known as predictive modeling which involves scoring leads according to the previous behavior of leads in your database and also by looking at behavior fit and profile fit. This method does away with the issue of subjectively deciding how many points should be rewarded because it instead focuses on objective data. This means it is more effective at identifying trends that would otherwise be missed by a point-based lead scoring model.


Both methods have their own merits. The point-based lead scoring system gives you the flexibility to customize your own lead qualification system and know exactly how leads are qualified based on which criteria, it needs you to brainstorm and work on creating a system that makes sense for you. A predictive model, on the other hand, does not require input from you and gives you an out of the box solution. The more data you have, the better it will work.


Lead Scoring for Salesforce


What is Salesforce?

Salesforce is one of the most powerful and best-known Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platform developers around. A CRM platform helps companies to manage how they interact with existing and potential customers. They provide powerful software that can help companies streamline processes, making them more efficient. They also offer tools that help make customer services targeted and more effective. Behind a CRM is typically a large database of a company’s customers and relevant details associated with each of their customers. This can include details like age, profession, and previous interactions with the company.


Of course, it can’t be just any database and, to be useful, any database needs to hold information that is directly relevant to the company using it. Perhaps more importantly, the data needs to be accessible in a way that brings you the information that you need to be able to take the best actions for your company. This is where Salesforce’s CRM comes to the fore because it provides easy access to information that will help a company make the right decisions.


Salesforce also provides a lot more than ‘just’ one of the best CRM platforms you can find. They are also always developing new tools that can help companies in a variety of ways, in addition to tools that allow businesses to develop their own apps. All in all, they are an organization that has helped companies in a wide variety of ways and Salespanel is happy to be able to empower the platform further.


Lead Scoring For Salesforce Using Salespanel

Salespanel helps you capture, track and qualify visitors, leads and accounts and sync the data with Salesforce. Since Salespanel’s tracking starts at a grassroot visitor level, our lead scoring mechanism can be something that is important to you as a SMB or a medium-sized enterprise.


There are 3 main data groups that Salespanel will use to score Salesforce leads:


Individual Data: Factors like location, age, interests, and occupation, to name a few, are obvious demographics that will determine who is more likely to buy. In the B2C world, a 16 year old school kid is unlikely to have an interested in walking aids, while a retiree is going to have little interest in skateboarding gear. Similarly, in the B2B world, a customer’s individual profile can help you decide if they are a customer-fit.


Firmographic Data: If you are a B2B company then you deal with ‘accounts’ and as such information on the companies you are dealing with is always useful to you. Helpful firmographic data will include information like industry, specific products, and how large the company is. Armed with the right information, a company is then ready to work on the businesses that are most likely to be fruitful for them.


Behavioural Data: As mentioned, somebody spending time on a particular product page is a pretty strong hint that they are interested in that product. This, along with other behavioral data like button clicks, video views and downloads of a case study, can be very effective at determining the likeliness that an individual is ready to buy something. Behavioural data can also help to segment a database, making it easier to decide how to interact with potential and existing customers.


Salespanel helps you qualify your leads with both point-based and predictive lead scoring.


You can check out these two help articles to know more about how each system works:


Point-based: Overview of Salespanel Lead Scoring
Predictive: Quality Score: A Feature to Predict Lead Quality


Data Sync and Marketing Automation

Salespanel syncs lead data to Salesforce in real-time. This brings crucial sales intelligence directly into your CRM system and also alerts your sales team about lead development.


When the status of a lead changes, it is best to react as soon as possible. Leave it too long and the opportunity of a sale could be missed, and you might even end up losing the lead altogether in some cases. When you are dealing with hundreds or thousands of clients, however, this can be very difficult to catch up with. This is where one of the most powerful features of a CRM like Salesforce comes into action.


The Salesforce CRM platform can use the scoring system data from Salespanel to automatically interact with customers. This might mean, for example, sending the details of a special offer to somebody that has recently been marked MQL through the lead scoring system. Alternatively, it could mean sending an automatic invitation to an event if somebody is slipping away. Not only does this mean your leads are serviced and nurtured in a timely fashion, but it also significantly reduces the amount of manual labor needed.


You can automate several actions between two or more tools if you need. For example, you can create a process where a deal is automatically created for an MQL on your CRM and your sales team is also notified about it at the same time on your communication channel (eg: Slack).


Integrating With Salesforce

With your leads scored thanks to the Salespanel platform, you can supercharge your data on Salesforce without using any of their premium toolsets. This will allow you to take full advantage of the data with help from Salesforce’s powerful CRM tools. Fully synchronized, your Salesforce database will continue to be updated in real-time. The integration itself is made to be as seamless as possible, and news leads will be created or existing ones added as new data is added to the existing database.



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Jamie Finch and Nilangan

Article has been co-written by Jamie Finch and Nilangan Ray.