What is Contact Scoring? Benefits for Sales

Published by Yash Chawlani on

Managing your sales pipeline can be a tedious task especially if your business generates a lot of leads through various marketing activities.

 

When you are generating a lot of ‘contacts’ as more and more contacts flow into your sales pipeline, it is naturally going to become difficult to identify and prioritize the best ones. This can significantly harm your business as you stand to lose high-value contacts while trying to work with every lead.

 

You could always hire more sales personnel to sift through all the contacts that your marketing produces but not all leads are profitable to be pursued. So your business might end up raising the expenditure with no justifiable returns.

 

Thankfully, there is a way you could identify and prioritize contacts easily. The best part perhaps is that the entire process can also be automated. The process in question is known as Contact Scoring.

 

But what is Contact Scoring and how does it work?

 

What is Contact Scoring?

Contact scoring is a process that involves assigning scores to each contact based on their suitability for the firm and how they have interacted with the marketing materials until that point in time.

 

The two components that make up the contact score are:

 

1. Suitability

A contact is scored according to several parameters under this section. The aim here is to understand to what degree a contact resembles the Ideal Customer Profile of the firm.

 

Job Title, Industry, Location, etc. are among the several suitability parameters that determine the Contact Score under this section.

 

2. Engagement / Intent

The contact is scored on the basis of how frequently and to what extent has it interacted with the business and the marketing materials it has come across through various marketing channels.

 

Link clicks, email opens, replies, likes, and comments on social media posts, visits to your website pages, etc. are all activities that are monitored. The more the contact engages with your firm in different ways, the higher is his score.

 

This approach of scoring your contacts based on how well suited they are for your business and how much interest they are exhibiting through their behavior can be beneficial for your businesses in more than one way.

 

For starters, the score makes it easy to prioritize leads and only those that are best suited and interested can be pursued. As a result, not only will your business have a higher rate of conversion but your sales function will make significant gains in terms of efficiency.

 

The second takeaway from Contact Scoring is it can also help you to understand which marketing elements have been effective and those that have not. This can be understood by considering the elements contacts most interact with and those that they skip entirely.

 

Using this knowledge, you can tweak the elements that haven’t been contributing much to better performance.

 

Now that you understand why Contact Scoring is, let us understand why it is necessary to have the contacts in your sales pipeline scored.

 

The Need for Contact Scoring

While we did mention which all areas might experience improvements when you utilize Contact Scoring, it may not be enough clarity for some of you. So we shall list down all the reasons why we believe that utilizing Contact Scoring is warranted.

 

1. Saves time and resources

Knowing which contacts in your sales pipeline are suitable and who have shown a significant degree of interest in your offerings can make the work of the sales team easy. Contact scoring allows your sales team to only pursue contacts that are sales-ready and can be easily converted.

 

This saves your business a lot of time and resources by not having to pursue contacts at random.

 

2. Faster sales cycles and higher conversion rates

The ability to identify qualified and sales-ready contacts in your sales pipelines translates into two significant gains. The first is that your sales cycles become faster as leads are identified quickly and engaged right away. This way, you can squeeze in more sales cycles in a specific period of time.

 

Only pursuing leads that are most likely to convert boosts your conversion rate and raises the efficiency of your sales and marketing function, which is the second gain.

 

3. Aligns Marketing and Sales functions

For any business to succeed, it needs to have its sales and marketing functions in sync. The Contact Scoring process requires the sales and marketing teams to work together to create a functional setup that aids both functions.

 

Having these functions work together gets them in sync, raises the level of co-operation by minimizing operational divides and with them functioning in sync it becomes easier to achieve the business’s objectives.

 

Now that you understand the need to score contacts in your sales pipeline, let us move on to considering the two methods by which you can score the contacts.

 

Manual Contact Scoring

Manual Scoring requires the user to assign scores to certain contact credentials and contact activities based on their own experience and data that their firm may have collected in all the years of its operations.

 

Manual Contact Scoring allows for more control over the process as the user can add as many scoring attributes as needed and decide what attribute carries what score.

 

Moreover, the experience and expertise of a firm’s marketers can be leveraged using manual contact scoring for an accurate and effective contact scoring function.

 

The downside, however, is that while you have a larger degree of control over the scoring model, it necessitates having experienced marketers who have knowledge about how to set up contact scoring models.

 

Predictive Contact Scoring

Predictive scoring is another method that can be utilized by firms for contact scoring. In this method, the contact scoring is hosted by a solutions provider. They use their own data, expertise, and other advancements to conduct contact scoring for your firm.

 

While this method doesn’t allow much control over the process of scoring, you have access to all the data that is available with the solutions provider. This additional data more than makes up for the lack of control through more comprehensive and accurate contact scoring.

 

This combined with Machine Learning can identify patterns in contact behavior and make contact scoring more accurate and effective further on.

 

Now that you’re well versed with the whats, whys, and hows of Contact Scoring, let us show you the best Contact Scoring tools in the market for you to consider.

 

5 Best Contact Scoring Tools

Salespanel

Salespanel provides a scoring solution that can sync lead scores to your contacts on your CRM in real-time. Leads are scored based on their job role, firmographic, and first-party intent (behavioral) data. Contacts are scored in real-time with either custom-made workflows or a predictive machine learning based system that becomes up and running outside of the box.

 

Image Courtesy – Salespanel

 

The breakdown of all scoring events are provided by the software and synced to the sales pipeline from where sales reps can understand the complete picture. The gradual lead scoring progress can also be used to personalize content, better target high-priority accounts, and optimize engagement expenditure.

 

Learn more about our lead scoring offering from here.

 

Activecampaign

Activecampaign is a Customer Experience Automations solution provider that has many offerings for business clients. One among those is their CRM which comes with a Contact Scoring functionality built-in.

 

Image Courtesy – Activecampaign

 

Setting up Contact Scoring is an easy task and they provide a setup guide to help users hit the ground running and make the most of this functionality. However, this functionality is only available with their Plus plan and above.

 

Infer

Infer is a specialty solutions provider that offers their Contact Scoring service known as Fit Scoring. Their Contact Scoring function makes use of the Predictive Scoring Model while also tapping into the user firm’s database for additional refinements and for better accuracy.

Image Courtesy – Infer

 

They enrich your existing data set using numerous data points and utilize machine learning to identify patterns and score accordingly.

 

The Contact Scores are uploaded in real-time to your CRM or Marketing Automation Software so your sales team can immediately act on those.

 

Madkudu

Madkudu has multiple offerings for the sales, marketing, and automation requirements of businesses.

 

Their expertise in data science has been effectively used within their Contact Scoring functionality.

 

Image Courtesy – Madkudu

 

With their service you can easily set up, change and deploy contact scoring models and even have different scoring models for contacts from different industries, locations, etc.

 

Hubspot

Hubspot has a lot of solutions on offer and Contact Scoring is one of the functionalities it offers through its solutions.

 

Their Contact Scoring function makes use of the Customer Journey Data available with your firm and machine learning to find patterns and score contacts accordingly.

 

Image Courtesy – Hubspot

 

They offer both predictive and manual contact scoring so users can opt for the option that suits their needs.

 

Moreover, a user can create multiple scoring sheets that can be utilized effectively to scale a business.

 

Our Final Words

Contact Scoring (more commonly called ‘lead scoring’) is a powerful functionality that enables a lot of improvements in the way a business handles and processes the contacts within its sales pipeline.

 

Gains can be made in terms of efficiency, productivity, better conversion rate, better sales and marketing alignment which all translate into an overall better ROI as more high-quality leads are prioritized and passed down the funnel faster.

 

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Categories: Sales

Yash Chawlani

Yash Chawlani is a Freelance Content Marketing Strategist who is known by his personal brand Merlin. He specializes in SEO and Social Media and helps B2B and SaaS companies out there with his top-notch content strategies. In his spare time, you can either find him in the gym or on the football field.

Nilangan Ray, Marketing Head Nilangan from Salespanel

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