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What’s the Difference Between Traditional & Predictive Lead Scoring?

Written by Etienne Turner on 8, July 2019

What is the difference between a qualified lead from an unqualified one? There are key attributes of a contact that make a lead qualified and unqualified, and it’s essential you understand the difference.

Once you understand the difference, you can then help your sales team save time by providing them with the means to prioritize leads.

That’s where lead scoring comes in.

Lead scoring is a crucial part of modern lead management and a worthy addition to your growth strategy.

What is Lead Scoring?

Lead scoring is the process of identifying the best leads for your sales team to connect with by attaching values to your leads individually based on a strategic scoring system.

While it may seem that lead scoring is excluding a group of leads and focusing on another. Rather, lead scoring is a way to help your marketing and sales teams align and determine which leads are sales-ready.



Should You Use Lead Scoring?

Is lead scoring right for you? Well, it depends. As your business grows and you generate more leads, it becomes harder to contact every lead. When your site begins to produce too many leads for your sales team to reach, it makes sense to start prioritizing the sales team’s time on the most qualified leads.

Here are a couple of questions you should ask yourself before implementing lead scoring.

  • Are we generating enough leads? If you’re just starting to generate leads, it’s unlikely you need to implement lead scoring. It’s a better use of your time to focus on figuring out what makes a lead qualified. To do this, it’s best for you to talk to your leads to determine what the most qualified ones have in common.
  • Are the marketing and sales department aligned? When the marketing team sends leads to the sales department, is the sales team contacting those leads? If they are, are they contacting them promptly and trying multiple touch points before giving up? If not, there are marketing and sales alignment issues. Working to address these alignment issues is a better use of your time.
  • Do we have enough data to implement lead scoring? How much data have you collected on your leads? To implement lead scoring correctly, you will need to have data on leads that didn’t close, and data on leads that did close. Once you have sufficient data, you can determine what properties will serve as a good indicator that someone is qualified or unqualified.

Traditional vs. Predictive Lead Scoring: What's the Difference?

Traditional Lead Scoring

Traditional lead scoring is the process of manually creating a scoring point system to a contact based on both explicit and implicit information to qualify leads that should be passed to your sales team.

Essentially, a marketer will identify a series of qualifying factors that indicate whether or not a lead should be pursued or not.

For example, if you are a B2B business, when a lead submits an email that ends with @yahoo.com or @gmail.com, this lead will likely be unqualified. On the flip side, you may find that a particular industry serves as a better fit for your product or service. These are all examples of qualifying factors that need to be identified to run lead scoring.

Next, you will need to assign values to how important or unimportant these factors are to qualify a lead. For example, if someone submits an email that ends with @yahoo.com, you may want to deduct 10 points to their leads score. But, if someone belongs to a particular industry, you may want to add 5 points to their lead score.

Here are some more examples:

Predictive Lead Scoring Examples

As you add and deduct values based on the information you’re collecting from your leads, you will start to see that some leads have higher scores than others. Those leads with higher scores are the most qualified leads based on the scoring point system you laid out. Those leads with the highest scores should be prioritized by your sales team.

Predictive Lead Scoring

Predictive lead scoring is similar, except it is a tool that uses an algorithm to create the most accurate lead scoring model based on historical information to predict who in your database is qualified or not.

HubSpot says that “When a lead enters your database, your software will use predictive analytics to compare the contact’s properties (company name, industry, size, etc.) against those of existing contacts (both won and lost) to determine the best fit.”

Creating a traditional lead scoring point system can be challenging for marketers. The beauty of predictive lead scoring is you do not have to determine what properties should be included or how much they should weigh for each property. Instead, predictive lead scoring will do the heavy lifting for you.


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How Can I Use HubSpot's Predictive Lead Scoring App?

HubSpot's Predictive Lead Scoring App is available to all HubSpot Enterprise customers.

Here are some guidelines to take note before you run your custom Predictive Lead Score in HubSpot:

  • You have been storing both engaged and unengaged contacts in HubSpot.
  • You have been marking contacts as customers for at least three months.
  • You have at least 500 contacts in HubSpot that are marked as customers.
  • You have at least twice as many contacts that are marked as non-customers.

If you do not fit in the above criteria, HubSpot will provide a default model based on patterns they have identified from running tailored predicative lead scores across their customers with good data.

To access your lead score in HubSpot, go to Contacts > Lead Scoring. You will then see a Predictive Lead Scoring tab. Once you are in there you can begin to run your model.

Predictive Lead Scoring Example

Final Thoughts

By using predictive lead scoring, a data-driven approach, both the marketing and sales department can remove any assumptions that may have about the quality of leads be generated. By using real behavior data, you can focus on nurturing the right business opportunities further down your funnel.

With just those simple steps, you can start generating real tangible business results by matching the right sales rep to the right opportunity, while at the same time, identifying the most effective engagement strategies for every one of your prospects.

If you find yourself or your team struggling to get aligned or needing help setting up predictive lead scoring, contact our experts and we'll be happy to help answer any questions. 

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Topics: Marketing & Sales Alignment, SALES

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