What is scoring? Explain the merits and design procedures to be implemented

In order to conduct an efficient approach with a limited sales force, it is necessary to screen high-potential leads in advance. In marketing, this sorting of leads is called “scoring (lead scoring).”

If you are worried that “the number of leads sent from the marketing department is too large” or “it will take several months to approach all the leads”, the scoring introduced here is effective.

This time, we will explain the basic knowledge of lead scoring, the design procedure, and the specific setting method in MA (marketing automation) .


Table of Contents

What is scoring (lead scoring)?

What is scoring (lead scoring)?

Scoring is a method of evaluating prospects based on lead attributes and behavior . It is also called “lead scoring” because it means to score the information of prospective customers (leads).

In the first place, marketing extracts excellent prospects through a three-step process.

  • Lead generation: Creating prospective customers through web advertisements, exhibitions, etc.
  • Lead nurturing: Establishing a medium- to long-term relationship with the prospective customers created and fostering the degree of prospectiveness
  • Lead qualification: Narrowing down the cultivated prospects based on certain criteria and extracting leads that can be targeted for sales

Scoring is used in the third stage of lead qualification, and the main flow is to hand over the information to the sales department after narrowing down the leads with high potential according to certain criteria. Therefore, in order to conduct efficient and high-quality sales activities, it is necessary to select good prospects (hot leads) by scoring .

Scoring is done using MA (marketing automation) tools

Scoring is essential for selecting hot leads, but it is difficult to evaluate each prospect’s information one by one. Use MA (marketing automation) tools .

MA refers to automation of marketing activities such as accumulation of prospective customer information and analysis of measures. For example, you can send thank-you emails to seminar participants, centralize behavior data, etc., and some have a scoring function.

In other words, if you use an MA tool with a scoring function, you can automate the scoring process . If you spend too much time on scoring, it will result in a fall in sales efficiency, so it is essential to use an MA tool with a scoring function if you are aiming for maximum efficiency.

Benefits of scoring

The benefits of scoring are:

  • Collaborate between sales and marketing departments
  • Take full advantage of your inventory
  • Easy to measure and analyze effects

Let’s take a closer look at each benefit.

Collaborate between sales and marketing departments

The biggest advantage of scoring is that it reduces the friction between the sales and marketing departments, allowing for smoother collaboration .

If there is no cooperation between these two departments, events such as approaching the same prospective customer in each department may occur. From the perspective of potential customers, you will be fed up with the persistent approach and will damage your trust.

Scoring allows sales to focus on the hot lead approach they inherited from marketing . The marketing department will also be less likely to be in conflict with the sales department because of the low probability of leads being sent to sales.

You can make full use of the holding list

If you are a company with a long history, you may have accumulated old business cards obtained from past visits or exhibitions, or information on dormant customers. Scoring can convert these low-potential leads (cold leads) into hot leads .

Cold leads may have been interested in your product or service in the past, so uncovering their needs can well turn them into quality prospects.

Easy to measure and analyze effects

You may hesitate to score when you think of “giving points to important customers”, but quantification is an absolute requirement for measuring and analyzing effects . No effective verification can be done without specific numbers. Since it does not lead to improvements in marketing and sales measures, the value provided decreases, which may have a negative impact on users.

Sales activities rely heavily on sales techniques based on the know-how, intuition, and experience of the person in charge, so it is important to create an objective score.

Settings required for scoring

Settings required for scoring

So what exactly do you need for scoring? Here, we will explain how to deal with leads with high scores and how to set the target period.

Dealing with high-scoring leads

When designing your scoring for the first time, decide how to handle leads with high scores .

Even the same high-scoring leads are set up differently depending on how you approach them. For example, “a salesperson makes a phone call to a lead with a high score” or “an inside sales representative reveals needs through email distribution”.

If you decide the method of approach in advance, you can smoothly hand over lead information from the marketing department to the sales department.

Setting the period covered by scoring

When using the scoring function of the MA tool, set the target period for calculating the score . Regarding the setting of the target period, you can decide by the interval corresponding to the lead, that is, the frequency of logging into the MA tool.

For example, if you want to check the behavior of prospective customers on the previous day when conducting inside sales, you will be logged into the MA tool almost every day, so one day is optimal for the scoring period. On the other hand, if you regularly send out an e-mail magazine, you do not need to log in every day, so set the target period according to the e-mail transmission period.

Scoring design example

When designing your scoring, follow these five steps:

  1. Familiarize yourself with scoring with existing settings
  2. Set the period covered by scoring
  3. Scoring addition and deduction settings
  4. Extract High Scoring Leads
  5. Improved scoring accuracy

Take it little by little at first and gradually get a feel for it.

Step 1: Familiarize yourself with scoring with existing settings

Most MA tools come pre-configured with scoring. By utilizing the existing settings, even inexperienced users can get used to the scoring function . First, perform a trial operation with the existing settings, and change the detailed settings as necessary.

Of course, if you have used MA tools in the past, you can immediately restore the original settings.

Step 2: Set the period for scoring

As mentioned earlier, the target period for scoring is the frequency of logging into the MA tool (frequency of responding to leads). Base your target timeframe on how often you want to work with leads with the highest possible score .

Step 3: Scoring Addition/Deduction Settings

With the scoring function of the MA tool, you can finely adjust the addition and deduction points according to the behavior of the prospective customer. After setting the target period, let’s set the addition and subtraction points.

Especially in prospect scoring, there are frequent opportunities to review the conditions for adding points . For example, actions such as inquiries about your company’s site should always be handled regardless of the high score, so it is important to exclude them from the conditions for adding points in advance.

Also, even after the MA tool is in operation, it may be set so that browsing web pages that are not directly related to purchasing behavior (e.g. recruitment pages) are not subject to additional points.

Step 4: Extract High Scoring Leads

Next, let’s extract the leads that recorded a high score. Extracting high-scoring leads is also the purpose of scoring. It is important to communicate closely with sales representatives and share information on leads to be approached across departments .

If the sales representatives are divided into multiple groups, the filter function and notification function installed in the MA tool will be useful. With the filter function, it is possible to sort various lead information to sales according to the type of business they are in charge of. Furthermore, if you use the notification function, the sorted lead information will be sent to each sales representative by e-mail, so you can hand it over more smoothly.

Step 5: Improve scoring accuracy

If you can extract high-scoring leads, the scoring design is complete. But scoring doesn’t end with design. Since the score calculation method can be performed even while the MA tool is in operation, it is important to improve the accuracy of scoring while analyzing the daily behavior of prospective customers .

For example, in day-to-day operations, a prospective customer who sees a page that introduces each function in detail may have a higher closing rate than a prospective customer who browses the price plan page. In this case, you can improve the accuracy of scoring by setting the “view of function introduction page” to a high score.

What are the important points in conducting scoring?

What are the important points in conducting scoring?

In scoring, it is important to design according to an accurate procedure, but it is even more important to clarify the scoring criteria and adjust the evaluation items regularly.

Clarify scoring criteria

If the criteria for giving a high score remain ambiguous, there is a risk of falling into a situation where “the score is high, but it does not lead to a contract.” Therefore, let’s clarify the score criteria before operating the MA tool .

In scoring, in addition to behavior history on the web, personal attributes, company attributes, etc., BANT conditions are used as indicators. BANT conditions are indicators that represent the prospective customer’s “Budget, Authority, Needs, and Timeframe.”

Regularly adjust assessment items

Since the above indicators require current data, it is difficult to establish criteria from the time the scoring is introduced. Therefore, it is necessary to rotate the PDCA cycle after operation. Examine your prospect’s ever-changing behavior and adjust your metrics regularly .

For example, let’s say that 10 points are added for requesting materials, and 1 point is added for visiting the function introduction page.

If a prospect who visits the function introduction page 10 times gets 10 points and is on the same line as the prospect who requested the document, it is questionable whether they have the same degree of probability. This is because, in general, it is thought that people who have requested materials are more advanced in the consideration stage than people who have accessed the function introduction page 10 times.

When using scoring, the above problems tend to occur, so let’s deal with it by adding or subtracting points for each action.

Verify if it works with past performance

It is also important to verify whether past performance and scoring settings are linked .

Past performance refers to data such as, for example, “Prospects who requested materials have a higher closing rate than other prospective customers.” If the prospective customers who requested materials have a high closing rate, and if the additional points for the action of “requesting materials” in the scoring are large, they will be able to work well together.

If information such as conversion pages and inflow keywords are converted into data, it will be easier to perform the above verification.

Points to note when introducing scoring

There are three things to keep in mind when performing scoring:

  • Not all actions need to be reflected in the score
  • Before you get used to it, keep simple settings in mind
  • Inaccurate results with few reads

I will explain each point in detail.

Not all actions need to be reflected in the score

When designing your scoring, you don’t have to score every behavior of your prospects. Rather, if you reflect everything, there is a risk of falling into a reversal phenomenon where leads with low prospects get high scores .

Therefore, it is necessary to make a setting such as “viewing recruitment pages that are not directly related to purchasing behavior is not reflected in the score”. Also, stale information tends to negatively affect the accuracy of your score, so target prospects who have acted in the last few days as much as possible.

Before you get used to it, keep simple settings in mind

In order to improve the accuracy of scoring, there is no choice but to repeatedly try to adjust the addition and subtraction points while verifying the behavior of the prospective customer. Therefore, instead of doing a complicated design from the beginning, try to make it simple and minimal until you get used to it .

Inaccurate results with few reads

You need a reasonably voluminous prospect list before you can put scoring into action. Too little lead information makes it difficult to extract hot leads accurately. If you don’t have enough lead information, create a prospect list from business cards you’ve received in the past or lists you’ve acquired at trade shows .

3 representative marketing tools for scoring

3 representative marketing tools for scoring

Not all MA tools have a scoring function. Here are some recommended MA tools with scoring functions.

HubSpot predictive lead scoring

HubSpot’s MA tool has a feature called Predictive Lead Scoring .

Predictive Lead Scoring is a feature where a proprietary machine learning algorithm automatically scores leads that are likely to close within the next 90 days . By analyzing the data accumulated internally, points are automatically assigned to “prospects who have reached closing” and “prospects who have not reached closing”.


Pardot is an MA tool provided by Salesforce, and it has functions especially for BtoB. In addition to managing prospective customer information, we also support the creation of LP (landing pages) and email distribution.

As a scoring function, it is possible to visualize lead information such as “which user is interested in what and to what extent” . Since you can see at a glance when to conduct sales, you can reduce the risk of opportunity loss.

Marketo Engage

Marketo Engage , an MA tool from the United States , boasts a track record of more than 5,000 companies worldwide. There is no distinction between BtoB and BtoC, and it has all the functions necessary to create and nurture prospective customers.

A unique feature of Marketo Engage’s scoring functionality is the ability to modify score values ​​on-the-fly for prospect behavior . Triggers can be set for each score, and scores can flexibly change as triggers, such as updates to prospective customer attribute information and changes in reaction to campaigns.

Aim for highly accurate scoring with proper operation

Scoring that extracts hot leads with high potential by assigning points for each behavior of prospective customers cultivated by lead nurturing. In addition to improving sales efficiency, we can provide services that support problem solving to prospective customers who originally need our services, which leads to increased satisfaction for both parties.

When scoring is first introduced, the evaluation criteria are immature and imprecise. Therefore, in order to get closer to more appropriate scoring, it is necessary to turn the PDCA cycle and repeat verification and improvement.

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