Advanced Lead Scoring in HubSpot (Complete Guide 2023)

4 key RevOps metrics for revenue growth efficiency (RevOps in HubSpot)

From this article, you'll learn what Lead Scoring is and how to use it in HubSpot for identifying and prioritizing top-quality leads. 

Let's dive into it.

Table of Contents 

Is the MQL model really broken?

In most companies, sales reps are buried under an avalanche of leads that never convert.

They waste time contacting them instead of focusing on those who fit the business.
While marketing hits the goal of MQLs volume, sales cannot hit the quota.

Misalignment between two departments only gets bigger.

Despite the opinions of many LinkedIn gurus, it doesn't mean that the MQL model is broken.

It means the marketing team doesn't know how to qualify leads for sales.

And the hidden costs are enormous...

According to SomaMetrics, poor lead data can cost a sales rep 550 hours and $32,000 annually!

With an average sales rep salary of $60,000, this means individuals are spending over 50% of their time and payroll working with leads that will never convert!

What's more, SiriusDecisions discovered that each bad lead can also cost as much as $100 per record.

For instance, the cost of 5,000 bad leads is about $500,000. These expenses accumulate rapidly

How can we fix this?

One solution is, yes, you guessed it, Advanced HubSpot Lead Scoring.

It filters out the noise and lets your sales focus on top-quality leads. While marketing gets feedback on the kind of leads it has to generate.

Sounds promising, but how to achieve that?

Let's dive into how Lead Scoring works and what it looks like in HubSpot.

What is Lead Scoring?

Lead Scoring is a systematic approach to rank leads based on their perceived value to your business.

Each lead is assigned a score based on specific criteria, such as:

  1. Behavior on your website,
  2. Engagement level with your content
  3. Firmographic information

or any other factors that you deem relevant...

The higher the score, the more likely the lead is to buy.

Data Model

By determining the "hotness" of a lead, your sales team can prioritize efforts on those most likely to convert.

When do you need Lead Scoring?

Lead Scoring becomes vital for business when:

  • Volume overwhelms: When you are receiving a large number of leads and cannot manually sift through each one, lead scoring automates the prioritization process.

  • Improved conversion rates: By focusing efforts on high-quality leads, businesses often see better conversion rates.

  • Resource optimization: It helps you allocate your sales and marketing resources more efficiently, ensuring that high-potential leads don’t slip through the cracks.

  • Sales and marketing alignment: A clear lead scoring criteria ensures that both the marketing and sales teams have a unified view of what a 'qualified' lead looks like.

HubSpot Video

Common mistakes with Lead Scoring

While Lead Scoring is a helpful tool for your sales and marketing, it has its pitfalls. Some common mistakes you should avoid working with Lead Scoring include:

  1. Setting arbitrary scores: Assigning scores that don’t truly reflect a lead’s potential due to the lack of clear ICP.


  2. One-size-fits-all approach: Not tailoring scoring for different products or audiences.

  3. Over-reliance on automation: Relying solely on automated scores and missing the human touch or intuition.


  4. Not updating the criteria: Not updating scoring criteria as your business or audience changes.

  5. Not integrating with other tools: If lead scoring isn’t integrated with CRM, the sales team loses the context behind why the lead becomes qualified.

Creating the right Lead Scoring model

In HubSpot, you can create multiple lead-scoring models with the flexibility to qualify different sets of contacts.

Working with customers, as well as in our own CRM, we believe the one based on the Fit & Engagement Score is most effective.

Lead Scoring formula

Why?

While all Lead Scoring models assume some level of buying intent, this model most reflects the reality.

Let's break it down to understand how it works. 

Fit Score

Fit Score is like a matchmaking service for leads and your sales team.

Consider the characteristics that make a lead perfect - industry, job role, company size, location, tech stack, annual revenue, etc.

Fit Score Attributes(Example Fit score attributes)

Next, split attributes into tiers based on their importance for ICP, and assign them scores with defined weights.

Lead Scoring attributes tiering

Example tiering for buying persona attribute:

Buying persona lead score

You have to tier all attributes you've chosen for your Fit Score in a similar fashion.

Fit score attributes

(Example tiering of Fit Score attributes)

The lead then gets a score with a defined weight for each tier's characteristic.

Lead Score weights

(Example Fit Score weights for Tier A, B)

The higher the score, the higher the fit.

Next, define criteria that make a lead unsuitable (leads will get negative scores).

Let it be a competition, not enough headcount, lack of specific tech stack, etc.

Negative weighiting

(Example negative weighting)

It's about having a filter that sifts out the gold from the gravel.

Engagement Score

Engagement Score measures how much a lead interacts with your brand.

Did they visit your pricing page, open emails, download content, attend webinars, or engage with your social posts?Engagement Score Attributes

(Example engagement score attributes)

Similar to Fit Score attributes, you have to tier the engagement types and assign them scores with defined weights.

Lead score engagement tiers

(Example tiering of engagement types)

Lead score engagements weights

(Example Engagement Score weights for Tier 1, 2)

E.g, a lead that received a Tier 1 engagement score might:

  1. Booked a strategy call (BOFU form submission),
  2. Attended more than 2 webinars
  3. Is constantly engaging with your social content
  4. Visited a pricing page more than twice

The more the lead engages, the more likely it's ready for a sales outreach.

Combine Fit and Engagement Scores.

The real magic happens when the fit score and engagement score join hands.

Lead scoring dimensions

(Lead Scoring dimensions)

Once your leads have assigned scores, you can use the below matrix to categorize them.

Fit & Engagement Score Matrix(Fit & Engagement Score Matrix)

  • A1: Top-quality, highly engaged leads, classified as MQLs.
  • A2, B1, B2: Good potential leads; A2 needs more engagement, B1 is engaged but not the best fit, B2 has potential but is a lower sales priority.
  • A3, A4, B3, B4: Potential MQLs needing more engagement; nurturing campaigns can boost their scores.
  • C1 to C4: Have some value but aren't top-quality fits.
  • D1 to D4: Low fit and varied engagement; unlikely to become MQLs.

How Advanced Lead Scoring works in HubSpot.

First, let's take a look at the contact list view in HubSpot without Advanced Lead Scoring.

Contact list without Advanced Lead Scoring

(Contacts list view without lead scoring)

It's really hard to tell which of these leads should be prioritized by reps, isn't it? 

Now, look again, but this time with Advanced Lead Scoring.

Contact list with Advanced Lead Scoring

(Contacts list view with Advanced Lead Scoring)

Now you see that all those leads ARE NOT READY for sales outreach.

How's that so?

As we mentioned in the previous chapter, A2 leads are a good fit but need more engagement with your brand.

Thus, marketing should still work on them until they are ready to be passed to the sales team.

But wait, there's more...

Using a tool like Supered, you can give your sales immediate context for the sales outreach through record notification.

 

Context behind sales outreach with Supered

As a result:

  • Sales get an MQL with context as to why it was qualified.

  • Sales know what sequence to use based on the intent triggers.

  • Sales save time on researching contact and its activity timeline.

The best part? The whole process happens in the background without manual intervention. Your salespeople don't even need to think about it.

Suppose you have a RevOps team in your org. You implement these kinds of improvements regularly.

This is how you get a competitive edge.

Prerequisites for Lead Scoring implementation in HubSpot

Before implementing Advanced Lead Scoring in HubSpot, make sure you have covered foundations

Prerequisities before implementing advanced lead score

(Prerequisites for Lead Scoring Implementation)

Without them, you'll not be able to make it work.

Implementing Advanced Lead Scoring in HubSpot

To set up Advanced Lead Scoring in HubSpot, follow these steps:

1. Create inclusion lists for both Fit and Engagement Score for specific attributes and tiers.

Example: Lead Scoring - Fit Score - Buying Personas - Tier 1

Lead Scoring - Fit Score - Buying Personas List

2. Create custom scoring properties:

  • Fit Score,

  • Engagement Score,

  • Advanced Lead Score

Custtom scoring properties-min

(Example of the Engagement Score property)

3. Set up scoring for Fit and Engagement Score properties

Add criteria with list membership filtering and allocate a relevant number of points for a given attribute and its tier.

Scoring for Fit Score

(Example of Fit Score)

Note: Exclude contacts who should not be scored, e.g. your vendors. Assign eg. -100 points for the contacts who are members of a "Global Exclusion List".

4. Create a workflow to assign Advanced Lead Score and Engagement Score (graded into 1, 2, 3, 4 buckets)

Here you can see the part of the workflow.

Advanced Lead Score workflow

Advanced Lead Score workflow

Lead Scoring in HubSpot best practices.

  1. Use automation to manage SLA workflows and notify Revenue Operations of missed pickups.

  2. If sales fail to meet SLA, reassign the lead to another salesperson or send it back to marketing for disqualification.

  3. Introduce negative weighting to deduct points for leads that are unlikely to convert.

  4. Run scenario testing to ensure Lead Scoring points align with predetermined thresholds.

  5. Use Lead Scoring setup and workflows within HubSpot to effectively manage lead handovers.

Summary

Lead Scoring is a powerful tool for businesses looking to streamline their sales & marketing process and boost conversions.

However, it requires the right strategy, regular monitoring, and updates to be effective.

And, what's most important, it has to be tailored to your go-to-market strategy, including the ideal customer profile with targeted segments.

Fortunately, HubSpot has made it easier for businesses to implement and benefit from Lead Scoring.

If you want to implement Advanced Lead Scoring in your company, just schedule a call with one of our consultants:

 

about the author
Arek Piatek - I help B2B companies drive revenue with Demand Generation Programs. RevOps Evangelist and marketer who thinks outside the funnel. Creating marketing programs aligned with how people want to buy, not in a way companies want to sell to them.