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Relationship Marketing: Lead Scoring for Success

Aug 20, 2008
Developing a relationship marketing platform for your business is an important step in every marketing campaign. Having a relationship marketing plan for your business puts the focus of your business on customer fulfillment and strong customer relationships.

With that said, it is still important for your business to develop potential contacts that will indeed become customers. It is common knowledge that every person who signs up to receive your company newsletter or information won't necessarily become a customer. But, it is important to be able to take the leads for potential customers that you acquire, and turn them into sales - people who will be responsive and receptive to your relationship marketing platform.

This is where lead scoring, or determining the potential customer value of your prospects comes in. By defining terms that measure the value of your leads and potential customers, you can get on track to be sure not to let the hottest leads sit on your back burner. A formalized process for lead scoring will help alleviate confusion over what constitutes a qualified lead. This is something that needs to come out of close communication between the marketing and sales departments, but in small businesses, these departments are often one in the same, sometimes with the same people doing marketing and sales.

What is Lead Scoring?

Lead scoring is a method for assigning point values to different categories of criteria that help target your marketing priorities. A successful lead scoring model will allow you to prioritize and rank your prospects and leads, and help determine the likelihood of each becoming a customer. Not all leads are equal - if you are able to devise a system tally and determine what prospects are most likely to become customers, this will help you streamline your remaining marketing efforts and ultimately attract more clients to your company.

Scores are determined by adding up the points for each criterion selected to use, and these will often differ from business to business, and be determined by the type of company that you have.

A lead scoring model for an office supply distributor will likely look different from that of a shoe store or business that sells beauty products. Once you have scored your lead, it will either be passed along to sales for development as a contact, or left with marketing for continued nurturing as a potential customer. All leads should not be treated uniformly, and by determining where your prospect may be in their buying cycle by using a lead-scoring model, you'll be closer to understanding your clients.

It is true that you may not be able to determine who will become a reliable customer 100% of the time, even with an effective lead scoring model. It is a good idea to follow up all of your potential leads - even ones that don't seem to be "hot" may turn out to be. But, in most companies, it is not possible, or cost effective to pursue every lead, and this is why implementing a lead scoring model can be an effective extension of your relationship marketing platform.
About the Author
Christian Fea is CEO of Synertegic, Inc. A strategic Collaboration Marketing consulting firm empowering business owners to discover and implement Integration, Alliance, and Joint Venture marketing tactics to solve specific business challenges. christian@synertegic.com
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