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Relationship Marketing: Determining Good Lead Sources

Aug 22, 2008
In relationship marketing, having a good lead-scoring model can help give you a competitive edge for attracting, retaining and successfully developing prospective customers. While the data points in a lead scoring model may differ from business to business, there are a few general qualities and principles that will set you on your way to developing an effective lead scoring model for your company.

A successful lead-scoring platform starts by measuring a person's attributes and behaviors over time. This can help accurately define a person's level of interest in your products and services, and whether he or she represents a strong potential sales opportunity.

If a person's interest appears to be low, they can continue to be fostered and nurtured as a prospect until their interest in your business increases. If your lead-scoring model shows that a prospects interest in your company and its products is high, they can be contacted and developed to turn into potential sales.

Input from your sales department (or just sales data if your company is not large enough to support an entire sales team) is critical to an effective lead-sales program. One of the first things to do when developing your lead-scoring model is to analyze sales data to determine which attributes a prospective customer needs to have to be considered a "hot" lead. This data will be particular to your company and type of business.

Understanding a Lead-Scoring Model

One of the first important things to know when developing a lead scoring model for your company is that the model can, will, and probably should change over time. This is vital for every person in your company to understand. The lead-scoring model for a new start-up company will not be the same when that company is ten years old.

One of the many benefits of a sophisticated lead-scoring model is the insight it can provide regarding the attributes of your best customers. This data may then influence the structure of your lead-scoring model. The more data you add to the model, the better you'll be able to understand where your best leads come from, what their needs are, and the behavior they exhibit that makes them a good client to your sales force.

When you first develop and implement a lead-scoring model for your business, it may need to be simple and straightforward, such as evaluating prospective customers on the personal information they provided to you (location, gender, job title). As your company expands, you may need to develop a more sophisticated lead-scoring model, which may contain automated programs to monitor activity on websites, email responses and more personalized sales choices and history.

Another thing to keep in mind is that as the lead scoring of a prospective customer changes, the lead scoring model may need to change slightly to adapt to and accommodate the change in your prospect. The lead scoring model for a hot lead will look different as that lead becomes a customer, and moves into a different category in your relationship marketing plan.
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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