Lead Scoring – Hot or Not?

Lead Scoring 101

Lead scoring is definitely ‘flavor of the decade’ at the moment and the chase for an effective tool has resulted in many businesses upgrading to the latest and greatest MIS (marketing information systems).

I thought it may be useful to explore just what lead scoring is and what it is not and try to slice through the jargon that sales enablement vendors are so great at tossing around.

Top Level : There are two major types of ‘scoring’ – manual & automatic

Most are very Manual

Many of the tools require (usually marketing staff) to work through a set of steps.

They will look at leads who became customers to see what they have in common. Next, they will look at the attributes of leadss who didn’t become customers (that didn’t convert). Once they’ve looked at the historical data from both sides, they can decide which attributes should be weighted heavily based on how likely it is to indicate someone’s a good fit for your product. Hubspot recommend that your team look at least at company information, demographics, online behaviour, email engagement & social engagement.

That’s a lot of data to wade through and then your marketing team really should do this regularly as your buyer demographics do shift.

To be frank, you will only have most of this data if you are selling through a web site or email marketing to consumers. Not typically for a B2B sale.

Automatic systems

OK. For those of you that do find leads through email marketing & through website traffic (primarily B2B software companies), there is now marketing software systems claiming that they will automatically score the leads coming in to your CRM for just how likely they are to convert.

How do they achieve this?

Firstly, if you sell through a website and integrate this website with these ‘Marketing Information Systems’, they can track all sorts of things that buyers do on your site eg how long and how many times they visit the site before wanting you to contact them, what pages they look at, if they download key information etc.

On websites they tend to track IP addresses and also can insert a cookie in web visitors’ computers .. this is the cause of those annoying pop ups now asking for your permission to throw a cookie on your browser so they know all about you.

Unfortunately for them, much of their usefulness is defeated if users say no to cookies or if users turn incognito mode on on their browser or use a vpn.

If you do manage to secure leads through email marketing campaigns (again if pushed through these MIS’, they will report on whether emails were opened, how many times, how long it was until they were opened etc.

How does the software know all of this?

It inserts a very small piece of code, an image just 1 pixel wide typically so you can’t see it but when the email is ‘opened’ this forces a visit to a tracking site on the back end to load that tiny image.

This tracking then reports back each time you open it, how long you waited etc.

However, if you have a preview pane for emails (such as is the norm for Outlook and many others) this tracking system will read this as an ‘open’ when in reality the email hasnt really been read or noticed at all.

Also, if your email system blocks graphics (as more and more do now) unless you click at the top and say load images, these are defeated also.

So, these ‘automatic’ lead scoring tools work if cookies are accepted, if users are not protected by VPNs or are in incognito mode, if they allow images in emails to load and if they do not have a preview pane up on their mail program.


The real challenge is .. these automatic software tools typically wont tell you if they did manage to get real data on the lead.. the leads are all sent to sales with a ‘score’ saying the lead is ‘hot or not’ regardless.

So what?

Well, if any system sends the sales team poor scores or faulty information about leads it is a disaster. For example if a rep calls a lead marked as hot and the lead doesnt even know what product the rep is offering, the sales team quickly lose any confidence in the lead scoring & logically begins ignoring the scores.

Investment in software wasted!

Also, this ‘score’ is relative to the entire company’s leads. If as a sales person, you are sent a large number of leads they may be all ‘hot’ or high scoring or they may all be low scoring and these scores do not really give you any indication of what order to pursue these. Not very useful in terms of prioritization etc.

Sentia is different & far more effective.

Sentia scores all leads and opportunities and your accounts based on their value to you and gives you a prioritized set of cards detailing which are the ones you should focus on every day, automatically, without having to connect to websites or email marketing systems at all.

Sentia does not require input from users. Our unique algorithms score accounts & leads based on activity, value, the work being invested in each, their potential for growth, strategic importance and other factors. Sentia delivers up to a sales user exactly what every lead, opportunity and account is worth to them and also tells them what order to contact them all relative to each other.

Sentia scores all of these relative to the individual sales person’s other leads, opportunities & accounts. This allows the salesperson to prioritize them time and focus on the most likely wins that day!