B2B Lead Scoring Best Practices: Identify Most Sales-Ready Leads

Written by

Vikas Bhatt

b2b lead scoring

Imagine this: Your sales pipeline is overflowing with tons of leads. Sounds like a dream scenario, right? Not quite, because lots of them are junk (not ideal ones)- wasting time and effort chasing the bad leads. This is where the finger-pointing starts between the marketing and sales teams, creating enormous pressure and frustration.

So, what’s the solution?

Yes, it’s lead scoring.

What is B2B Lead Scoring?

B2B lead scoring allows sales and marketing team to segment leads based on buying intent and their interaction history. It helps B2B marketers inform the sales team about which leads are genuinely potential customers and which should be left off.

In other words, lead scoring is the collaborative effort of both marketing and sales teams to categorize the leads based on their worthiness- as ‘hot’, ‘warm’, or ‘cold’.

But the model won’t work unless your salemas and marketing teams are aligned. Through a collaborative effort, lead scoring provides an efficient framework for identifying the purchase intent, and sales-qualified leads.

Now let’s dig deeper and understand the lead scoring models.

Must Read: Lead Scoring Strategies That Boost Conversion Rates: The Road to Sales Success

Common B2B Lead Scoring Models

How do you choose the lead scoring models depends on your company’s specific needs and goals. Here are a few common models used in the industry:

Demographic Scoring

This model assigns points based on demographic information such as job title, company size, industry, and geographic location. The idea is to determine whether the lead fits the ideal customer profile (ICP).

For instance, a lead with a job title of “CFO” at a large enterprise might score higher than a “Marketing Assistant” at a small company.

Must Read: Optimize your Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs) Strategy and Close More Sales

Behavioral Scoring

This is a common lead scoring model to gauge the prospects’ action and engagement with the company. This can include website visits, email opens, content downloads, webinar attendance, and social media interactions. Of course, the more the lead engages with the content, the higher is the lead score.

For instance, a lead who has visited your pricing page multiple times and attended a product demo might be deemed sales-ready.

Firmographic Scoring

This type of scoring is all about the company-specific information such as industry, company size, revenue, and location. This model helps you to identify the organizations that align with the ICPs. A large enterprise in your target industry might score higher than a small business in a less relevant sector.

BANT Scoring

BANT stands for Budget, Authority, Need, and Timeline. This model provides the framework for both the marketing and sales team to identify the prospects who are more likely to convert. BANT is not static. Leads’ circumstances are dynamic, so it’s essential to timely reevaluate their qualification criteria

Predictive Scoring

Also called automated scoring, predictive lead scoring will autonomously identify the highly converting leads, taking off the pressure off the sales leads. This model analyzes historical data to identify patterns and key indicators of successful conversion.

Leveraging predictive lead scoring makes companies 2.3 times more likely to report an increase in sales quota attainment.

(Aberdeen Group)

And the best part is that data collected with this method has greater accuracy but requires a significant amount of data and advanced analytical tools.

Must Read: How to Use Intent Data to Identify Sales Qualified Leads

Best Practices for B2B Lead Scoring

Implementing a successful lead scoring model involves more than just choosing the right criteria. Here are some best practices to ensure your lead scoring efforts are effective:

Define Your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP)

Before you start scoring leads, you need to have a clear understanding of your ideal customer. This involves identifying the characteristics that make a lead a good fit for your product or service. Common attributes include industry, company size, job title, and location. And having a well-defined ICP ensures that your scoring criteria align with your business goals.

Collaborate Between Sales and Marketing

Businesses with aligned sales and marketing teams achieve a remarkable 208% increase in marketing revenue.


Sales and marketing collaborate on lead scoring by defining the Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) together and agreeing on unified scoring criteria such as demographic, behavioral, and firmographic data. They assign point values collaboratively, establish a feedback loop for continuous improvement, and use integrated CRM and marketing automation tools.

Regular meetings and open communication can help align both teams on what constitutes a qualified lead. Sales teams can provide valuable feedback on the quality of leads generated, helping to refine the scoring model over time.

Use a Combination of Scoring Criteria

Relying on a single scoring criterion can be limiting. Instead, use a combination of demographic, behavioral, and firmographic criteria to get a more comprehensive view of each lead’s potential.

For example, a lead who fits your ICP and shows high engagement with your content is likely more valuable than a lead who only meets one of these criteria.

Leverage Technology

Utilize lead scoring software and customer relationship management (CRM) systems to automate and streamline the scoring process. Tools like Salesforce, HubSpot, and Marketo offer built-in lead scoring capabilities that can save time and improve accuracy. These tools often integrate with other marketing technologies, providing a seamless workflow.

Regularly Review and Adjust Your Scoring Model

Lead scoring is not a “set it and forget it” process. You must consistently track incoming leads and their actions and regularly optimize and update the lead scoring model.

This can involve adding new criteria, adjusting point values, or removing outdated metrics. Continuous optimization ensures that your model remains effective and relevant.

Implement a Lead Nurturing Strategy

Not all leads will be ready to purchase immediately, even if they score highly. Implement a lead nurturing strategy to engage and educate leads who are not yet ready to buy. This can involve targeted email campaigns, personalized content, and ongoing communication. Nurturing leads helps to build relationships and keeps your brand top-of-mind until they are ready to convert.

Must Read: Mastering MQL Lead Nurturing: A Comprehensive Guide

From Prospects to Profits

And that’s it. We have covered the basics of lead scoring, lead scoring models, and best strategies to implement it.

Let’s summarize the key takeaway:

  • Clearly outline the characteristics of your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP)
  • Ensure alignment and regular communication between sales and marketing teams.
  • Use Multiple Scoring Criteria – Combine demographic, behavioral, and firmographic data for a comprehensive view.
  • Use lead scoring software and CRM systems for automation and accuracy.
  • Continuously optimize the scoring model based on performance and feedback.
  • Implement Lead Nurturing: Engage and educate leads who are not yet ready to buy.

Final note: The world of sales is constantly evolving; what works today may not work tomorrow. So, be open to experiment with new things and adapt your lead-scoring strategy when needed.


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