Create an Opportunity Scoring Model to Improve Alignment and Conversion

Identifying potential buyers and sales opportunities is one of the first steps in the sales process and is a critical part of any sales and marketing effort. Sadly, many of us commit three common opportunity development mistakes: we don’t have a clear definition of each of the stages in the opportunity development pipeline, we lack an opportunity development process and the opportunity development process isn’t aligned with the customer’s buying process.

Companies who engage in effective lead scoring have a 192 percent higher lead qualification rate.  Scoring opportunities seems like a simple proposition. Use a scoring process to prioritize the opportunities you receive in order to focus your sales team’s efforts toward those opportunities most likely to turn into paying customers. Makes sense right? So why do only about a third of B2B marketers engage in the practice?

To design an effective scoring model, engage sales and customers in the scoring process, and develop relevant pipeline marketing metrics. Three key best practices we recommend:

Adopts these three practices to avoid the most common mistakes with your opportunity development efforts.

  1. Behaviorally-based. Without clear behaviors that indicate where an opportunity is in the pipeline, there will always be an issue of Sales and Marketing alignment. What Marketing thinks is a qualified lead and what sales thinks is a qualified lead will vary. By specifying clear behavioral indicators for each stage in the pipeline, where an opportunity is located in the pipeline will be clear. It is important to spend time working collaboratively with sales on defining the behaviors and agreeing on which stage of the pipeline they belong to. By using specific behaviors to indicate a qualified opportunity, it will be clear that when an individual exhibits this behavior they meet the definition and are ready to be passed to sales.
  2. Process. We may initiate various demand generation programs but the programs are not associated with any process. When Marketing is responsible for initiating opportunities into the pipeline, you need a well-defined process that you will consistently follow and execute.
  3. Map Your Customer’s Buying Journey. To develop and implement impactful programs Marketing understand the customer buying process. Once you map the buying process, be sure to validate it. Your customer advisory boards can be a good starting point for this work.

What comes next? Take a look at these other resources you may find useful:

Buy Your Best-Practices Workbook

Check out our workshop for creating a Customer-Centric Pipeline 

Download the FREE white paper Don’t Waste Your Bullets: Using Customer Engagement to Accelerate and Improve Alignment

Improve pipeline movement with lead scoring, marketing

Create a lead scoring model to improve conversion and win rates.

Lead Scoring Improves Forecasting, Sales Alignment & Marketing Effectiveness 

Read the case study Pipeline Engineering Improves Forecasting, Sales Alignment & Marketing Effectiveness  which explains how VisionEdge Marketing’s work with ClearCube to redefine their customer buying pipeline to make sales forecasts more reliable and accurate and improve alignment between marketing and sales. This case study discusses the process used over a three month period to create and validate the pipeline stages.

Click here to access Customer case  studies

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