How Translate Digital Body Language into Action
Lead Generation, Multi-channel Marketing and Lead Score
Today’s customer is in control of the buying process. With online access to all the information they need, customers can self-educate on leading vendors and the solutions they offer. As marketers facilitate this process, they must pay careful attention to each prospect’s Digital Body Language, so that they can identify the most qualified leads that are ready to engage in a purchase conversation with a salesperson.
How can marketers translate Digital Body Language into the next action they should take? With Lead Scoring.
Lead scoring is a methodology shared by sales and marketing that ranks leads to determine their sales-readiness. Leads are scored based on interest they show in your business, place in the buying cycle, and overall ﬁt with your business.
Whether companies choose to score leads by assigning points, using rankings like A, B, C or D, or using terms like “hot,” “warm” or “cold,” by clarifying what exactly constitutes a qualified sales lead, they can increase their marketing and sales departments’ productivity, efficiency and synchronicity.
The ﬁrst step in lead scoring is determining your ideal target. Creating this ideal buyer proﬁle requires sales and marketing alignment, as both must agree upon the deﬁnition. From there, you can use both Explicit and Implicit scoring to create a picture of each lead’s value. Explicit scoring is based on the information the prospect tells you, whereas Implicit scoring is based on the information that you observe, or infer, such as their online behaviors.
Modern consumers like being in control of the buying process and are knowledgeable about leading vendors and their solutions. Therefore, while interacting with customers, you must pay careful attention to their digital body language, so that you can identify the most qualified leads that are ready to engage in a purchase conversation with a salesperson. Lead scoring can’t begin until marketing and sales agree on the definition of lead qualification. Once they’ve reached this point, marketing can work to generate qualified leads and Sales can work to close them.
To implement this, you must assign a ranking to each prospect based on your understanding of their interests and buying intentions. This ranking system is called Lead Score and includes two dimensions:
- Fit: The explicit information you know about a prospect’s role, company, industry, and revenue. This helps you determine if the prospect is an ideal person to sell to.
- Engagement: The implicit information you know about a prospect’s activities, favorite topics, and level of interest. This helps you determine if the prospect will buy.
Once the scores are calculated, you can determine the right follow-up action, such as, sending a follow-up email or putting the contact in a nurturing campaign.
These two dimensions of lead scoring will help Marketing and Sales create a graph for scoring leads. You might use A, B, C, and D to rate a prospect’s fit along the X axis of your graph, and 1, 2, 3, and 4 to rate their engagement along the Y axis of your graph. You can then define a next action for each square on the graph. A1 leads – those with ideal fit and maximum engagement – can go directly to Sales. A3 and A4 leads, which have the right fit but minimal engagement, should be nurtured until you detect stronger signs of engagement. C1 or D1 leads, which have high engagement but low fit, might be worth engaging in conversation to see if they’re doing research on behalf of a more senior decision maker.
With each action a qualified prospect takes, the lead score will change. That’s why it’s crucial to ensure that a re-scoring process will be triggered automatically by each action and with each day that passes. Keep this requirement in mind as you look for multi-channel marketing software.
Multi-channel marketing is all about engaging with your customer or prospect across every digital channel and any device. From the inbox to social networks to the web, and across laptops, tablets, and smartphones, today’s consumer moves seamlessly and fully expects you to be there with them, providing a true integrated experience. And just how exactly does a marketer provide such an experience? By tracking of course. Tracking and monitoring the actions, movements, data of your customers and prospects.
But which consumers are using what devices to undertake certain activities? What are the repercussions for marketers in not knowing this information? And more importantly, how can this awareness help marketers be smarter, make more educated business decisions, and create improved, informed, and targeted campaigns in the long run?
There’s an opportunity for marketers to consider how they are gathering insights across these devices and using them to test or inform marketing campaigns. It’s no longer enough to look at these devices independently; marketers need to look at the bigger picture and see how these devices are being used in tandem, at different points in the customer journey. This comes down to the ability to track behavior across devices to understand how consumers use them to browse goods or make a purchase.
Unfortunately too many marketers rely on guesswork when it comes to tracking. Of course it is inherently more valuable to know how consumers interact with your brand to reach the right individual, at the right time, with the right content. And the advent of smarter tracking tools hold much promise for the future of orchestrated marketing campaigns, but marketers need to delve into the data and learn more about their audience to achieve success.
The biggest roadblock to multi-channel marketing nirvana is a silo mentality around the delivery systems and people who run those areas. Silos will prevent any marketing organization from providing a true, unadulterated cross-channel marketing experience to customers and prospects.
Lead scoring enables marketing and sales to agree on not just the definition of a qualified lead, but the appropriate next steps for any qualified lead in the pipeline. It’s fair to say that good lead scoring forms the foundation of any successful lead generation operation.
Lead Generation is used to be that marketing departments would focus mostly on awareness and branding activities, while a telephone-based group would contact prospects and identify those who were ready for a conversation with sales. But now that prospects typically have access to all the product and solution information they need, things are different.
Today’s marketing departments realise that their role has shifted from pushing a sales process to facilitating a buying process with the help of and cross-channel marketing platforms. In response, they’re taking a dramatically different approach to the way they cultivate and nurture leads before flagging them as ready for follow-up from Sales.
The Modern Marketing lead generation process begins much earlier in the buying cycle than it used to. Through social media and sharing, educational webinars, and search, marketers seek to be found wherever their prospective buyers may be looking for relevant information on the business challenges that the marketer’s solutions can solve. As a prospect engages with the organization, the education process can move into lead nurturing. By providing valuable content over time, the marketer will be able to remain top-of-mind and slowly educate the prospect on key considerations for the purchase decision.
At a certain point, the prospect’s online behavior – their Digital Body Language – will indicate that they’re ready to engage with Sales in a discussion about purchasing. Marketers can identify this readiness through lead scoring, which matches the individual’s behavior to activities that are known to indicate buying intent. The resulting conversation with Sales will rest on a foundation of buyer education that has been built in the earlier stages of the lead generation process.
Although lead generation no longer revolves around using the phone to identify qualified leads, that doesn’t mean the calling has stopped entirely and phones are obsolete in Lead Generation. To engage and qualify prospective buyers, inside or outsourced teams will often still call prospects who have shown some level of interest. Sometimes they’ll call to highlight a value proposition or event as part of the lead nurturing and engagement process. In other cases, they’ll call simply to ask questions and determine interest as part of the lead qualification process.
Today’s lead generation software as Oracle Marketing Cloud and Marketo focus on managing the entire lead lifecycle – from initial engagement, through lead nurturing, to lead scoring and sales handoff. And although phone-based teams often remain part of the process, they’re no longer the central means of identifying the truly interested prospects.