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Why Lead Scores Should Have Expiration Dates

May 17, 2012  
It became immediately apparent to Howard J. Sewell that something was terribly wrong with his client's lead scoring system. "The most glaring symptom was the absurdly high scores: hundreds of contacts had lead scores of more than 1,000, even though the supposed threshold for a sales-ready lead was a mere 100 points," he notes at The Point. Score inflation is a common problem—and one Sewell attributes to a point-adding loophole in automated technology.

Most of us assign scores by:

  • Adding points for a desirable behavior (attending a webinar) or demographic (VP-level title).
  • Subtracting points for an undesirable behavior (visiting the career page) or demographic (non-US resident).

But steady positive behavior—visiting your website, for instance—might have the unintended effect of driving a lead's score into the stratosphere. And that's how Sewell's client wound up with scores of qualified leads who weren't qualified.

The solution, he argues, is to place an expiration date on behavioral scores. And he gives examples like these:

  • Visit a Web page: add 1 point, wait 3 days, subtract 1 point.
  • Click link in email: add 5 points, wait 1 week, subtract 5 points.
  • Request demo: add 30 points, wait 2 months, subtract 30 points.

The Po!nt: Maintain the integrity of your scoring system by using expiration dates that accurately reflect a lead's current interest and needs.

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  • by Richard Fouts - Gartner Thu May 17, 2012 via iphone

    Fantastic idea ... because it adds the physics of sales ... it helps us measure 'sales velocity' Sales is not static. It is about time and motion. Bravo

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