A lot of marketing teams still guess about when is the right time to pass a lead to sales. Is it after the prospect downloads that 17-page e-book? Or, after they click on a few emails? How about after they spend 45 minutes browsing your site and visit your pricing page? We noticed that without a consistent framework in place, our MQL's (marketing qualified leads) will be hit or miss, and our sales team will waste a lot of time pursuing leads that don't convert.
Our goal was to create a lead scoring model to facilitate constant communication, allowing sales to clarify which leads are the most beneficial to them while helping marketing to generate effective content and outreach efforts specifically targeted to those groups. Also, the goal was to make sure the Oracle sales team isn’t spending their time chasing leads that won’t turn into money.
A lead scoring system can (and should) do a lot of the heavy lifting when it comes to filtering out leads that won’t convert. As a result, it will help shorten the time required to complete the overall sales cycle.
Hence, we decided to use Eloqua lead scoring to create our scoring models, based on the agreement signed by both sales and marketing. Eloqua lead scoring allowed us to assign scores to our marketing leads based on the profile of the contacts, as well as the engagement activity carried out by that contact. This helped us determine which ones are ready to be sent directly to Sales and which ones still need nurturing in Marketing.
Before we could get started with any lead scoring strategy, it’s imperative that both our marketing and sales teams sit down and establish the criteria for what makes a qualified lead for our company.
For this, both our marketing and sales came together to determine which demographics, activities and behaviors make a lead more qualified - specifically, what makes us in Marketing like to call an MQL (marketing qualified lead)?
- Which demographics are more likely to buy than others?
- CEOs or other C-Level executives?
- Do they represent smaller or larger businesses?
- What kind of revenue are they bringing in?
Once both the teams successfully agreed on the point values and marketing activities to identify a contact to be qualified as a lead, we further decided what score should that lead get to be considered sales-ready.
The whole goal here was:
- To avoid scaring leads away before they are ready to speak with sales.
- Make our sales process more efficient by enabling our sales team to work with only the most qualified of leads.
The Lead Scoring in Eloqua is probably the easiest we found in a Marketing Automation Platform.
There are two views when deciding on what criteria to be scored:
(1) Profile – this would be about contacts information about the company that the contact works for, their title, or simply put their LinkedIn profile
(2) Engagement – is the content that marketing has sent out or created. This could be items on the websites people visit, webinars hosted by the company or even trade shows.
These two aspects are the backbone to Eloqua’s Lead Scoring. We call it the Lead Scoring Model.
So, let’s get into the nitty-gritty of what this is all about…
Profile: This is data driven. The data that is hosted in Eloqua can be used to examine if the person is the right person to make the purchase.
Here, we consider Title, Job Function or Job Role, Industry (this is another great one, because a lot of times there are specific industries that have a higher tendency to buy). Region, Country, or other unique fields to your business also plays an important role in scoring the profile. The image below represents creating a profile section of scoring in Eloqua using scoring thresholds.
Engagement: This is activity and recency driven. Activity is the interaction with marketing materials that have been sent to the contact or that they have sought on their own. This engagement activity is purely based on the activity, engagement factors in what the contact recently interacted with.
For example, a contact clicks on an email that was just sent, but doesn’t interact with anything else, eventually their engagement score will go down because they haven’t interacted with any marketing material in a specific time frame. Some of the most common engagement criteria we look into is email click through, website visits, form submits, and page tags (there are many others that can used as well).
Getting to the actual score, is system set, meaning one will always have a score generated by Eloqua that is an A-D and 1-4. The piece that you can configure is the point span that it covers. The image below shows the sliding scale that indicates what range each of the letters or numbers pertain to. We could either want D1 to be smaller than the rest, or maybe you want to have C/B & 3/2 be narrow. Either way, the scale is out of the box set as you see in the screen capture, but it is customizable to what Oracle may deem more appropriate for a score.
We use A, B, C, and D to rate a prospect’s fit along the X axis of graph, and 1, 2, 3, and 4 to rate their engagement along the Y axis of graph. A1, A2 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 marketing 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.
What happens next?
Once the system processes the contact in Eloqua, that contact would go through lead scoring mechanism along with other quality checks. This contact information is made available in Eloqua Profiler, so Marketing (or whoever is authorized for the view), can view the entire detail in a single place. This same screen is linked to Oracle Sales Cloud for Sales to view the exact same information what marketing sees in Eloqua. Based on this, sales could prioritize their calling.
Apart from Eloqua Profiler and contact view in Eloqua, we do make use of various other Dashboards and reports available in Eloqua Insight. This helps a lot in understanding the numbers in bulk and do various analysis and trends.
How does Sales view lead information?
The lead information is passed to sales through Oracle Sales Cloud (OSC), which is linked to Eloqua. It is important to share this information with Sales, so they know which the lead is and how it is scored. This accumulated information helps them to prioritize on which lead to be engaged first.
How has Eloqua lead scoring helped business?
- By creating lead scoring models in Eloqua and scoring contacts based on the profile and their engagement, both marketing and sales were able to achieve a lot in terms of conversion.
- Quality and high priority leads were sent to sales. Thus, making sales follow up better and faster.
- Time spent on each contact were reduced to manually identify high value leads.
- High profile contacts with low engagement fit contacts were sent to Nurture. So, to nurture these contacts over a period and get them sales ready.
- Less time invested and more revenue generated.
Marketing cloud course influence:
B2B Luminary requirements taught us modern marketing best practices and how to apply them in Oracle Eloqua. Especially, the B2B: Conversion topic, which has Lead Scoring as the curriculum subject, helped me learn in-depth about scoring mechanism. Other courses helped are:
- B2B Engagement
- B2B Targeting
- B2B Conversion
- B2B Analysis
- B2B Technology
- B2B Fundamentals and Email
- B2B RPM
Of course, the Topliners community not to forget. This community is the library of topics which one could browse through for any topic, post questions and get answers, live chat option for quick question and many more… this is one of the communities I do refer daily.
Lead scoring is one of the greatest options we have in Eloqua. However, there is so much more we could do in Eloqua. Happy learning, Happy Exploring!!