We all know how a well-designed lead scoring system has the ability to be a key contributor in speeding up the process through which it takes to convert marketing qualified leads into more opportunities, sales and profit.

At the opposite end of the spectrum lies a poorly designed lead scoring system. The result is that good leads get ignored, sales and marketing teams become disjointed, and, in the end, it causes your inbound marketing ROI to suffer.

Lead scoring is a critical component in making sure your company gets the most benefits from automating and investing in inbound marketing strategies and technologies. With this said, here are four lead scoring mistakes commonly made by B2B brands who jump into the lead scoring process too fast.

Mistake #1 – No Value Difference Between Demographics and Behavior

Demographic scores should be used as a way to determine how interested you are in potential prospects, while behavioral scores gauge how interested that prospect is in your brand.

By combining demographics with behavior traits, it becomes nearly impossible to distinguish the high level CEO who has zero interest in your solution from the lower-end marketing associate who has an extremely high interest in what your brand offers.

Creating distinctly separate attributes for your prospects demographics and exhibited behavior makes it easier to provide more laser-targeted and relevant data to the sales team. Never combine the two!

Mistake #2 – Inadvertently Inflating Scores

Some lead scoring systems forget to take time into account. For example, say a marketing qualified lead earns points by attending a webinar in its entirety. Those points and that lead in general should be worth much more today than in six months from now. But because points were never deducted for time passing, that lead is seen on paper as an equally qualified lead as the guy who finished watching a webinar from a year ago.

Many lead scoring systems forget to take into account lead scoring deterioration, which should happen over a predetermined amount of time for every action taken. The result is an unwanted inflation in a prospects score, which will then result in sales taking on leads who have a score of several hundred, but in reality that prospect is practically meaningless by now.

The solution to lead score inflation? Create a system for deducting points over time. Set weekly, monthly, or annual expiration dates for every time-sensitive action the prospect takes.

Mistake #3 – Assigning Points for Opening Emails

Email open rates are grossly overvalued. Assigning points to prospect’s who open an email you sent them is not a reliable way of determining the effectiveness of an email campaign. Opening an email doesn’t even necessarily mean a person actually read the email’s contents, or that they even consciously meant to open the email in the first place.

Giving points for opening emails means you run the risk of giving points to leads for practically no reason at all, which can further contribute to lead score inflation. With this said, avoid measuring email open rates altogether. Giving points to email click-through’s or form submissions received through emails are reliable alternatives.

Mistake #4 – Not Enough Negative Scoring

Assigning negative scores to actions and user behavior are necessary to avoid giving high scores to leads who are not sales-ready. Negatives are an excellent way to dwindle your prospect herd without giving the sales team false positives. Forgetting to utilize negative scoring tactics results in a piling-up of junk leads and a confidence-stricken sales team.

Negative scores can be assigned to specific demographics, such as: If the prospect’s place within the company is lower tier, smaller companies, the company is in a different country and so on.

Behavioral points can also be deducted for: Not visiting the blog, not looking at the pricing page, filling out a contact or submission form without providing a company name, coming from an indirectly related industry and practically anything that merits a deduction in points.

While this list shows only four, there’s a myriad of other lead scoring mistakes commonly made by B2B brands. The bulk of which revolve around taking into account repetitive user actions, not having enough rules, incorrect scoring and inconsistent scoring.

Need help fixing these and other lead scoring mistakes? Not sure you’re making the most of your prospect list? Feel free to contact us today for more information.