In a world of questionable leads and unqualified prospects, predictive scoring—rating prospects and leads by their likelihood to close a deal with you—can make the difference between making your number or coming up short. It’s an essential strategy for helping you find, create, and accelerate closeable demand because it gives you the best chance of prioritizing the right leads while leaving the rest to nurture campaigns.
If you’re not familiar with predictive models and lead scoring, review our Lead Scoring Primer.
Predictive scoring works like this:
- Analyze a large number of past deals to find the signals in the noise that positively correlate with closed-won deals. (At Leadspace, we do this with a proprietary scoring engine we’ve built and enhanced over the years, crunching thousands of signals to separate the merely correlative from the causal.)
- Based on those identified signals, create a model of what an ideal buyer looks like.
- Test your model against a lot of closed-won deals to validate the match.
- Run incoming leads through the model to apply scores.
- Route or prioritize the leads with the highest scores. Recycle or nurture those with lower scores.
Using machine learning and data science, Leadspace predictive models give SDRs and sales reps a winning advantage by reducing dependence on intuition and eyeballing of leads. Statistically speaking, by focusing on the leads with the highest scores, SDRs get more meetings with more qualified prospects, and rep close rates go up while time to close goes down.
A predictive model can accelerate qualification and put more good leads in your pipeline sooner than a person looking at firmographic and behavioral signals would, giving you a jump on the competition and a wider funnel.
Here are a few ways predictive can support your Sales Organization in identifying and acting on the most promising opportunities in your pipeline:
1) Intelligent lead routing
Sales managers should stop routing leads based on relatively static attributes like geography, industry, or personas alone. With predictive scoring, you have the opportunity to route and distribute leads and opportunities (whether inbound or outbound) across your Sales Reps to ensure equitable distribution, but also a prioritized distribution as necessary.
This approach comes with clear benefits: First, you ensure territory planning and distribution of leads is evenly dispersed across the organization supporting a more seamless and fair distribution across teams, building alignment and trust. Additionally, it prevents overload on behalf of the SDRs or AEs from receiving too many quality leads than they can reasonably manage, reducing opportunity costs and time to close. By filtering out ‘C’ and ‘D’ leads, you’re removing a less qualified lead from your team’s queue—focusing their attention on those that are more likely to convert.
2) Refine your SLAs
Traditional SLAs are often myopically focused on one or two data points, such as last behavior (e.x. Form fill) or a “last compelling engagement” (webinar attended, for example). Though we like to believe these hand-raiser actions indicate a propensity to be interested in your product or service, they don’t necessarily mean they’re a good fit for your product; in fact, they could be searching for information on how to more effectively do their job, or they’re just looking for ways to optimize. So, by introducing predicting scores into the equation, you can remove that ambiguity around their likelihood of actually being interested to move down the funnel. That’s a net win for everyone, especially those who rely on their leads to perform.
To support SLAs which optimize time spent and sizing level of effort across accounts, we often recommend that our industry-leading customers work in harmony with their predictive scores. Develop SLAs that either incorporate predictive scores into those SLAs or sometimes, substitute SLA criteria with predictive scoring completely. For example, prioritizing leads and their corresponding SLAs might look like this:
- “A” Leads: SLA = One Hour
- “B” Leads: SLA = Two Hours
- “C” and “D” Leads = Drop into an appropriate nurture campaign until they show more interest
This approach affords AEs and SDRs to stop wasting time, and SLAs, on leads that ultimately are unlikely to purchase, decreases the opportunity cost of those low-scoring leads, and enables your team to meet quota.
3) Anticipate before you engage
Predictive also introduces benefits regarding outbound prospecting, finding your most profitable whitespace, and your approach to finding, closing, and prioritizing closable business.
With outbound prospecting, it’s even more critical to focus on the right target accounts as opposed to trying to boil the ocean. Nobody enjoys sifting through lists, inbound leads, or prospects with a small chance of success due to people that simply aren’t interested in your product or service.
Instead, you can pinpoint a stack-ranked list of your top prospects by leveraging a single Predictive score to help you identify those leads and accounts which are more likely to convert. Imagine a world where you only spend your time on quality leads and accounts which drive closeable business, with revenue to follow.
Anticipate before you engage. With this quality over quantity approach, you’ll have confidence they’re spending their time in the right places. You can combine Leadspace’s predictive analytics with sales automation software or outbounding software to drop high-scoring people into the right cadence or stream to move the needle more quickly than ever.
4) Tailor personalized conversation points
It’s no secret that customizing prospecting messages can make a big difference. But most reps miss out on a chance to go deeper with their emails and sales calls. By understanding critical attributes for each account, such as their business model, what technologies they use, etc., you can determine which pain points your product likely has that can alleviate.
Leadspace intelligence supports AEs and SDR teams to determine what your leads and contacts are interested in, at the right time. Intent, Predictive Score, and Company Specialty data help you understand what your accounts care about right now and where they currently are in the buying journey. Using this data you can spend your time focused on the accounts, know if accounts are researching your products, and personalize your outreach based on the propensity of an account to convert. Couple that intelligence with drivers of their intent, and you have a winning formula for delivering the right message at the right time.
For instance, if a lead from an online retailer comes in, where LS Intent Level=High, Predictive Score = 96, and LS Intent Surging Topics=Dynamic Discounting, an SDR should fast-track their outreach—they’re showing all the signs of being in-market, now. Right message, right time.
5) Leave no Lead behind
What about “old” prospects? Are they truly closed-lost prospects or opportunities, or did they perhaps get busy and never follow up with your initial outreach, or did they postpone their decision because a new competitor showed up? Or, did a new executive come into the fold and make a decision based on a product they’ve used previously? We’ve all encountered these situations, and although difficult to move on from, should ultimately be revisited. You never know what happened - after a year, they could’ve realized they made a poor decision and are considering a switch. Actioning on inactive accounts is a great way for sales to uncover hidden gold in the funnel.
It’s worth reducing the recency bias and chipping away at those prior prospects, champions, or executive buyers to see if they’re interested again. Again, those leads may score as an “A” or a “B” and you can work with your SDRs to drop them into a cadence, nurture stream, or a cold outreach - Leadspace’s predictive is telling you to go for it, so what’s the risk?
These predictive techniques greatly ease the arduousness of Sales, without risking pipeline opportunities. You can improve win rates and conversions by prioritizing your flow of leads. Priortizinging your most valuable prospects will accelerate the process of finding qualified leads, help you figure out where to focus your team’s energy, and give you a leg up on your competition.