Marketing automation has certainly increased lead volume, but the focus now is on boosting quality. Progressive companies such as SmartBear Software are boosting lead quality with applications that analyze data and digital behaviors to predict which leads will convert.
A recent webinar, hosted by Mintigo, discussed how traditional lead scoring is being used today, and how adding predictive capabilities to the lead scoring strategy will ultimately uncover the high-value leads with the best chances of converting.
Open-minded marketers are realizing that they need to take their lead scoring initiatives to the next level, according to Kerry Cunningham, Research Director at SiriusDecisions.
Cunningham added: “Oftentimes data points don’t allow for perfect predictions. In the real world of data science, the fact that clues are not perfect predictors are referred to as errors — or ‘noise’ — in the data. That error in the data diminishes our ability to make accurate predictions.”
SmartBear, a provider of automated testing and web monitoring tools for software developers and IT professionals, discussed how predictive lead scoring can help identify previously untapped opportunities.
“At SmartBear, the marketing team has to feed many hungry mouths with the data and leads they need,” said Tony Yang, Director of Demand Generation at Mintigo. “Before the company went predictive, its traditional scoring methods did a great job in highlighting which of its products was the right fit for each prospective buyer.”
While the company saw increased conversion rates with their lead scoring initiatives, SmartBear was limited to leveraging implicit behavior and explicit form completions. There was a large quantity of data and information that was going unnoticed, meaning that SmartBear was not seeing maximized results.
“Even though SmartBear’s marketing teams are experts in their craft, they are still human,” said Yang. “They could not naturally see the deeper correlations and patterns that highlights strong buying signals.”
SmartBear decided to revamp their lead scoring model by adding predictive capabilities from Mintigo. The partnership allows SmartBear to utilize internal data as well as external data from outside sources, allowing the company to score leads on what products are the best choice for them. Yang explained that Mintigo identifies target and cross-sell opportunities in real time.
When starting a predictive lead scoring initiative, Cunningham outlined several areas marketers need to address, including:
- Analyzing historical data to understand the behaviors of leads that became customers and leads that didn’t convert, finding the clear differentiators between both groups;
- Knowing the entity that you are trying to target (single person or an account) to help create the right messaging; and
- Leveraging prospect and account level predictors to gain stable attributes and buyer behaviors to help distinguish leads most likely to convert.
Ultimately, human behavior isn’t always predictable, according to Cunningham.
“Human beings are very complicated systems, and corporate systems made of humans are even more complicated,” Cunningham added.“But if you ask questions in the right way — to the right people — you can begin to make some progress on predicting what people will do in specific circumstances.”
Click here for an on-demand version of the webinar.