HubSpot Just Put Predictive Lead Scoring at your Fingertips

Posted by Matt Hodkinson
09-Sep-2015 21:30:00

Blog Posts

Predictive Lead Scoring is now available to all HubSpot Enterprise customers. What is it and why should you care about it? We take a look…

Using Big Data to get smart with lead scoring...

Big Data is one of those buzzwords that’s impossible to ignore. You know the spiel by now: all those reports from Google Analytics about who’s doing what on your website, where leads are coming from, what they’re saying about you via social sites, what they spend time reading, the mails they are most likely to click on and t the content that they take the time to engage with...  in terms of being able to map out buyer behaviour, marketers have never had it so good.

So where are you going to put that data to use? Let’s take lead scoring. You may have at least some version of it in place - even if it’s just a matter of a simple tick box exercise where you transfer the lead over to sales if a certain number of criteria are met. Now add all of that Big Data into the mix. Let’s consider demographic and company information with on-site behaviour, social engagement and email engagement in an attempt to predict what makes someone more likely or less likely to become a customer.

The science bit…

With so much potential information to juggle, the challenge is not only to decide which properties to factor into the score, but also how much weight to assign to each factor. This is where a predictive lead scoring app comes in. It takes your previous customer data to consider the attributes of customers that did (and didn’t) convert. Integrating demographic and behaviour info, it applies mathematical modelling (including appropriate weighting of the various attributes) to rank your current leads based on their likelihood of closing.

So does it work in real life? SiriusDecisions research from 2014 suggests that 90% of users agree that predictive lead scoring proves to be of more value than traditional approaches.

HubSpot: bringing it all together…

For a predictive lead scoring calculation, you could feed all of your data into a stand-alone app - but it’s much easier for this to be handled on your existing platform. Then there’s the question of who’s doing the maths: in particular, have each of the properties been appropriately weighted? Does the app come from a source that really ‘gets’ b2b marketing?

That’s why, when HubSpot announced at Inbound 2015 that it was integrating a predictive lead scoring tool into its platform, we sat up and listened. From a reliability point of view, there are plenty of reassuring touches. Notably, HubSpot won’t conjure up scoring data out of thin air; you need a critical mass of at least 500 contacts marked as customers - along with at least twice as many contacts who are marked as non-customers for the tool to generate results.

HubSpot also seems to have got it right on usability. Under the Contacts menu on the platform, users now have the choice of Predictive Lead Scoring and Custom Lead Scoring. The latter option will be appropriate for those situations where you don’t yet have enough past customer data to use as the bedrock of a predictive calculation. It will also be useful where you’re pursuing a new campaign and where you want to rely less on historic customer data and more on your own research.

 

What it all means: getting your priorities right...

There will be times when your salesforce is faced with a stream of sales-ready opportunities to make contact with and you need to focus on the ones most likely to convert. A complete absence of lead scoring means you’re relying entirely on pot luck. A rough and ready system is better than nothing. Step up to a predictive analytical process, however, and you can put Big Data to work in figuring out the characteristics of those leads that are most likely to become customers. It’s important not just for conversion but also for your lead generation strategy. Once you’ve predicted the characteristics of the highest quality leads, you can hone your marketing material to appeal to individuals who share those characteristics.

Finally, consider this: almost 14 times more b2b organisations are using predictable lead scoring now than in early 2011. Your competitors are likely to be among that number - especially now that HubSpot and others are including lead scoring tools as a matter of course on their platforms. 

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