The Truth about Setting Up a Lead Scoring System to Identify Your Top Prospects

As part of our guest contributor series, David Lawrence from Follow Up Boss walks us through lead scoring. Follow up Boss is a sales driven CRM dedicated to helping budding real estate agents and teams close more deals with their leads, past clients, and sphere of influence. You can find Follow Up Boss on Twitter: @FollowUpBoss or visit the website: followupboss.com.

Before you start scheduling open houses and investing money in marketing, you need to spend some time getting to know your prospects. The more organized and qualified your leads are, the better you’ll manage your time — and the easier it will be to make your way to that sweet seven-figure mark.

Maybe that’s why so many sales teams love lead scoring. In a study conducted by Eloqua, Oracle on ten companies using lead scoring systems, the findings were eye-opening: close rates increased by 30%, company revenue increased by 18% and the revenue per deal increased by 17%.

Nice, huh?

If you don’t already know what lead scoring is you’re probably curious after seeing those numbers. But even experienced sales teams already using a lead scoring system may not know what it is… exactly.

Let’s clear that up.

We’re about to tell you the truth about what lead scoring is (hint: it doesn’t have to be half as complicated as you think) and how you can use it to close way more deals for your real estate business.

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What is lead scoring?

If you’re like most people who don’t speak sale tech jargon all day long, you’re probably wondering what lead scoring even means.

When people talk about this concept, they’re often referring to a way of qualifying your potential customers based on who they are and how they engage with your brand. There’s a whole methodology that many software companies use to rank prospects on a scale in order to clue you in on how important each of those leads is to your business.

The goal of lead scoring is to help you prioritize leads, improve close rates and reach that top-level of productivity that will propel your business forward. It’s an admirable goal, for sure.

The problem with lead scoring that most sales agents don’t realize is that how you get to the goal matters just as much as the goal itself.

The problem with lead scoring systems

Distraction and non-essential tasks are the enemies of all sales teams.

Yet, the way most lead scoring systems are designed is by using a complex set of factors, things like demographics (age, race, sex, geographical location), consumer behavior (how people decide what to buy and when) and consumer engagement (the emotional connection between people and your brand).

The sum of these factors is then calculated into the actual lead score. When a lead reaches a specific point total, they’re considered a hot prospect. And we all want hot prospects, right? Right.

But no one buys a home because they are a 35-year old Caucasian female who reads Wired Magazine and lives in Virginia Beach. They buy a home because of personal circumstances in their life. And they buy it using the agent who’s there when the time is right.

Setting up a lead system doesn’t need to be puzzling. At the core, it’s simply about identifying your top prospects and building a better connection with every lead on your list (because you actually care, not because they got an ‘A’ score in some complicated 9-box model).

Lead scoring is not rocket science

If the last point didn’t convince you, perhaps this will: Leads go from warm to cold quickly.

In order to avoid that, you need to know what your leads are looking for. The best way to find out is by actually spending time with them, getting to know their needs. This way, you’ll be able to give them relevant and personalized content that meets those needs (and puts you far above the competition in your prospects’ hearts and minds).

To measure leads’ level of interest, you need to look at how much they interact with your business. There’s one simple question you should continuously ask yourself: How engaged are my leads?

Think about it: the more engaged your prospects are, the more rewarding each interaction will be. Chances are, there’s alignment between what they’re looking for and what you can offer — even if that’s just the right advice at the right time. All you really have to do is show up consistently.

Let’s take a closer look at how to show up for the right leads at the right time, without making it complicated.

How to identify your top prospects

If you’re using a CRM, you can make it way easier to identify your most engaged leads and hit the right follow-up rhythm for everyone in your database.

That’s true even if you’re already using a system with a complicated lead scoring model built in.

All you need to do is boil it down to a few key behavioral factors:

  • When did my lead last engage?
  • When did I (or a member of my team) last engage?
  • What type of content does my lead engage with?

Leveraging the simple things like the people who were active on your website in the last 5 days but haven’t a call, email or text in that timeframe helps you hone in on the highest priority leads, without giving too much credit to things of lower consequence that often go into complex lead scores.

For those that are less ready to engage, resist the urge to put them off or keep them stuck on an endless loop of 12-month drip campaigns. By paying a little extra attention to the leads that have viewed more than a certain number of properties on your site, or are looking at homes above a certain price point, you can easily zoom in with an active and personalized follow up that addresses their actual real-world needs and moves them that much closer to a purchase.

Remember, a primary factor separating the top earners from the rest of the real estate herd is how they spend their time. A simple lead scoring system and tailoring your approach to your prospects’ experience will bring you the commissions you’re looking for.

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