The three pillars of marketing automation: leads, lead nurturing, and lead scoring

In marketing automation a lot depends on your leads. A lead is someone who requests more information about your product or service (i.e. a potential customer), for example, by filling in a form on your website. Based on specific actions and behaviour, we assign scores to each lead. This way, we know where leads are in their decision-making process, which enables us to communicate in a very targeted way. How do you attract, take care of, and score leads? We’ll explain it all in this blog.

1. Fragmented Lead Lifecycle

A lead might interact with your brand at multiple touch-points such as conferences or trade shows, eDM campaigns, online search engines, websites, or via print and digital content.

This could lead to a fragmented lifecycle. For instance, a lead might learn about your brand at a trade show, then discover your website through an ad campaign, and later subscribe to your newsletter.

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How do you follow up on a fragmented life cycle?

Marketing Automation aids you in tracking such a fragmented lifecycle of a lead by allowing for customer-centric, multi-channel, personalised marketing across all stages of the buyer lifecycle.

Marketing Automation gives you an overview of the entire life cycle of a lead.

With marketing automation, you can: 

  • track all touchpoints and channels (both online and offline) that bring prospects into contact with you
  • monitor the lead’s progress and guide them through the funnel

Automated workflows, pre-defined scenarios, and customer-driven triggers are set up in a connected and omnichannel way. For such a connected approach, you must look at everything from the perspective of one customer or persona.

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2. Individualised, segmented nurturing – lead nurturing

Every prospect has different needs, buying cycles, and processes. Marketers should approach all leads individually. However, several tasks in the workflow could be repeated for every lead.

But what if the lead doesn’t respond to that welcome message? With marketing automation, you can customise subsequent action points to the precise activity of the lead. This allows you to guide each lead individually through the lead funnel according to their lead characteristics.
Marketing Automation 0DBranched Logic in Action

Marketing automation automates this workflow and helps save time and resources, without compromising on the personal touch for each lead, thereby providing you with quality leads.

Personal, segmented lead nurturing strengthens the bond with every prospect. You communicate in different settings, learn more about their needs and possibilities, and move seamlessly from one interaction to another. This gives you more insight into when you need to invest more resources in the relationship and when you need to take a step back to give the prospect some time and space.


3. Lead Definition – Lead Scoring

A lead is a qualified prospect that is beginning to display buying behaviour. But not all leads are equally relevant. Only 27% of all leads sent directly to the sales department are qualified (source: Marketing Sherpa B2B Marketing Benchmark Survey, 2011).

The challenge: how do you distinguish the good, high-quality leads from those that are just looking at the possibilities? 

This is what lead management – or more specifically, lead scoring – is used for.

Lead scoring is an essential component of modern lead management. By monitoring your prospect’s behaviour and internet activity, you know to what extent they are interested in your solution (engagement) and to what extent the prospect is interesting to you (demographics and business demographics). You can only turn qualified leads into sales by combining both factors.

To indicate to what extent a lead is ready for conversion, you can allocate a score or value to it based on three criteria

  1. Completion – do you have the minimum basic information about the lead: name and email address?
  2. Match / Fit – does the lead match the persona of your ideal prospect?
  3. Engagement – how are they interacting with your content and marketing messaging?

Based on this scoring, you can set a threshold to filter leads more likely to go into the sales funnel. Once the score hits the lead threshold you have set, the sales teams can intelligently follow up on qualified leads for sales conversion.


For example:

You would probably rank a vice CXO-level lead who has spent time on both your products and pricing page higher than an executive-level or intern-level lead with the same behaviour. You may also rank one Director higher than another if the first Director has displayed a greater level of engagement on your website.

Assuming that engagement is a proxy for interest and intent, each of these scores goes into a profile of your lead to aid you in ascertaining when they’re ready to speak with a sales person.


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What are the benefits of an efficient lead scoring model?

1. More efficient and effective sales

Lead scoring focuses your sales on the most important leads so that ineligible or low perceived value leads don’t end up in sales. Through this prioritisation process, sales obtains leads of a higher quality, which elevates conversion rates.

2. More efficient marketing

A lead scoring model maps out which types of leads or features are most important to you. This allows you to target incoming and outgoing programmes more productively and transfer leads of a higher quality to sales.

3. Better alignment of marketing and sales

Lead scoring prevents marketing and sales departments from having different opinions about which leads are better qualified by introducing a common definition of the types of leads that are ready for teleprospecting or field sales. It provides a common language with which the marketing and sales team can discuss the quality and quantity of the generated leads.

How can you make sales even happier? By using these 4 tips to create a better seller experience.

Marketing automation works (for you) 

The average B2B organisation’s Revenue Per Sales (RPU) transaction validates the comparatively small marketing automation expense.

Marketing automation generates more qualified leads and gathers quality sales intelligence to boost conversion rates.

These efficient benefits are invaluable to your B2B customers. Whether your organisation has an annual revenue of $300 billion or $6 million (or less), marketing automation is the platform that will lead your business into a new era of relationship-based marketing with tangible results.

Is marketing automation something for you?

Make an appointment to discover how we can automate your communication – and make it extra personal and focused.