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What Exactly is HubSpot Lead Scoring? Everything You Need to Know

What is hubspot lead scoring
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What is hubspot lead scoring

Now that you’ve discovered the power of inbound marketing and the simplicity of Hubspot, you’re probably ready to do everything you can to make your marketing strategy as efficient as possible. If we’re going to talk about efficiency, then we have to talk about HubSpot lead scoring.

What is HubSpot Lead Scoring?

Simply put, lead scoring is part of HubSpot’s lead management system that allows you to assign a point value to each of your leads in order to prioritize your marketing efforts and focus on your highest quality leads.

You create a value system based on data from past leads and use this system to rank new leads with a number based on professional information they have provided and their interaction with your brand online. That way you can easily distinguish the people who are genuinely interested in what you have to offer from those who are just browsing.

Rather than wasting time, energy, and money sifting through every single inquiry and chasing down bad leads, you are able to focus on those you’ve determined are most likely to convert. As you streamline your marketing efforts, you’ll watch your profits increase and marketing headaches disappear.

Determining a Marketing Qualified Lead

A marketing qualified lead (MQL) is one that you’ve judged more likely (notice I said more, not most) to convert into a paying customer based on the intelligence provided. In order to determine a marketing qualified lead for your business, your inbound marketing team will first need to determine which factors make a lead more qualified than another.

Tracking past leads from the start of the sales process to the very end will provide you with a wealth of information in order to help you qualify your future leads accurately. This may seem like a complicated process but you’ll have all of the information necessary to rank these leads and with the proper guidance you’ll be able to set up a system that allows you to qualify leads much more quickly and easily.

Step 1 – Analysis

It’s time to make a list of every activity a lead can perform prior to converting to a customer. This could mean anything from visiting particular pages of your website, to downloading informational content, and the list goes on and on. From there you need to implement a lead tracking strategy to analyze the close rate for a particular activity. For instance, look at how many leads downloaded an ebook and how many of them converted to paying customers. Divide the conversions by the total number of downloaders and you’ll have the close rate for ebook downloads.

Step 2 – Compare

When you have performed this analysis on every one of the activities a lead can perform you will compare them against one another in order to determine the efficacy of each. At this point you’ll want to find the few activities that stand out above the rest. For example, if most activities have a conversion rate of around 1% but you have two or three that are converting between 3-5%, you’ve found your MQL sources. Each lead converting from one of these activities is now qualified as an MQL

Step 3- Implement

Now that you’ve found your MQL strategy it’s time to focus on leads of the highest quality. If you aren’t generating enough MQLs through your current marketing strategy, you’ll need to work to navigate leads to the high converting pages of your site or direct them to the high converting activities that provide you with your MQLs.

For more on MQLs and how to track their ROI check out our recent post 6 Keys to Track the ROI of Marketing Qualified Leads.

Determining a Sales Qualified Lead

Sales Qualified Leads (SQLs) are the leads that have been determined worthy of direct follow-up by your sales team. These are the leads that are most likely to convert.

You’ll use a strategy much like the one outlined above to determine exactly what constitutes an SQL for your company. Distinguishing an SQL from an MQL will require a partnership between your marketing and sales teams, and implementing your lead scoring strategy will be essential in defining the two. Your inbound marketing team will play an integral role in guiding both your sales and marketing teams through this process.

For more information on selling to MQLs read 5 Signs a Marketing Qualified Lead is Ready to Be Sold.

Choosing Data to Use in Lead Scoring

The exact data your company will use to qualify leads will be unique to your business and its individual leads. However, this data will likely be drawn from the same key areas. Using the same lead-tracking strategy that provided you with your MQLs (as outlined above) will help you to determine which activities will designate a lead’s individual score.

For instance, a lead that enters a particular set of information on a lead capture form, then downloads a certain piece of content after visiting a specific landing page may earn a very high lead score, while a different combination of activities will earn a lead a much lower score.

Engagement and Frequency

A lot can be learned about qualifying a lead based on the interest they show in your company. A lead that downloads an ebook may be ranked higher than one that heads to a pricing page or jumps straight to a free trial. Leads with a high email open and click-through rate or high social media engagement are showing more interest in what you have to offer.

Site visit frequency may also be used to determine SQLs and MQLs. For example, if a lead downloads multiple pieces of content and visits your site 17 times in a month, they have shown a high interest in your company and will be likely to convert.

Lead Capture Forms

Information gathered from a lead capture form can help determine the score of each particular lead. By gathering information about their job title, company size, and company type you’ll be able to get more specific about the types of leads that are likely to become a customer.

Moreover, if you sell to a particular age, gender, or region you’ll be able to immediately assign a negative score to leads that fall outside of your target demographic.

How to Set Up Lead Scoring in HubSpot

Step 1 – Identify Criteria for Lead Score

Create a list of all the ways a lead can interact with your company as well as information of demographics from lead capture forms.

Step 2 – Determine Point Values

Set a point value for each of the criteria you listed. Give more points to those that more strongly indicate a high-value lead.

Step 3 – Set Up in HubSpot

On the HubSpot platform, navigate to the lead scoring page. Assign positives and negatives to each of your predetermined criteria and the points associated with each attribute.

Hubspot Manual Lead Scoring

Step 4 – Determine Criteria for SQL

Establish a score threshold that indicates a sales-ready lead. For example, every lead with a score of 80 or higher is ready to be contacted for a sale. Compile a list of all leads that exceed that threshold that will be sent to sales for direct follow-up.

Step 5 – Give SQLs to Sales

Determine how sales will receive these leads. You may want to send them by email or export them directly.

Step 6 – Improve Lead Scores

Set up a meeting between marketing and sales teams in order to establish as efficient a sales funnel as possible. Be sure to ask the important questions that will keep you improving:

  • Are there enough leads for your sales team?
  • What do our best SQLs have in common?
  • How can we generate more SQLs?
  • Should the SQL threshold be higher or lower?
  • Do the points allocated to each of your lead score criteria need to change?

HubSpot’s lead scoring is a very beneficial tool for any business to use. By implementing lead scoring, your sales and marketing teams work more efficiently, and leads don’t get lost in the transition from the marketing department to the sales team.

In addition to having well-qualified leads your sales team will also have plenty of data on the prospect. With HubSpot’s lead scoring system sales teams have more information on leads than ever before. They can go on sales calls well prepared and ready answer any question that a lead might bring up.


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Written by

Vanessa Rodriguez Lang

President, Co-founder

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