Lead Scoring Misses the Point

Let’s say you are in the sweet spot of lead scoring for potential vendors. Let’s use the conventional sorting categories: you work in a mid-sized corporation of over $50,000 revenue, and you are one of the senior players in the decision to purchase a new widget.

During the course of your considerations, you find an interesting webinar about the subject. You attend, and find the material somewhat relevant. You copy the PowerPoint presentations in case you decide to bring some parts to the current Buying Decision Team members at your next meeting.

And then the deluge begins. You begin to get emails, calls, invitations, testimonials, about the potential vendor. Sales folks are calling you to ‘make an appointment’ which you are absolutely not ready for.

A lot of attention. Annoying – their ‘push’ doesn’t stop. You’re almost sorry you went on that webinar.


You take a few of the powerpoints -you’ve begun deleting the emails from the company – and bring them to the 2 other folks you’re discussing the widget purchase with. They also have had the same experience: they went on line, attended different webinars, and they, too, are getting deluged with information and calls and requests for appointments.

But it’s not yet been determined who needs to be on the Buying Decision Team, what the internal change process will look like if they buy the widget and have to replace the one they have now, or how to manage the fight that the head of training is having with the head of HR. Not to mention you really like your current vendor.

So you put the vendors on ‘hold’ for a few months while you figure out the folks who need to be included, how to manage the relationship issues, and figure out the change issues involved. And what to do with the existing widget and the staff that maintains it.

You finally have a meeting that includes the heads of training and HR. You spend a couple of weeks figuring out how to work together, as you each have very very divergent views as to how to move forward. Once you have a quasi plan, then you must figure out who else needs to be on the Buying Decision Team, as per who will be touching the solution and be affected by it. You all agree on another 4 people – the heads of technology, internal consulting, and the 2 other department heads.

You all sit down for a meeting (months after you attended the webinar) and discover that everyone has a different set of criteria around what a solution should include, making the widget choices quite different from the initial guesses. And you end up actually being able to use part of the widget you have, with just some added capability.

You contact your current vendor to see if they can upgrade the widget. They think they can as they are working on an upgrade. Can you wait? You go back to the teamand they agree to wait a few months. Eventually, maybe 7 months after the first webinar, they purchase the new solution from their current vendor.


As the seller of widgets, what does lead scoring give you? And how many real prospects are you ignoring because they don’t fit in to your ‘made up’ criteria for your ‘sweet spot.’ And, how could you have trained your telemarketing/telesales folks to help leads recognize all of the steps s/he’ll need to take in order to go through the back-end decisions – few of which have anything to do with your solution.

From first call (or email), you are closing around 1% of the leads you have – and many of the other 99% are real prospects. Just because you choose criteria for who a potential prospect might be does not make that criteria the right criteria for buyers. And sending them constant data – before they even have their full criteria for their solution (and of course, lead scoring does not tell you this) – will turn off more prospects than it encourages.

Given the lead scoring process you’re currently using, you’re operating in the dark here. You could add some direction to your current technology: current technology doesn’t help the buyer manage their buying decision journey.

Adding Buying Facilitation™ to the front end of your marketing automation process, or to your telemarketing and telesales efforts, and adding some decision criteria to your lead scoring, will help you get rid of those names that will not become leads, and help those potential leads quickly walk through their buying decision journey with you by their side.

Would you rather sell? or have someone buy. They are two different activities. And you are managing only one of them.


For a tactical understanding of Buying Facilitation™, read two sample chapters of Buying Facilitation™: the new way to sell that influences and expands decisions.

For a strategic understanding of Buying Facilitation™, read two sample chapters of Dirty Little Secrets: why buyers can’t buy and sellers can’t sell and what you can do about it.

To get your questions answered contact Sharon-Drew Morgen.

Sharon-Drew Morgen | 512-457-0246 | sharondrew@sharondrewmorgen.com

8 thoughts on “Lead Scoring Misses the Point”

  1. Pingback: First Contact: what to do, why, and how to get better results | Sharon-Drew Morgen

  2. Pingback: Deliver the Right Content at the Right Stage of the Buy-Path | Sharon-Drew Morgen

  3. Pingback: Pipeline management: is your forecasting accurate? | Sharon-Drew Morgen

  4. Pingback: Contact sheets: are they gathering the right data? | Sharon-Drew Morgen

  5. Pingback: Marketing automation follows a small segment of the buying decision path | Sharon-Drew Morgen

  6. Pingback: An Intelligent Contact Sheet | Sharon-Drew Morgen

  7. This is a great discussion on the subject of how we, the sellers, are constantly looking for shortcuts to the finish line.
    What Marketing Automation provides organizations is an opportunity to achieve 2 things. First, move upstream in the buying process and become a partner in that process through “digital dialogues” that support the buyer in their plight to understand what, if anything, they want to change in their environment to achieve different or better results; and, second, to nurture them over time with content that might help them move safely through that process.
    If all Lead Scoring is designed to do is create a “sales alarm” system that triggers an onslaught of activity, you have missed the greater opportunity. This is not a blunt instrument, but a subtle, finely tuned technique to sense and react to how the potential customer is thinking and feeling about the challenges they deal with that you might be able to assist them with.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top