Ivo Campos - Marketing Automation

HubSpot Scoring: How to Take It to the Next Level

A person has visited our website multiple times, subscribed to our newsletter, downloaded guides, and opened our emails. They have clearly shown an interest in our content, but can we truly consider them an ideal customer? While this user is a potential lead as they are already in our database, we still cannot consider them ready to be contacted by our sales team. And this is where lead scoring and grading comes in. 

Implementing the lead scoring and grading system is the starting point when using a Marketing Automation tool like HubSpot. Through this model, we can find out with certainty what the criteria for defining a “Marketing Qualified Lead” are so that we can assign them to the sales team. And, as well as that, it can show us how to initiate lead nurturing actions, which will later enable us to learn more about the lead profile and increase their interest in our B2B products or services.

Some time ago I made a comparison between HubSpot and Pardot in terms of qualification and lead scoring, but today I want to focus on HubSpot in more detail and share 5 tips that are important to bear in mind to achieve a good qualification system for potential customers when using this tool.

Tip 1: Plan your lead qualification model outside of the tool

More important than the tool itself is your strategy. First, create a model in a Google Sheet and validate it with different areas of the company. So, with your web team, confirm that you will be able to capture the information to qualify the lead via the forms. Then with the sales department, check that you are aligned with the definition of an MQL. Meanwhile, customer success may be able to help you define new criteria that will tell you what a good customer is.

Once you’ve done the rounds, try out the qualification exercise with several leads before implementing it. And, if it all still makes sense, you can get started on implementing on the tool.

Tip 2: Separate the qualification of leads by activity and by user profile

One of the limitations that I mentioned in the comparison between HubSpot and Pardot is that HubSpot does not have the concept of grading (qualification based on the user’s profile). That is, the lead qualification happens by default in a single field (HubSpot Score). You can get around this, however, if you have at least the PRO version of HubSpot. These are the steps you should take:

1. Create two fields (properties), at the contact level, one with the name ‘Grade’ (where you will see the result) and the other ‘Grading’ (where you will perform the calculation).

2. The “Grading” field will be a score type field where you will set the rules. For example, users from Spain get +30 points, from the United States +50, etc.

Hubspot scoring field


Creating a score property in HubSpot

3. Based on your qualification criteria, create an active list. For example, contacts with grading > 30 AND grading < = 100 that their Grade is not equal to “Tier 2” (assuming that in this case you want the leads with grading between 31 and 100 to be part of Tier 2). The reason for this last criterion (“It is not equal to Tier 2”) is so we can correct the rating if there are any changes to the data.

Rules on active list for hubspot scoring

Example of the criteria on the active list to enroll the contacts on the workflow mentioned in point 3.

4. Create a Workflow where the trigger is the list mentioned in Step 3 above. The action will be for the “Grade” field to change to Tier 2. It is important that the user be allowed to be reenrolled in this workflow if they re-enter the list.

5. You can also use the “Grading” field to discard leads. If you find leads from countries with which your company does not do business, or students that you do not want the sales team to contact, you can allocate negative points. In this way, in the workflow to assign the Grade, you can label leads that are established as negative as “Disqualified”.

Tip 3: Complete the profile of your users from the account

One of the advantages of HubSpot is that you can automatically associate your contacts with accounts based on their email domain. On top of that, you can complete the account and contact information with HubSpot Insights. This functionality is powerful and very useful, since it allows you to complete the profile of your users and then qualify them with data such as, for example, company size.

Associate contacts and companies for hubspot scoring

Complete the company and contacts data with HubSpot Insights

To take full advantage of this functionality, you can create a workflow where HubSpot copies the value from the account to the contact if the “number of employees” field is empty in the contact but known in the account.

Tip 4: Beware of negative scoring

There are many benefits to HubSpot’s scoring system, but you should be careful when giving negative points in the scoring.

If, for example, you give a negative score to users who are inactive for a certain period of time, you have to plan for removing these negative points should they engage with your brand again. Here’s an example of the flow:

Negative scoring HubSpot

This is important to keep in mind, because if activity scoring is used for lead assignment, you may find negative scoring leads that are actually active.

Another key issue is that there is currently no option to reset a user’s lead scoring. So, be very careful and try to anticipate the different scenarios that you may find yourself dealing with.

Tip 5: Update the lead qualification system based on the results

Finally, don’t forget that even if you have a well-defined lead scoring system, you can always update it based on the results you are getting. For example, you can review your attribution reports to understand the campaigns and types of content most connected to your sales results.Hubspot attribution for lead scoring

Some of options you can find in HubSpot for Lead Scoring

The qualification of leads in HubSpot is very powerful and, in addition to what I’ve just set out, one of its advantages is the ability to connect with (many) other tools. This allows you to create lists and, in turn, impact on the value of the grading or scoring (for example, if a user has attended a webinar or submitted a ticket to the support team). So, there are endless possibilities to explore.

If you have any questions or additional ideas, do not hesitate to comment.

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