Research Outline

Lead Scoring Best Practices


To understand how marketing agencies approach lead scoring (or alternatively SaaS companies) by defining best practices and reviewing case studies.

Early Findings

Best Practices

Negative Scoring and Score Degradation

  • According to Salesforce, one "of the drawbacks to a model that relies solely on scoring is that scores can become inflated over time." For example, if someone visiting a website is racking up points from the careers page and downloading content, they are probably just seeking a job. At the same time, real leads may "continue to accumulate activity indefinitely over a period of time, skewing your list of most active prospects."
  • A Scoring Reduction model can help reduce bias in the scoring system and "keep scores in check by reducing lead scores based on specified criteria." For example, reducing a score "X amount of time after a lead was created is a bit arbitrary and could inadvertently nix a 'late bloomer.' Basing score reduction off of inactivity (as mentioned in the second sentence) is a better practice."

Integrating Marketing Automation and CRM Systems for Scoring

  • The lead scoring mechanism should be based on two integrated systems so they can share information immediately. The marketing automation system tracks the leads, while the CRM solution should help to score leads based on demographic data.
  • Scoring the leads based on customers' data could help identify which client would be a good fit for a product. For example, someone with a lower job title should receive a lower score than a C-suite executive. Other possible differentials could be the level of seniority, department, number of employees the company has, annual revenue, industry segment, and geographic location.
  • The scoring model could be "set up to automatically award points to leads when those or other fields are populated in the CRM. That information gets automatically synced over to your MA solution, and the lead is scored accordingly."

Case Study - Nexino

  • Nexino is a small Digital Advertising Agency based in Switzerland. They acquire most of their leads via newsletter email marketing campaigns and cold calls and struggled with "distinguishing between a normal lead and high-priority leads, leading to missed sales opportunities."
  • With a list of over 100 leads each month, a limited staff, and no lead scoring method, the team constantly had no idea whom to contact first. "The lack of enough information on their leads was causing difficulty and a significant time and revenue loss," as some of the agency's best leads were "reached too late and lost to the competition."
  • After deploying SalesWings, the agency could track "real-time information on website visits, including information about the frequency and recency of the lead's visits along with the specific pages of their website they checked. All of the information about their leads they get straight from the SalesWings cockpit and this enables them to contact the most sales ready prospects the second they turn "hot". The instant notifications make sure that the Nexino is instantly notified about sales ready leads and no opportunities are being missed."
  • As a result of implementing the solution, the agency witnessed a 20% increase in number of meeting scheduled per month, 30% increase in number of deals closed, and 35% increase in revenue.

Case Study Brafton

  • Brafton is a top Content Marketing Agency based in Boston. When the company decided to expand beyond the United States and pursue growth opportunities in the UK and Australia, it wanted to "modernize its marketing automation capabilities."
  • The company switched from Salesforce Pardot to Adobe's Marketo Engage to improve deliverability rates, "identify high-converting sales opportunities with better lead scoring," and expand marketing automation to additional domains and brands.
  • One of the goals was to obtain better synchronization with CRM to improve lead scoring. As Marketo offers synchronization with Salesforce, the company was able to maintain its "sales and marketing data in sync and provide sales teams with the most up-to-date lead information. After the first initial sync, each sync typically takes seconds or minutes and only syncs data that has changed."
  • The company generates an average of 600,000 leads every month, and according to Ryan Collier, Assistant Vice President, Sales Operations at Brafton, the solution resulted in "more high-converting opportunities for our sales team so that more leads end up turning into revenue."


  • Our initial hour of research was spent gathering some examples of less detailed best practices and case studies, as well as assessing the availability of the required information to complete this project. There is enough publicly available information to provide best practices and case studies based on third-party reports (mostly solution vendors); however, information specific to marketing agencies was somewhat limited, particularly regarding best practices.
  • As we were not given a geographic scope, we assumed a global focus. Please communicate to us in any reply if a different focus is desired (e.g., United States).
  • In addition to this public search, we scanned our proprietary research database of over 1 million sources and were unable to find any specific research reports that address the goals.
  • Please select one or more of the options provided in the proposed scoping section below.