This blog was written before Pardot was renamed to Marketing Cloud Account Engagement. You can read more about the name change and what it means here.
Lead Scoring and Grading is an important way to identify how engaged your leads are. By Scoring and Grading your leads, you can determine the best way to approach them and when, so you're more likely to convert.
What is Scoring?
Let's start with the basics, what is Pardot lead scoring? In short, it's attributing a score to a potential customer each time they interact with your brand. Pardot lead scoring works based on behaviour, not demographics or persona information and it helps to bring those most interested in your service to the top of the pile.
What is Grading?
Grading flips the script and draws your attention to how interested you should be in the prospect. Have you ever spent weeks or even months chasing down a prospect to find out that they do not even qualify as a customer?
By using a grading model, you’re giving your sales team the best possible chance of maximising their time. It will mean it is less likely that they won’t waste time on leads that won’t convert or aren’t a good fit for your business.
Grading shows how interested you should be in a prospect.
Which leads us nicely into profiles…
What are Profiles?
Profiles enable you to have different qualifying criteria for different prospect profiles. For example, a loan provider might have three core personas for decision makers; Borrowers, investors and brokers.
Using this as an example, here’s how the profiles might look.
As illustrated, each profile has different custom fields associated to it which allows you to grade prospects in a way which is unique to each one. You can now be confident the grade allocated to each prospect is a true reflection of how strong the lead is.
Watch this video to learn how to set up a Grading Profile
The Blended Pardot Lead Scoring and Grading Strategy
You might want to combine scoring & grading to create a blended model which determines how prospects are assigned to your sales team, thus becoming a marketing qualified lead’.
A blended scoring & grading strategy doesn’t have to be complicated either, it can simply be a case of assigning leads that have a minimum score of 50 and a minimum grade of B-.
Things starts to get exciting when you build out a more complex scoring & grading strategy. Let’s say you have multiple products or services and you’re scoring each of them individually using scoring categories. Once a prospect reaches the threshold of 100 points (if that’s what you defined as being highly engaged based on your scoring rules), you can start to assign them to user groups. Location is important so you might split your prospects between North and South, counties or regions.
The next step is to work out which sales team to send the leads to. You might want your experienced salespeople working the bigger sized deals. In comes grading, where leads are assigned to North/South, Senior/Junior sales teams based on their product/service speciality. (Use user groups to set this up!).
The logic becomes clear once you draw this out on paper. Here’s how it looks in the form of a lead assignment map.
Download our free Scoring and Grading Handbook and Scoring and Grading Worksheet.
DOWNLOAD: B2B MARKETER'S HANDBOOK TO PARDOT SCORING & GRADING