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Lead grading explained: Why it's important for inbound marketing and how to get the best results from your data

3 mins read

Lead grading (also known as lead scoring) is the process of assigning numerical values to each lead which is generated for your business. There are different attributes which a lead can be scored on, including the information which they’ve submitted through a form or how they’ve engaged with your website.


In this blog, we’ll dig deeper into how lead grading works and the different ways it can help boost your inbound marketing efforts. So, let's kick things off.

Lead grading: Is it right for my business?

If you haven’t had the chance to consider lead grading before, there’s no need to worry. Research from MarketingSherpa found that only around 21% of B2B marketers have actually managed to establish a successful lead grading program. 

Although it can be very effective, lead grading isn’t necessarily going to work for every business. HubSpot outlined three different questions which you should ask yourself when evaluating whether lead grading is the right fit for you:

  1. Is your sales team getting fed with enough leads? 
  2. Is your sales team working hard enough on the leads which are being sent over to them at present?
  3. Do you have enough data to actually go ahead and implement lead scoring into your strategy?

How does lead grading work?

The ultimate goal of lead grading is to allow sales and marketing teams prioritise which leads are more important than others. By giving leads a certain numerical value, businesses should then be able to increase the rate at which those leads become customers. 

There are lots of different lead grading models which are commonly used. For example, some teams might score a lead on a point range of 0 to 100, whereas others may keep it much more concise and use a range of 1 to 10.

In addition to this, different businesses will use different types of data to actually complete the lead grading process. This will depend on the nature of their customers and the different goals they wish to achieve. 

For example, you may want to look at email engagement. If a user has opened your last five eShots and it’s evident that they’re interested in the content you’re sending them, you may decide to give them a score of 6.

So you’ve now established that this person is engaged, but there’s more work to be done in order to convert them into a customer. The next step would be to set some SMART goals against this contact.

How can lead grading help boost my inbound marketing efforts?

Lead grading offers a range of benefits to every area of a business. However, there are certain aspects of the method which can be particularly effective when trying to boost your inbound marketing efforts. Here are a few examples:

Lead grading enables you to make better strategic marketing decisions

Rakuten Marketing ran a survey of 1,000 marketers last year, and respondents estimated that they waste an average of around 26% of their budgets on ineffective channels and strategies each year.

26%? That’s over a quarter. Imagine how much more top-notch content could’ve been created if these marketers had more of an understanding of which channels were working better than others. Lead scoring would have allowed them to do exactly that.

Because lead grading allows you to take a close look into the different types of channels and understand which ones are producing the best leads, you can then make more informed decisions about where to re-invest your money in the future.

Lead grading can help improve your marketing and sales alignment

‘My marketing and sales teams never speak to each other. How can I change this?’ The answer is easy - introduce lead grading into your business strategy.

In order for lead grading to work, marketing and sales must frequently work together to ensure that the right leads are coming through the pipeline. This increase in communication should then naturally lead to improved relationships between the two departments. 

Marketing and sales alignment can be difficult to achieve. However, if you get it right, it can really help to push your strategy in the right direction. We put together a blog which discusses the concept in more detail. Have a read of it here.

Lead grading allows marketers to strengthen their relationships with leads

Customers are more relentless than ever. If they don’t feel as though there is any resonance between themselves and a brand, they will quite happily jump online and take a look elsewhere. 

Lead grading gives marketers more insight into their leads than ever before. This gives them the ability to create tailored content which can tap into their pain points and strengthen trust by providing them with relevant information prior to making a sale. 

Statistics from Matizmo found that 94% of companies agree that personalisation is critical for both current and future success. By introducing an effective lead scoring plan, companies can use this data to increase the amount of personalisation used and also tell their leads, what they want to hear. 

Lead grading is just one part of the puzzle when it comes to having a successful HubSpot account. There are lots of elements which you need to get right, including the setup of your email templates and the creation of CTAs and forms.

Get the most out of your account with our brand new HubSpot essentials guide

In order to help you ensure that you’re making the most out of your HubSpot account, we’ve put together a complete guide which discusses everything you need to know about the backend of HubSpot. 

The guide discusses a range of topics, including website integrations, importing data and setting up your social media accounts. Download your very own copy of the guide by clicking the button below.