Ever wondered how predictive lead scoring combined with AI enables different functions across the organisation, becoming a true game changer? Budgets are shrinking, and your sales and marketing teams are under more pressure than ever to improve KPIs, boost engagement, and close more deals. Our State of Marketing report revealed that marketers are investing in technologies to promote efficiency and collaboration, with around 62% using artificial intelligence.
Top use cases include automation and predicting prospect behaviour. But can automation and artificial intelligence help you get more predictive in other areas? Read on to learn how to identify the leads most likely to convert using predictive lead scoring.
The rise of predictive lead scoring
Lead scoring is how you rank leads to find out which have the most sales potential. It’s based on a variety of demographic and behavioural factors, and it helps sales and marketing teams understand where to focus their time and energy to have the biggest impact. While it’s not a new concept, it’s become increasingly popular over the last few years.
The way teams go about lead scoring has changed. In the past, you had to manually go through leads and assign them a score. While this was slow and frustrating, it had an undeniable impact on boosting ROI.
Since then, lead scoring has been simplified and automated by CRM systems. Paired with marketing automation, you can capture even bigger datasets such as browsing data. This helped to speed up and scale the process, but it wasn’t smart enough to spot the difference between a website visitor who was just browsing and one who was close to making a purchase.
This shows that simply investing in marketing technology isn’t enough to guarantee success. In fact, the top challenge cited by marketers in the State of Marketing report was the ‘ineffective use of tools and technologies’. And they’re feeling this pressure even at the top: 91% of CMOs say they need to continually innovate to stay competitive.
Enter predictive lead scoring. It automatically analyses vast amounts of data for you, taking into account CRM data, behaviour, social data streams, IoT data, and interactions to more accurately predict which leads are more likely to convert. Add in artificial intelligence, and you’ve got yourself a game-changer.
State of Marketing Report
Insights on changing trends, priorities, innovative technology like AI, and challenges defining the profession, according to 6,000 global marketers and trillions of outbound marketing messages.
How AI-powered lead scoring sets you up for success
A survey of sales teams using AI revealed that 98% of them think it improves lead prioritisation. Why? Because an AI-enabled CRM platform has a much wider reach when it comes to collecting data than a standard CRM. Leading CRM companies offer anonymous data to train AI models, which makes lead scoring more accessible when you don’t have enough internal data yet. When it’s been up and running for a while, you can retrain your model using genuine customer data for even better results.
So, how does it work?
- Predictive lead scoring leverages data science and machine learning to analyse data and determine shared traits among leads that converted in the past and those that didn’t.
- It creates and tests predictive scoring models to identify the leads you should prioritise, getting rid of the guesswork.
Finding the right AI lead-scoring solution
Some marketing platforms come with a built-in lead-scoring tool, but you may find that a separate solution works best for you. Check which approach is the most cost-effective. Add-ons can be an additional charge, so if you’re not using the full breadth of the marketing platform, it might be better to invest in a standalone tool.
These benefit from being developed with lead scoring as their primary capability. They’ll be the first to release new functionality and features, and you can connect to any data source. Some add-ons only allow you to use data stored in the marketing platform.
Here are some points to keep in mind when you’re looking for a lead-scoring tool:
- Which lead scoring modes does it support? This can be a mix of manual, predictive, and AI-assisted.
- Does it automate data cleaning and preparation? Doing this manually can take days, but clean data will ensure better-quality predictions. It’s not a step you want to skip, but it’s a step you can automate.
- What type of data is used to train the AI? Some vendors use anonymous external data to augment the results, so if you don’t want that look for one that will just use the data you feed it.
- How transparent is the lead scoring process? If you want to know which factors have been used to score your leads, make sure the solution supports this.
As with any technology, you’ll also want to check out other customers’ experiences, how easy the solution is to integrate with your environment and use, and the vendor’s privacy and security credentials.
Intelligent lead scoring from Salesforce
Einstein Lead Scoring is one of the solutions available to automate lead scoring. It’s available in Sales Cloud and Marketing Cloud Account Engagement depending on whether lead scoring is handled by your sales or marketing team.
It pulls information into a dashboard with reports that display lead score metrics tailored for your business, such as average lead score by source, conversion rate by source, and lead score distribution. And it gets smarter over time. Einstein Lead Scoring automatically runs every 10 days to refresh your scores, so you won’t miss any emerging trends.
How AI can support you with related tasks
The great thing about Salesforce is it offers a comprehensive platform to help your staff work smarter, and Einstein supports a variety of other tasks related to lead scoring and management. For the sales team, it can unlock intelligent account insights, and deal predictions, and generate reminders to follow up with prospects.
When your marketing team is nurturing leads, Einstein Behaviour Scoring uses a similar model to predict when prospects are ready to buy. They can also use Einstein Insights to optimise campaigns, connect with new audiences, and work out the perfect send time and frequency to maximise open rates.
Does generative AI support predictive lead scoring?
Generative AI is the hottest topic in tech – 86% of IT leaders believe it will play an important role in their business in the near future. While it is possible to write a prompt for a large language model (LLM) instructing it to prioritise certain leads, with Einstein Lead Scoring, you don’t have to.
Rather than disrupting the way sales and marketing teams work, generative AI should enhance what they’re already doing and make them more productive.
Save time by automating personalised emails
Forget auto-populating email templates with personal details, generative AI can instantly write unique emails for one person or a thousand in the same timeframe. That means you don’t have to choose between saving time and personalisation – you get both.
- Your marketers are still in control, they just have a more fun job.
- They can review and adapt emails for different audiences and experiment with imagery.
- If they don’t like the email, they can simply hit refresh and generate a new version until they’re happy with it.
It would take hours to workshop every single email manually, but with generative AI, there are countless iterations available in seconds.
Protect your brand without manually reviewing everything
To keep content on brand, a good marketing automation platform will come with safeguards. For example, the Sales Emails and Alerts feature in Marketing Cloud Account Engagement helps the marketing team share approved templates with sales reps.
- Data is pulled into email templates designed and approved by the marketing team using a method called grounding.
- The system uses intelligence to populate a dropdown menu for reps to select the email type, such as an introductory email, check-in, or reconnect.
- They can add any custom notes to tailor the prompt.
- Content is then generated with the right messaging and tone of voice: ready to check and send to the prospect.
The Alert feature will notify staff of any activity, keeping your team super productive without compromising on the quality of communications.
Close more deals and build stronger relationships with AI
Predictive lead scoring and AI take a lot of the heavy lifting away from sales and marketing teams. Teams can use real insights to not only identify the strongest leads but to target them in the best way and monitor the impact of different methods. Give it a go and see those conversion rates rocket.