Many companies classify themselves as either B2B, B2B2C, or direct-to-consumer (DTC) regardless of their industry. However, today most businesses have multiple go-to-market strategies to reach their target markets. With these new business models, also comes a need for multi-channel communication complexities that many B2B email technology platforms do not natively support.  

When assessing a comprehensive platform to bring these hybrid models (B2B + B2B2C + DTC) to life, Salesforce Marketing Cloud is often a lead contender. Its flexible data model and robust personalization functionality stand out amongst competitors, but when it comes to lead scoring, it lacks an out of the box functionality many are accustomed to with B2B platforms.  

But all is not lost. Our in-house experts have developed two unique ways to further your Account Based Marketing (ABM) efforts by enabling lead scoring within Salesforce Marketing Cloud.  

Rules-Based Lead Scoring 

Using existing Marketing Cloud functionality found within Automation Studio and Journey Builder, customers and prospects can quickly build a lead scoring model that takes in behavioral parameters from websites, emails, and other data sources relevant to lead scoring. Our flexible solution uses native SQL Query components found within Automation Studio to identify leads and calculate a rules-based lead score in conjunction with activity (such as “email opens”).  

As a next step, we use the power of Journey Builder decision splits and customer relationship management (CRM) update activities to make this score available to users within their Sales Cloud, Microsoft Dynamics, or Oracle CRM environment. Through this approach, users can ultimately prioritize leads based on their status and update communications accordingly while using additional data attributes such as web activity, email activity, lead score and lead source.  

Solution In Action

In an effort to prove out our method, we approached two different clients (in very different industries) and set out to implement our lead scoring method within their Marketing Cloud environment. 

  • National Book Publisher: One client, a prominent national book publisher, needed a lead scoring model within Marketing Cloud, that would feed relevant information into Microsoft Dynamics. Leaning on our team of innovative thinkers, and using Marketing Cloud’s robust functionality, we leveraged the rules-based lead scoring approach. This meant leads are calculated and assigned a score, from low priority to high priority before being passed along into the client’s CRM system. This in turn allows the sales reps to focus on highly qualified authors and improved all the reps productivity and drove more book contracts and sales. 
  • Consumer Goods Manufacturer: A consumer goods manufacturer with multiple brands was faced with a different challenge. Their independent dealer networks were treating all consumer inquiries the same, and not prioritizing sales-ready consumers, therefore missing key sales opportunities. By leveraging the flexible data model of Marketing Cloud, they were able to ingest website, email, and form information to support an automated process that would calculate a respective lead score. If the lead score calculation was low, it became a Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL) where marketing continued to communicate the prospective customer. If the lead score was higher, it became a Sales Qualified Lead (SQL), and in real-time, was automatically routed to the closest dealer and prioritized with a personal follow-up. This lead alert included all relevant and detailed information of their online activities and which products to consider discussing with them, with everything stored in both Sales Cloud and Experience Cloud depending on lead status, providing a seamless and positive customer experience from the brand to their dealer channel.  

Intelligent Lead Scoring 

For companies that need more advanced lead scoring requirements, Intelligent Lead Scoring leverages the machine learning capabilities of Interaction Studio. More advanced scoring methods or high lead volume are the two primary criteria that may dictate whether artificial intelligence is needed to feed the scoring model both automatically and continually. Interaction Studio can readily capture many data parameters, such as website, email, eCommerce, and other data sources that are relevant to lead scoring. With built-in machine learning capabilities, the tool can understand actions, KPIs and segments, for example, making a lead score model even more flexible. Advanced features include business cycle alignment and time decay to help further refine the way a business thinks about advanced lead scoring. The lead score is then stored within Salesforce Sales Cloud, Microsoft Dynamics,  Oracle CRM, or any other CRM system. End users, such as Business Development Reps (BDRs) or sales reps, can then review the scores and prioritize leads based on their status and update communications accordingly. Furthermore, Interaction Studio can recommend what information (sales conversations, specific content, unique offers, etc.) might be most relevant to advance their next communication.  

Solution In Action

A durable goods manufacturer that targets many industries, brands, and products, including communications by their direct sales reps and distribution channels, needed an intelligent and automated way to better score and prioritize leads for their direct sales channel. Bold Orange developed a scoring model leveraging Marketing Cloud and Interaction Studio functionality by capturing multi-channel behavior and integrated the results within their Oracle CRM platform. 

By using Interaction Studio’s functionality and Bold Orange’s consultative approach, the company’s Intelligent Lead Scoring system automatically scores and classifies 75+ leads per day into either MQLs or SQLs that are then prioritized for field sales follow-up and product recommendations.  

By understanding the customer needs first, applying either basic rules-based lead scoring or advanced intelligent lead scoring, Salesforce Marketing Cloud has the functionality to support it.  

The Takeaway 

The approach to implementing a strong lead scoring strategy within Salesforce Marketing Cloud varies across B2B, B2C, and DTC companies. The important thing to understand is that it is possible – but only with the right partner who embodies creative thinking and technical solutioning to accommodate these individual business cases. This is where our team of experts come in. As your partner, we’ll leverage the technology to advance your business, regardless of your organization’s unique lead scoring requirements.