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Unlocking Pipeline Potential: How Scoring Can Generate More Pipeline (and How It Doesn't)

Lead Scoring is great and often necessary, but we frequently see people think about needing scoring without a clear idea of where the business value will actually come from. There are scenarios where it is pretty clear where business value (and here we talk about generated pipeline; MQLs are not business value). Whenever scoring helps you identify previously untapped segments, it is very visible where the additional pipeline comes from and what needs to happen to generate it (often a mix of automation and extra sales capacity).

If you only send your inbound demo requests to sales and you have extra capacity, great! Start sending non-hand raise but engaged people to Sales (this requires enablement, proper handoff, etc., which we are covering in different articles). The same applies to tapping into product signups and ingesting a sales touch for those high-profile signups that did not request a demo.

What If You Already Send All Your Inbound Volume to Sales?

Let's take a look at an example:

You receive 2000 inbound leads, and your BDRs handle almost all of them without a lot of prioritization. Let's assume they book 100 meetings from those leads (5% CVR). You may perceive this as a slam dunk situation to apply scoring and improve conversion rates or get more pipeline. But where does that actually come from and are you willing to make decisions and accept trade-offs?

🔝 Increasing Conversion Rate

The easiest way to increase the conversion rate often is to identify the low-converting segment of leads that is coming to you. If we take our 2000 leads and identify the bottom 400 leads (20% of leads) that only brought 5 meetings (5% of meetings), voilà, we would increase our overall conversion rate (from 5% to ~6%) but at a cost of 5 meetings. Is that a cost worth accepting? That depends on how you utilize the freed up Sales capacity.

Recommendation: Use a metric pair to scope whether there is a return on applying prioritization. A metric pair can be the conversion rate AND meetings booked. However, there may not be a perfect way to slice your 2000 leads into leads who convert and leads who don't. Don’t fall into analysis paralysis here; by the time you think you found the perfect threshold, the composition of profiles may have changed already.

📈 Increasing Pipeline

As we saw in the conversion rate section, prioritization as such does not always add more pipeline. We need to apply secondary measures in combination with prioritization.

🚀 Time to Touch / Time to Demo or Frictionless Buying

Make it easy for your most qualified prospects to talk to sales and eventually buy. This means no long waiting times for a demo, skip the SDR that does pure qualification and does not add any value for the buyer. Ideally, give the prospect access to an AE's calendar right away.

Impact: Increased meeting booked rate.

More Time for Personalization

If you have fewer leads sent to your team that all of a sudden is not at capacity anymore, enable them (with training and tooling) to personalize messages and be relevant in their outreach, rather than sending the same email to all inbound non-hand raisers and hoping some people react.

Impact: more pipeline from non hand-raise leads

🔍 Signal-Based Prospecting

Another way to increase pipeline overall is to use the freed-up Sales capacity to prospect into your warm outbound accounts. As long as your meeting booked rate of those accounts is higher than your low-quality inbound leads, you're increasing pipeline overall.

Impact: Additional pipeline sourced with the same Sales capacity

Scoring unlocks a lot of potential, but in isolation, it won't magically source pipeline for you. It is a necessary but not a sufficient step to run efficient pipeline generation.

Start leveraging scoring today to unlock hidden potential in your pipeline. Implement these strategies and see the difference it makes in your conversion rates and overall pipeline growth.

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