Points and Paradigms: A Deep Dive Into Marketo Scoring Strategies

Apr 27, 2022 12:00 PM1:00 PM EST

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Key Discussion Takeaways

Lead scoring is imperative to help you save time and filter out the best leads. But how do you build out a lead scoring model, and what are the best platforms to use? 

Marketo is a crowd favorite due to its vast lead scoring capabilities. With Marketo, you can get really specific on your desired leads' relevant traits, behaviors, and demographics. Additionally, Marketo provides unlimited scoring fields and allows you to customize the lead scoring strategy in ways that most other platforms cannot. This generates more relevant ideal customer profiles and lets you focus on the leads that will more likely turn into sales. 

In this virtual event, Aaron Conant is joined by Jordan Hellyer, President of Marketing Automation Canada (MAC), and Terry Burgess, Senior Director of Revenue Operations at Applitools. Together, they discuss the benefits of Marketo’s lead scoring tools, how to set up a customized lead scoring model, and the challenges around scoring models. 


Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

  • What is lead scoring, and how can it save time?
  • How to build out a scoring model
  • Jordan Hellyer shares examples of negative score criteria
  • When should you revisit your scoring model?
  • How Marketo’s scoring capabilities compare to other platforms
  • Marketo’s A/B testing, product scoring, and tiered engagement proficiencies 
  • Terry Burgess discusses the biggest challenges he’s encountered around scoring models
  • How is shadow scoring beneficial?
  • Tips for starting out with a new model and updating an inherited one
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Event Partners

Marketing Automation Canada

Marketing Automation Canada offers expert Marketo consultant services.


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Guest Speakers

Aaron Conant LinkedIn

Co-Founder & Managing Director at BWG Connect

Aaron Conant is Co-Founder and Chief Digital Strategist at BWG Connect, a networking and knowledge sharing group of thousands of brands who collectively grow their digital knowledge base and collaborate on partner selection. Speaking 1x1 with over 1200 brands a year and hosting over 250 in-person and virtual events, he has a real time pulse on the newest trends, strategies and partners shaping growth in the digital space.

Jordan Hellyer

President, Marketing Automation Canada (MAC)

Jordan Hellyer is the President of Marketing Automation Canada (MAC), a marketing automation managed services company. Jordan is a Marketo-certified expert, and he’s developed hundreds of scoring models since founding MAC. Notable.ca also named him as one of the top four advertising and communications professionals in Canada.

Terry Burgess

Senior Director of Revenue Operations, Applitools

Terry Burgess is the Senior Director of Revenue Operations at Applitools, an AI-powered visual testing and monitoring program. Terry is a MarTech leader experienced in marketing automation strategy, execution, and best practices. He is passionate about building marketing operations functions that support a business’ mission, make a measurable difference to qualified leads, and significantly impact bottom-line revenue.

Event Moderator

Aaron Conant LinkedIn

Co-Founder & Managing Director at BWG Connect

Aaron Conant is Co-Founder and Chief Digital Strategist at BWG Connect, a networking and knowledge sharing group of thousands of brands who collectively grow their digital knowledge base and collaborate on partner selection. Speaking 1x1 with over 1200 brands a year and hosting over 250 in-person and virtual events, he has a real time pulse on the newest trends, strategies and partners shaping growth in the digital space.

Jordan Hellyer

President, Marketing Automation Canada (MAC)

Jordan Hellyer is the President of Marketing Automation Canada (MAC), a marketing automation managed services company. Jordan is a Marketo-certified expert, and he’s developed hundreds of scoring models since founding MAC. Notable.ca also named him as one of the top four advertising and communications professionals in Canada.

Terry Burgess

Senior Director of Revenue Operations, Applitools

Terry Burgess is the Senior Director of Revenue Operations at Applitools, an AI-powered visual testing and monitoring program. Terry is a MarTech leader experienced in marketing automation strategy, execution, and best practices. He is passionate about building marketing operations functions that support a business’ mission, make a measurable difference to qualified leads, and significantly impact bottom-line revenue.

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Aaron Conant

Co-Founder & Managing Director at BWG Connect

BWG Connect provides executive strategy & networking sessions that help brands from any industry with their overall business planning and execution.

Co-Founder & Managing Director Aaron Conant runs the group & connects with dozens of brand executives every week, always for free.

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Discussion Transcription

Aaron Conant  0:18  

Happy Wednesday, everybody. My name is Aaron Conant. I'm the co founder and managing director here at BWG Connect. We're a networking and knowledge sharing group of 1000s of brands to do exactly that we network and now and share together to stay on top of the newest trends, strategies, pain points, whatever it might be that shaping digital today, I spent a large portion of my time just advising brands and connecting with them around those biggest pain points. And when the same topics come up over and over again, we host an event like this. So if anybody has any topics or pain points that are popping out, feel free to shoot them over to me put time on my calendar, I'm more than happy to connect on him. We'd like to stay incredibly relevant, we're trying not to schedule anything more than eight weeks out or so. But, you know, just a couple of housekeeping items as we get started. The first is we're starting three to four minutes after the hour, and just you know, we're gonna wrap up with around five minutes to go in the hour as well, we're gonna give you plenty of time to get on to your next meeting without being late, maybe even grab a cup of coffee along the way. The other thing is, we want this to be as educational and informational as possible. So if you have any questions in this space whatsoever, don't hesitate to drop into the chat or the q&a or email them to me Aaron Aaron@bwgconnect.com. And we'll get those answered real time. With that, I want to gotta go ahead and kick it off here. So you know, marketing, scoring is in modeling as a whole is a topic that didn't come up until more recently, I know there's a lot of people that are deeply embedded in it. But for a lot of the brands that I'm talking to, which is everything from startup to Fortune 100, and it's 25 to 35 a week, it's not something that's been coming up routinely until I would say really the past six months or so. And so we got some great friends, partners, supporters of the network that have agreed to jump on today, kind of walk us through the strategies around it what it is i You should be thinking about it. And they're thought leaders in the space. So feel free to ask as many questions as you want. But Jordan, I'll kick it over to you first, if you want to do a brief intro on yourself and the organization and then we can, you know, kick it over to Terry, and then kind of jump into conversation. Sounds good.

Jordan Hellyer  2:20  

Sounds great. Aaron, thanks so much. And welcome, everyone. Thanks so much for coming today. So yeah, in terms of the schedule, Today, I've prepared a presentation called points and paradigms, that deep dive into Marketo scoring model strategies. So the aim is that we're going to start off with a bit more of a formal deep dive on lead scoring. But exactly as Erin said, love to, you know, handle any questions. And we're also going to allow some time for a little bit more of a free form conversation near the end of the presentation, make sure that we've got all your questions answered. But we also want to share points on our that we've kind of learned along the way, and we have to share as well. So just kind of going really quick into the agenda for today. Exactly there. Instead, I'm going to introduce myself and my co speaker, Terry. And then we're going to kind of set the stage now I assume that many of you folks have kind of encountered lead scoring or have some sort of model in place. But I don't want to make assumptions because you know what they say about that. So we're gonna start off just kind of level setting, talking about lead scoring, talking about things we think of when we're building out a lead scoring model, and most importantly, how to know when it's time to change your lead scoring model, when it's ready for a tune up and that good stuff. And then kind of having established that baseline, we're going to jump into more advanced tactics. So we want to talk about why we think Marketo is great ad scoring models, some specific Marketo functionality that you can't get another platforms, and then really dive into some more advanced tactics that we've seen work really great. But you know, are just not not ones that you're going to find in support forums or anything like that. So hopefully have something for everybody here. And like I said, we're also very sensitive to your questions and anything that you might find relevant or that you've been struggling with love to talk about that as well. So just diving in real quick on on me and introducing Terry as well. In terms of me, I'm the president of the company called Marketing Automation Canada. I'm a Marketo certified expert and I was our first power user many years ago, I've developed I say dozens, it's probably more like hundreds of scoring models over the years. So certainly years I've seen everything that can go well everything that cannot go well and have lots of learning on that. Prior to starting the marketing automation company. I worked in digital and direct advertising. I worked at Ogilvy and Mather here in Toronto. So come from more of a marketing background and definitely see the world through that lens. And I was interesting fact about me as I was named as one of the top four advertising and communication professionals in Canada by notable.ca. And I also just wanted to sorry, somehow managed to skip way ahead there. There we go. Just wanted to also introduce my co speaker Terry Terry is the Senior Director of Revenue Operations at Applitools. Terry and I have been working together For many years, he has over 10 years of experience in the marketing automation space, we've built out lots of models together. So I, when we were planning this presentation, I knew that he was the client, I really wanted to have on this call, so that he would have different insights from working on the client side of things versus mine, which is more agency side. So just again, kind of speaking a little bit about the company and the types of things you do so are we do so that it's a bit more transparent. We're about a 13 year old company. We're over 60 people primarily located in Toronto, Canada, of that group, we've got about 30, some odd Marketo certified experts. And then the rest is kind of smattered, across art directors, CRM, support, coding, all that type of good stuff. And as a company, we do kind of soup to nuts, marketing automation. So from strategy from a platform selection through to execution, data management, CRM design, anything you could want. So definitely, when we talk about lead scoring, we're talking about it in a really holistic way, looking at the entire process, and not from kind of a narrow lens, we service Marketo, obviously, we also service visible, which is a Marketo product, we do work in those other marketing automation platforms, but like Bruno, we don't want to talk about them. But just suffice to know that we built out lead scoring in every platform you can do. So when we do talk about what we can do in Marketo, it's really coming from that lens of having seen seen it all and all the platforms that you could imagine. 

Aaron Conant  6:26  

So, really quick, do you want to give just I want to level set, make sure that everybody cuz a lot of the times we have super experienced in brand new, and there's a lot of you know, brand new people to ecom Do you just want to give a brief rundown on Marketo as a whole?

Jordan Hellyer  6:40  

For sure. So yeah, Marketo is a marketing automation platform, and allows you to send emails, build landing pages, and most importantly, look at data, so that we can really customize journey journeys for those customers from when they first appear in our database through to being qualified for marketing through to being qualified for sales, and then hopefully closing some. 

Aaron Conant  7:05

Awesome, I love it.

Jordan Hellyer  7:07

Perfect, perfect. So yeah, just jumping in on lead scoring. And like I said, you know, my assumption is that many of us have probably encountered lead scoring. But exactly to Aaron's point, I always like to level set and just make sure we're all kind of talking about the same thing. So in terms of what lead scoring is, you know, the way I'm defining it is as a methodology for ranking leads in order of sales readiness. So basically, we don't want to waste sales, people's time, we don't want to waste higher marketing efforts as time. So we loot use lead scoring to basically say, okay, these people aren't super relevant to us, these people are very relevant, and we want to, you know, kind of talk with them more basically, we're aiming to save companies time and really kind of use their time effectively on high quality leads that are going to convert through to sale. And if not convert through to sale, then allow us to target really specific communication towards them. So, you know, essentially, you can start off as a cold lead. But then as you kind of put up your hand more, and you say what you're more interested in, we can use lead scoring, to define how we should be speaking to you and what types of ways we should be speaking to you in terms of the emails we send the landing pages, we customize for you and that type of good stuff. Lead scoring usually breaks into two items that kind of build into a lead score. One is demographic scoring. So this is anything that exists in your data that has to do with who you are, could be your company size, your company name, industry, job title, country, this can literally be infinite. Basically, any point that you have in data can count towards demographic scoring. But these are just kind of a few points as an initial thought. And then the other point is behavioral scoring. So things like filling out a form browsing a website, event attendance and things like that. And these things work together to create an overall lead score. And like I said, we can add a lot of shading to that and a lot of kind of further information and advanced points as we move forward. But long way of saying that, you know, that's kind of the initial definition that we can start on, as well. So, so just moving on to how to frame out a scoring model. So the key thing up sorry, I think just jump forward there. The key thing to start in building out a scoring model is setting your MQL threshold. So MQL threshold means marketing, qualified lead, obviously, that can change a little bit based on the company type and the way that your lead lifecycle works and that type of thing. But for the purposes of this presentation, let's call an MQL. When you go from being sort of a cold lead through to having that next action, should it be, you know, sales engaging with it with you should it be, you're getting a more advanced market marketing strategy. So, for the discussion today, we're going to say MQL is the threshold at which you convert into being something a lot more relevant to a company. Everything under MQL is kind of colder leads that we're trying to move forward. So the first point in lead scoring is really saying What is your MQL threshold? You know, what would you consider to be a really hot lead that now you want to start working with? And what is everything under that? That's the first point. And then once you've done that, what we'll usually do is we'll look at all the demographic and behavioral traits that we're interested in. And like I said, demographics, it could literally be anything, but lots of stuff probably isn't relevant to you, right? So it's about really focusing in on what the relevant traits would be. And then similar with behaviors, there's lots of potential behaviors that a lead could take. But you know, some of them may or may not be of interest. And what's beautiful in the Marketo platform is that we can be super specific and really define any demographic and any behavioral trait that we're interested in. So just kind of showing how that can work in real life. One is, you can see here I have a demographic scoring model matrix. So the way we usually do it, as I said, we kind of list out the demographics here. And then up at the top, we've kind of set a couple of different criteria. One common error that I see with clients is that they will, they'll be focused on positive scores, but they won't be focused on negative scores or knockout criteria. And I think honestly, these are as important if not more important, than, you know, the actual positive points, because really, there's a tonne of people who just aren't relevant to you, right? Lots of audiences that you don't really want to talk with. And I think it's really important to kind of bring those people out right off the bat. Because as I said, lead scoring is all about saving people time and not investing time and leads that aren't relevant to you. So you can see here in our example, we're just talking about the demographic that's not interesting to us. So in this case, you know, it's less than 200 people revenue less than 1 million. Oh, and I had a question from Benjamin, we can definitely kind of share these steps. And I'm going to just expand out on it in a little bit further detail, but definitely happy to go in and more

Aaron Conant  11:55  

Are we able to shoot this deck over afterwards or connect you with them. Because I think, you know, it was just what I'm hearing from a lot of brands is like this is incredibly important that it's that it's at the beginning, right, like, hey, how do I even get a robust model in place? And I just think there's going to be a lot of conversations around

Jordan Hellyer  12:16  

the end, there's definitely some depth to our slides that we're not necessarily going to talk about today. So yeah, definitely to the question, we'll make sure that we're sharing that. And we can definitely dive in more deeply and happy to talk about it with anyone afterwards as well. But so just kind of diving in another knockout criteria is, is country, this is one that we run into trouble with all the time, because often you'll get bot activity, you'll get a bunch of Russian bots or something like that popping in to your forums and stuff. They're not relevant, and you can waste so much time going after people that kind of look right, but they're actually not. So you'll see in this example, we have European and USA, Canada as our medium and high score. But basically everyone else, just straight knockout, they're not in our target, we don't want to be talking with them. And the last thing I just point out with demographic before I move into behavioral is that you'll see that like, there isn't a big scoring flex here, right? Like our high score is six, our negative score is minus 10. The reason being that demographics are important, right, we want to make sure we're talking to the right audience, but But you know, they're not the be all and end, all right, like I could have Bill Gates in my database, and for sure, he's very relevant to anyone we'd want to talk with. But that doesn't mean he's gonna want to talk with me. And that doesn't mean he's engaging with my company. So you know, so this is more sort of like quality of the lead and sort of the overall potential. But really, where we want to focus more of our lead scoring attention is in behaviors, because really, your actions are what speak right. And that's what really will put up your hand. And if you're both taking action, and really relevant demographically to what we're trying to do, then that's super exciting and really valuable. So on that point, just kind of moving on to the Engagement scoring matrix here, you can see that similarly, we kind of have different sort of levels of engagement. And as I said, you know, we can definitely kind of list out anything that we have in our data. But what we do here is that we have starting at negative scores of negative 25, up to an immediate MQL, or fast track. And so definitely, like with lead scoring, we're trying to bubble up leads, right, it's about finding people and identifying them earlier in a cycle. But sometimes they're just straight up people we want to talk with, right and so that's what we have as the mediate MQL depending on your business case, that could be they fill out a demo form, they're looking for a free trial, something like that straight up, we want to talk with those guys. They jumped to the front of the line, no problem. But you know, those are those are easy ones, I would consider the rest to be a little bit more of the art. A couple of points that we keep a close eye on. One is of course negative scores. So you know, for instance, if we're looking at webpage activity, awesome if someone's all over our webpage, but you know, they could visit 30 pages on our webpage because they just want a job, right? They have an interview tomorrow, that doesn't mean they're going to buy anything. In fact, they almost certainly won't. So things like visiting your career page, things like visiting specific pages that are low value will often have offset any kind of higher value web page points. And we find that to be pretty important in terms of making sure there's a good balance. Another point that we often set a negative score for is inactivity. So making sure that you know, if you did a bunch of actions on one day, and then essentially you sort of like, you know, kind of hold back and you're inactive for months afterwards, we don't want you staying with a high lead score, because if our Fast Track is 100, and you're at 95 for a year, and then you happen to open one email, and that brings you to 100. You may not even remember who we are, right, it's not super relevant. But we want to see as people kind of cracking through moving up the lead scoring, but doing it in a fairly timely manner that we can really kind of be action oriented with so

Aaron Conant  15:59  

super relevant to Ryan. What's an adequate inactivity, time for negative scoring, we had this come up today at our company, and your insights would help. Does it also depend on industry and product?

Jordan Hellyer  16:10  

Yeah, I would definitely say it kind of, you know, some clients will have year long, two year long sales cycles, other sales cycles will be you know, a week, right, you're looking to get them to demo. And then that's kind of a consistent way that you kind of move people forward. So exactly your point, it does depend on industry and product, but to me, usually, like 30 days, 90 days or a year are kind of the key metrics for me 30 days, you can definitely come back. But definitely after three months, if I haven't seen any action, I will start depreciating the score at that point. Because you know, you're starting to lose it. And you don't have to be super aggressive with the depreciation either, right? We have negative 25. But you could just have maybe like negative 10 a month or something like that, right? Something to kind of take the heat off them a little bit. And then if you know, they start engaging, all good, but like I said, it depends a little bit on sort of what your general sales cycle is. But you know, we find that kind of 30, day 90 day to be a good range of depreciation there.

Aaron Conant  17:10  

Do you, another question, do you find a lot of your time actually helping brands and companies set up the scoring matrixes as well? Because I think people a lot of times, they're doing it on their own, but they don't have this broad breadth of a What's the industry average? Kind of what Ryan was saying as a whole?

Jordan Hellyer  17:27  

For sure. Yeah. Yeah. And like I said, it really depends. And it depends on how aggressive but yeah, we like something tighter, definitely tighter than a year because I think, yeah, you know, the world moves quickly. And you may not necessarily remember what you were looking at even three months from now, right. So a couple of other like, standard kind of problems that we see, just before I move on to the more advanced points is low score is visiting the webpage. So, you know, it's easy to kind of say every time you visit a web page, let's put five points. But we've often seen that get people into trouble, because it doesn't take too many five point scores to get to 100. But all it means is you've looked around the website one day, right, it's not really that much of a of a hand raising action. So you know, what we usually will do is we'll have kind of visit web pages one point, but it only runs once. And then we'll have sort of a aggregate webpage score. So if you visit seven web pages in one day, you get an additional score. So it's not linear, it's not a linear, how many times but just basically a higher hand raising action, those types of things. And, again, we'll get into those strategies a little bit as we kind of move forward in the presentation. But that's just kind of like an initial look and kind of how we would frame one out. But you know, the thing with lead scoring, too, is I think, you know, constant feedback and constant refinement is key, you know, we'll often say to a client, if we build out a lead score, we don't, you know, we can give our absolute best best shot at the lead score, but it's going to be maybe 70%, perfect at the beginning, you know, and then we're going to really kind of refine it in a constant pattern of change and further tweaks. So a couple of ways that we look for those tweaks. One is we say ask sales here. In our experience, it's not really asking sales, usually sales will let you know if there are too many MQLs, or there are too few MQLs or that type of thing, but obviously, that's a key point. If there are too many, it means we're just not being choosy enough in our lead scoring, right? And also, are we getting the right MQLs in this group? At another point in nurturing is we want to make sure that with a marketing automation solution, we're doing as much as we can to keep, you know, kind of irrelevant people off sales plate. So another thing that can happen with MQL is is we're just raising people too quickly. They're engaging, they're moving through our lifecycle exactly as we want. But we're kind of we're kind of striking a little bit too early, essentially, right? We want to let people kind of cook a little bit more before we entered them into a more formal sales cycle. So I think that's a first point and then you know, You know, the converse of it is is not enough MQL is obviously we're being a little bit too choosy, or we're waiting too long to engage with folks and like, so that's kind of an obvious one. And usually you'll hear about it otherwise. But I think there are slightly more subtle ones too. One can be conversion, right? Right, we can have the right amount of MQLs. But perhaps they're not converting, you know, to our next stage in the way we want. You know, and this can be a few different things, it could be that we're having low quality leads be raised up in the first place, or we could have good quality leads that are being raised too early before, we've kind of let marketing really take the proper nurturing and care have kind of getting them ready for that sales cycle. So as an agency, what will usually do in that case, if a client kind of identifies this as a bit of a problem, we will kind of keep a lot of keep a close eye on the last or recycle reason. So usually, if someone goes to sales sales says Now this, you know, this person's not ready to buy or they're not our target, they will recycle them into their lead lifecycle. And in that case, we will do a bit of an analysis of why we have people recycling. And then you know, if there's something that we can kind of draw between that we'll usually kind of use that as an action to kind of move forward to look a little bit further from there. And then the last point I saw, there's a couple of questions in q&a. So we'll just hop to those just as soon as I finished this slide. The other point is that people just jumping right to the line. So I mentioned, you know, you for sure want an immediate fast track, you definitely want people to be able to jump and just start talking with us. But if all of our leads only are doing the fast track, that's also a bad sign, right? Because it means probably we have a bunch of people who are warming up here. And then the only people that anyone talks to are the people that fill out the Free Trial or something along those lines. And usually in that case, it just means that we're just not being quite sensitive enough, or we're not doing a good enough job of identifying what really is a quality lead, there will always be some people who kind of jumped to the front of the line. But you know, that isn't necessarily, you know, basically, if we see at 90% of our MQLs are just jumping then yeah, that's not a good situation for sure. So. So just moving to the q&a, talking about immediate MQLs? Is it better for a smart campaign setup to assign the lead and change status on MQL? Based on action of filling out a form? Or should you let scoring increase 100 And then let your scoring program qualify the lead? Terry, I'd be interested if you had any feedback on this, too. But for a first pass on my side, usually, I would let the lead scoring do it. The reason being that if you haven't immediately set up on the form, you may not necessarily have your knockout criteria attaching in that case. So let's say it is uh, it is, you know, a national approach, or maybe you have those built out, but it's not centralized, right. So what can sometimes happen is maybe you refine it more on your lead scoring, but you set up the form a year ago on your old logic sets. So usually we'll have it run through lead scoring, just because that way you have kind of one central funnel, and you have full control over that. And like I said, if there is something that disqualifies them, that's not immediately obvious. And they're filling out a form we find that's pretty helpful. But, Terry, did you have any, any feedback on that one on your side?

Terry Burgess  23:16  

Yeah. I would say another reason that you'd want the it to run through your scoring model, as opposed to building it inside programs is from an infrastructure standpoint, if you have trouble in your MQLs, and you're trying to pinpoint and troubleshoot where it's coming from, it's going to be a lot more difficult. If you have scoring or status changes being done independently in programs as opposed to a centralized campaign or program where all the scoring runs through, it's easier to map your flow as they go into the scoring model. It gets scored and then it moves to the status change. Whereas if you have multiple programs, changing status is based on actions, it's going to be a lot harder to track down where those happen if you have an issue. So I would say that that's another reason to kind of like centralize your scoring and centralize your flow. 

Jordan Hellyer  24:05  

For sure. Yep, definitely makes sense to me. So, so just moving on to my next chapter here, which is why we love Marketo for scoring models. So just going to talk really different, just really quickly about sort of, you know, what Marketo kind of adds to scoring, and then talk about some of the more advanced functionality that Marketo can offer. So I'm not going to get too deep into this slide. And again, we can share these slides after if there's anyone who is kind of like making these quality judgments. But you know, as I said, we work in all the platforms. So we definitely have a lot of feedback on how lead scoring works in the different platforms. And without just sitting reading these bullets to you. I think the boil down that I would give is that Marketo really offers the most flexibility in terms of lead scoring, you know the other models with a HubSpot or an aliqua or Pardot you can build out lead scoring, but often times you're sort of married to the way they want to do lead scoring and if that's how you want to do it too, then cool. You know that works. Just Fine. But the thing with Marketo is you can really build out lead scoring in any image that you're inclined to do it with any, you know, kind of logics you're inclined to do. So I think that's where it really adds a lot of value. And, and just to kind of dive in on some of those points, more specifically, one is unlimited scoring fields. So as I said, you're not locked in to just scoring on only the things that your platform wants you to score, you can do on literally on anything you have in your data or behavioral actions, which is really helpful. But and we're going to talk about some advanced strategies that that this really feeds into very shortly. But you can do things like lead scoring a B tests, you can set up lead scores for specific products or specific areas of your company. So it's a it's really valuable in that respect. And the other nice thing is you have unlimited logic sets that you can build around lead scoring. This is an example of one of our clients here, but you can see basically, that we have if then statements that kind of add a few different actions into a lead score. So essentially, we can say, Okay, if you do this, this and this, this is a high value thing, because you've kind of shown a chain that we see very valuable as being conversion oriented at our company, versus, you know, you clicked on an email or your, you know, via you went to our web page or something along those lines. And the nice thing is, if you have vast amounts of free time, which I suspect few of us do, you know, you could do a 500 logic set logic chain, if you wanted to, again, I wouldn't necessarily recommend that. But the point is, that does exist. And it's a real benefit, because as I said, then you can really kind of focus in on hand raising in a super specific way. And like I said, you can also use behavioral and demographic traits together in Marketo, which is helpful. So you can say that, you know, a certain job title or a certain company type will have, you know, a different type of response, if you take an engaged action, like, like visiting a web page, which again, is kind of unmatched and not something other other platforms offer. And this one is, you know, one that I think you have to kind of be a power user to understand why it's good. But honestly, it just saved us so many times in lead scoring, many other platforms, kind of you have to sort of run lead scoring on their schedule, it's, you know, either every time or daily. With Marketo, you can be specific and how lead scoring runs. And like I said, this is really saved us. So for instance, with webpage visits, so that we don't have that thing where you have you know, every page is five points, you can say that it only runs once, or it only runs once every day, or every time. So this is a great way of making sure your lead scoring is really customized. And you don't have sort of those weird edge cases that you'll sometimes see where someone took a bunch of actions, it seems to have really added their score, but they're really not that qualified. We find the ability to set time limits is a really important point to make sure we're kind of getting the right hand raisers.

Aaron Conant  27:58  

And are you able to just jump in with a company just help them analyze if they're looking at switching? Hey, what is the best model? And what's the best fit?

Jordan Hellyer  28:05  

Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. And, you know, we often do lead scoring audits to, to do a kind of deep dive in terms of how conversions working how how many MQLs are being raised all that type of good stuff, because exactly the point Terry was making a little bit earlier, you know, sometimes you will get into a point where it's just all over the place. And it's hard to draw any one line because all the data is in different sections. So, you know, we find that that's really important. And I see we have a question from Amanda. She's asking if we can score visits to different company web pages differently? Absolutely, we can Yeah. And actually, if I go to that screenshot a couple of screens back, you can see that we're kind of doing something like that here, where we say, if you visit the About Us web page, there's a score, if you visit the customer web page, there's a score. So exactly to your point, you can definitely have separate lead scores for different pages, or you can kind of bring them together if they visit this product and then go to this follow up page. That's a higher value than just going to the product and kind of bouncing off or something along those lines. 

Aaron Conant  29:13  

Awesome. Love it. And for those who jump in halfway, just reminder, drop any questions into the q&a there or in the chat or keep emailing them to me, Aaron Aaron@bwgconnect.com. We'll keep getting answered.

Jordan Hellyer  29:24  

Awesome. Sure. Yeah. Awesome. And then just the last point before we move to some of those advanced strategies I was talking about is negative lead scoring. So again, some platforms don't support negative lead scoring, some do but you can't reset Marketo allows you to do all of them. And we found this to be really valuable. We've already talked about how negative scoring can really help you know, to Amanda's question, you know, taking credit people who visited the career page out things like that, but we also like resetting scores. So let's say someone unsubscribes or someone does sort of a disqualifying action. It's hard to like minus them far enough on and some of the other platforms, as you have no idea how far they've actually gone in their lead scoring, it's just, you know, the non automated way. But with Marketo, you can basically say, Look, if this happens, or if sales marks them is disqualified, or something along, those lines, just reset their score to zero. And you could even make them a knockout so that they never get lead scores again, moving forward. So, again, this is a fairly, you know, specific feature to Marketo, but one that we find really helpful in terms of refining our, our lead scoring. So having having mentioned that, I'm now going to dive a little bit more deeply into some cool Marketo specific scoring strategies that we really liked. One is an A B testing of scoring. And this might seem weird to you, you might be like, oh, what does that even mean? So, you know, what can sometimes happen in in the company is that there'll be some disagreement on how scoring should be weighted. And as I mentioned earlier in the presentation, honestly, we would just outright say, hey, you know, like, a score, we'll start at 70 75%. Good. And then it is really about refinement, and finding those edge cases and seeing how it works in the real world. But, you know, what can happen is sometimes there'll be internal disagreements on the weighting of lead scoring, or, you know, how we should be thinking about MQLs and stuff like that. So what we'll often do in those cases is we'll build an A B model. So your a model will just be your lead scoring model, it'll do the things you expect to lead scoring model to do, it'll convert all your MQL is exactly as planned. But then in the background, you'll have a shadow scoring model. And essentially, this is the other side of the argument. So this is the lead scoring model built out the other way that you would imagine it being built out. And then essentially, you let those run for about, you know, three months, or however long we need to sort of make the case. And then usually at the end of three months, what we'll do is we'll kind of look at, okay, here's your a model, here's what your MQLs are, here's what your conversions were, and that's the analytics there. And then if it had been this model, here's what that that math would look like. So what we might find there is, we might find that it's a different set of MQLs. And those people were actually more valuable. Or we might find that, you know, our new scoring model would have raised MQL, that ended up just jumping on this one earlier, so that they'd be in an earlier lead lifecycle or something along those lines. So. So yeah, so a really cool method, and not anything you'd find in the support area. But I think, I think, you know, one that's super noteworthy, for sure. And then kind of around those same lines. Another one we really like, is a product scoring model. So it's technically fairly similar to what we were just describing, but has kind of a different strategic approach. So many clients will have different products that that they offer, right product A, B, C, and D, let's say, or maybe you have a b2c component and a b2b component or something along those lines. What you can do in Marketo, is you can have your master lead scoring, but then you can also have lead scoring set up for those individual products. So that your sales team or even your marketing team will know that, hey, this person is super interested in product A and has like no interest in product B or vice versa. And you can have that lead into their lead score, or you can essentially have a demographic layer between those two. So let's say that I'm a small business owner, and I'm super interested in your product A except product A is an enterprise product, it is not relevant to a company my size, you can have lead scoring be smart enough to say okay, I don't want my lead score to come up. Even though I'm like checking out this webpage every day, I'm just not going to have the resources to onboard an enterprise solution like that. But let's say product B is designed for small business as a price point for small business, if I'm engaging a lot in that, then you can have my lead score really raise up because now I'm really in the category that I belong, and you know that I'm going to be relevant to what my interests are there. So you can essentially have that matrix that you your products or your areas of focus as a company, run into your lead scoring. And essentially, there's an interference layer to kind of add that or subtracted as as required. So, again, a really cool way of just being super, you know, super specific about your scoring and how people move through. But one that I think is super valuable, valuable, for sure. And then the other one, just before we get into the more informal chatting part of our session is tiered engagement based on an ICP. So ICP stands for ideal customer profile. And probably as a company you have, you know, 250 people that if they reach out, you're gonna drop what you're doing, you know, you it doesn't matter, you want to talk with them. For me, it's like the enterprise 250, right. If anyone reaches out to me, that's it. We're throwing all our papers in the air and we're giving them our absolute attention. And in that case, like you know, we want those people to raise up faster than just your average mid tier or lower tier leads, but We don't want to just artificially, as I said, like if they just exist in their data, but they've never done anything with you, it's not super valuable to raise them up, because who cares, right? Like, you know, they're not really engaging with you. But essentially, what we do is for the ICP, we kind of put our thumb down on the weight, basically. So, you know, every time they're doing an action, we'd wait a little bit heavier than what a regular person would get. So that you get to MC, you know, you'd be MQL, a little bit earlier than what you otherwise would have. And now this means that they may be a less relevant lead, right, they might not be exactly your target. But on the other hand, there are well, so it could be that sales is happy to be engaging with them, you know, earlier in their cycle, or spending more time kind of working through this cycle, because the payoff would be really good as well. So you know, the way you set that up in Marketo, would be something like this. So you have, you know, you attended a webinar, your regular score would be 20. But if you're over a democratic score of 30, because you are an ICP, then you get 70. So basically, you have to do kind of less stuff, to get us talking with you, and being really interested in what you have to say. So that's kind of the formal part that I really wanted to share and some real benefits, we see to using Marketo for lead scoring. But now I wanted to get a little bit more informal and just kind of chat with Terry, about some of his client side experiences with lead scoring. And like I said, I'd love to go over any additional questions that are prompted by you folks through this chat, as well. But, Terry, on your side, you know, I kind of talked about what I've been interested in from an agency perspective, and what we've kind of, you know, struggled with, but I know that you've worked up lead scoring at a number of different companies, I was kind of curious, you know, what challenges you've had in building out lead scoring models and frequent challenges you've kind of had and kind of getting them up and running.

Terry Burgess  36:55  

Yeah, sure. I think a lot of the challenges that have faced, some of them already been brought up in this is questions, I think, the biggest challenge you have, when you're, you know, putting a scoring model in place is determining on what you're going to score, right, like making sure that it's relevant, and to what degree is it relevant? And then what is your capabilities? What are your capabilities in collecting data? We talked a lot about demographics, we I actually break them out into two categories, demographics and firmographic. So demographics is belongs to the person at the company and firmographic belongs to the company. But do you have the ability to collect that data? So a lot of it comes in through enrichment tools to help you, you know, collect some of that data, because we don't want is a form that has 20 questions so that you can identify your ICPs, right. So we leverage other tools that help us kind of like bring in some extra data. And I think the other one, the big one is, and this is probably the most challenging is buy in from others, right, like making sure that I have enough cooks in the kitchen, but not too many cooks in the kitchen. Making sure that like my demand gen has representation and a voice, our sales team has representation of voice sales team is your frontline, they're going to give you the most feedback that's going to be useful for your score, they're going to tell you what's converting and what's not converting demand gen, they have a target, they have a goal, they're going to tell you that they need to push MQL is because they have a targeted goal, but so to sales. And so it's like balancing that combination, and then just making sure you don't have too many people in there with the voice and that you're the one that's really kind of like driving the decisions. At the end of the day. It's just where the shadow scoring comes into play where you have conflicting voices, you build two different models, and you watch and you see which one happened. Like what happens out of that? 

Jordan Hellyer  38:42  

For sure. Yeah. And I know, you know, as an agency, we've often been kind of the arbiter of these types of debates, right? If there are a bunch of people who can't agree, it's like, well, that's those guys. It's like, okay,

Terry Burgess  38:52  

right. It's always, always industry best practice is always a term that I like to throw around a lot. 

Jordan Hellyer  38:59  

Yeah, for sure, for sure. And I was curious, you know, I was talking about sort of the negatives of of lead scoring things that kind of slight sneak in that you're not particularly interested in seeing. I was curious if you know, beyond the ones I mentioned, with, like cliques, and, you know, web pages, if you've seen a couple things that have always kind of snuck up on you that you kind of keep extra, you know, an extra lookout for in terms of sort of glitches in the matrix, if you will.

Terry Burgess  39:25  

Oh, yeah, I mean, from a technical standpoint, like I would say, one of the things in inside the infrastructure you don't want to have is negative scores, like negatively scoring something is correct, but don't take them past this a total score of zero. So someone can't sit in this system and have a negative 20 score. It just it wreaks havoc on analytics. And then for them like some one day they'll get a positive score and then it's, you know, their backup to zero. So we kept everything at zero. So there's no I see that I've ran into that a lot where I've inherited a system that Add a bunch of people that have like negative 250 points. It's like this person, if they ever do decide to come back, we'll never MQL 

Jordan Hellyer  40:07  

they can be your absolute best lead ever. Right? But you know, they need to like visit every webinar for six months, or anyone will look at them. Yeah,

Terry Burgess  40:13  

right, they got a promotion. And now they're actually the director of that department and you no longer They'll never make it into your sales pipeline, because their scores too low. I think some other problems that I've ran into is like, just general is like undervalue or overvaluing, the score metric, like revenue is very important, especially if you're building out your ICPs based on the segmentation of a company's revenue, or segmenting out your companies based on their revenue. How much value is that? Right? Like, what is the what is the direction of your company? Is it all enterprise, and we're gonna really, really put a high value on that. And is it really worth, like, bubbling someone up to the top and pushing them through? So it's really kind of like, that's a frequent problem that I run into, and I fight today. And then I think the other one is aligning your MC, you talked a lot about this with your your page visits is aligning your skew MQL scoring with your buyers journey, right? So you how many touches does it take to get to the decision making process or through the discovery phase of the buyers journey? Right? Like, are they ready for sales? Is what we don't want to have, and I use this analogy a lot is, I don't want my sales team to pick up the call phone and call someone and that person asks, I'm sorry, who are you? What do you do, they should know who we are, they should know what we do. And they should probably be ready to be talking about their pain points with our sales team. And how we as a solution that gives our our sales team the opportunity to say like, as a solution, here's what we do and offer you. So I think those are kind of some of the big overarching problems that I run into on a regular basis. I still believe in that that buyers journey piece when a new piece of content comes out. Where does it sit in the buyers journey? And how am I going to score it?

Jordan Hellyer  41:55  

For sure, yeah, and to your point about sort of like people answering and saying, Who are you? You know, we had a challenge of a year or two ago with like spam, not spam bots, but like bots, checking links on emails and stuff. So you'd have like 20 links be clicked every single time someone got it. But actually, it was because they were checking it was a bot checking the links. And what we identified was that the clicks were happening before an open was actually happening. And that was kind of the key thing. But yeah, we had a couple were sort of, they just ramp and then people be like, No, I don't know who you are. It's like, Well, why do you click on every email for that, you know, ad. So I was also curious about refinements. So I was mentioning that like, you know, refining a lead score. scoring model is often as important as kind of building it out the first time. I was curious, like, how often you know, in your work, you kind of looped back into lead scoring? Is it like a process oriented point where you kind of refresh every quarter? Or is it more organic based on sort of how people are feeling or? 

Terry Burgess  42:55  

Yeah, it's a combination of both. I have weekly meetings with our sales team, or SDR and BDR. leads, and I get their feedback. I've even in past I've done surveys, especially like when we're releasing a scoring system, like for the first, you know, two quarters every month, like we'll ask them, like, specifically, like, what are they seeing through a survey. But organically, they'll tell me, they'll sales will always tell you what's working, what's not working, mostly what's not working. But I at least try to revisit it every quarter, if we're in will line it up with ourselves with our total company goes on the goals on the MQL. If we're smashing MQL goals, but we're missing our opportunity goals, then that would be the progression to the next phase be imputed opportunity, then we have a problem, right? We're putting, we're putting a low volume through our low quality through and a high volume. So we'll make adjustments to it. And that's where the shadow scoring, which you mentioned, really comes in handy because I can make an adjustment to the scoring system, like anytime during the quarter through the shadow and I can see what the projection is going to be within a week, I should know how many MQLs I would have produced under this new system. And then I can based on our conversion rates, I can calculate that out. Like what's the impact on the funnel. So it's like I said, it's a little bit of both, it's organic. If I'm getting a lot of negative feedback, then it's time to like, I gotta like put some time on the calendar and like actually dig into the model and see what's happening. But it usually they'll let me know.

Jordan Hellyer  44:25  

Perfect, perfect. Yeah. And I see in the chat, Ryan had mentioned that, you know, this is something that he's run into a lot as well and kind of having that constant feedback loop has been really important that their company to make sure that there's always eyes on it. And definitely we've seen that in some of our work too. Sometimes the lead you know, basically when things go badly, everyone looks at the lead scoring and when things are fine, everyone kind of ignores it. But as I said, you know, you're not you don't necessarily it is something that needs to have a close watch on. Because, you know, company priorities will change sales teams will change and Yeah, certainly kind of an ongoing cadence has been something we we always recommend to our clients. I also had a question from Amanda from a couple of minutes ago, Amanda was asking, assigning ICP by email domain, you know, putting into top 20 target accounts and really focusing in on those groups, absolutely, you can do and we often will use target domain, that's kind of, you know, a bit of an ABM strategy, both as ICP, or even in lead scoring in general, you know, we might have our own Scoring Matrix for kind of our target, our target groups. Now, if they come in on their personal emails, or something sneaky like that, that won't quite work. But some of our clients will block personal emails for exactly that reason, if you're gonna come in, we want to know who you are for real. So yeah, so certainly a bit of a balance to be had there. But absolutely, that can be done and I think is a really effective way of doing it, for sure.

Terry Burgess  45:52  

See, kind of going back to frequent problems. The one thing I would recommend about ICPs are just beware of a pitfall is there is still a behavior component that needs to be calculated with ICP, just because they're their demographics and firmographic is meeting your ICP, if they you know, come to your site and fill out one form, are they ready to talk to sales, it kind of goes back to that phone call, it's like, if they pick up the phone, and they get on a call with sales, are they going to know who you are, the good is going to be the right person. And then if they're not ready, you're just burned your MQL, right, now you got a lot more work, you got to put them back in the recycle program, you've got to like work them back up, and then push them to the sales. And then the second part is also, it really has a negative impact on your sales. If your sales team begins to see certain channels or certain behaviors from leads, they're going to, they're going to basically identify the pattern, and then it's going to they're going to automatically subconsciously, deprioritize those leads, they're gonna be like, Oh, it's another one of these leads from this source in this program. I'm not going to I'm going to like, I'll send them an email, but I'm not going to put my full attention into it. So there's a it's a fine line, you walk and it kind of also talks back to Ryan's point about like being in a constant loop with your your sales team.

Jordan Hellyer  47:06  

For sure. For sure. Yeah. Makes good sense to me. I'm not seeing any other questions drop in. So Aaron, I guess maybe I could just pass the ball back to you for for final thoughts.

Aaron Conant  47:19  

Yeah. And I just, the key thing for me is that shadow scoring, I think just over and over again, that discrepancy between sales, marketing and demand gen. What's coming in? And how are you working on it, I mean, it's just like a real pressure relief valve in a way of, hey, actually, we can look at both of them. And we can decide who's right. And it's not a random person making it as literally you can look at the data on the back end, and say, Actually, this looks better. And I think that's a lot of cases, you know, on both sides, you know, whether there's too many leads coming in, and they're not the right leads, or there's too few because it's too restrictive. People just want the data to say, hey, in the opportunity, I should say, number one, the opportunity to test something new without messing with the current one, but also the data on the back end, to really have, you know, a look at what's working, what's not, and the fact that you can keep refining over and over again, how often do you see people, you know, redoing their, their, their, their modeling?

Jordan Hellyer  48:19  

Quite often, and oftentimes, we're, we're brought in to sort of reboot completely, you know, sometimes people, you know, to point Terry's point about inherent models, right? Sometimes you'll inherit a model and just be like, Nope, this is really not consistent with what the company is today. And so yeah, oftentimes, we'll be in charge of kind of rebooting those. And also, there's a bit of a creative process of like, how much we want to reboot, do we want to really start from zero again? Or do we want to build on what the existing scores were, but within our new matrices and that type of thing? So

Aaron Conant  48:53  

yeah, I agree with when there's tonnes and tonnes of leads, and deal flow coming through a lot of people like Matt, they maybe ignored it for, you know, three, six, even a year must vary, as long as business is good. And then for whatever reason, if things change, then they revisit it as a whole. And then I think there's a tonne of questions. And the scary thing is, you know, what do you do first, and the only wrong decision is to not do anything? Yeah.

Terry Burgess  49:18  

so um, I would also, I would just like one more point about just kind of like the lead the shadow scoring and just also just lead scoring in general. It's, it's really imperative, especially if you're very first starting out with a new model. It's really important to kind of like run it in the background for a time, a period of time, so that you don't want to shut off your faucet of leads to sales right away, right, like you want to understand and you need to tweak your model to have the minimum a minimum impact, right. It may be like a six month taper off right? Like I came into the company, my current company, every lead that came in the system got worked by sales, so they have an expectation of X amount of leads every month. I have to build put them model in place and meet that expectation while tightening down the faucet, right? Like we got to start bubbling up the the quality in excluding all the low quality stuff, it's a really fine line because your cells has workloads that they have to maintain, right? They're hiring, probably the hiring model that they put in place was based on their ability to work X amount of leads, right and qualify X amount of leads. So it's a fine line, you have to work until the shadow shadow shadow scoring allows you to kind of like put that in place and start tweaking it and working it so that you can have a minimum impact on lead flow while having an impact quality. Yeah, for sure.

Aaron Conant  50:37  

Absolutely. And so Jordan, just like key takeaways as we get to the end here. Any final thoughts?

Jordan Hellyer  50:43  

Yeah, I just appreciate everyone's attention. Hopefully, you know, there was kind of something for everybody in here. And we covered everything that everyone was interested in. But certainly, if you have any questions, you know, I always love to talk a lead scoring strategy. So don't hesitate to reach out. door's always open. love to chat. Yeah. Just thanks again for everyone's attention.

Aaron Conant  51:05  

Yeah. And thanks, Terry. Thanks, Jordan, for your time today. Thanks for being so open to sharing. Again, everybody, we can get you a copy of the deck today, more than happy to connect you with both Terry and Jordan, if you're looking for additional help in this space. You know, I'd 100% Put some time on the calendar with Jordan in the team over there. Kind of give a rundown of you know, an overall audit. I think you said that you guys do 100% worth it. And with that, I think we're going to wrap it up here right on time. Thanks again for everybody sending in those great questions. Thanks for the great interaction. Hope everybody has a fantastic Wednesday, a great rest of your week. Everybody, take care, stay safe and look forward to having you on a future event again. Thanks, Terry. Thank you. Thanks. All right. It was awesome.

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