Scoring – Find Out If Your Customer Is Ready to Buy

Omnichannel solutions, the accumulation of customer activity data in real time, also allows you to create a “scoring system”. This is a series of algorithms that assign points to customers when they complete certain actions. The scoring system may include for example, the frequency of website visits or activity in social media profiles and takes into account the total amount of transactions made online and offline for a certain period of time.

Aneta Głowacka
Product Manager
Added 7 months ago | 6 mins, 18 secs read

The scoring system makes it possible to determine a customer’s likelihood of buying at a given time.

 We implement scoring in order to be able to predict which customers are currently the most motivated to make purchases. Scoring is a marketing activity, the implementation of which brings visible sales effects and that is why its implementation requires cooperation between the marketing department and sales departments. According to recent research, 69% the best performing companies in global markets consider cooperation between marketing and sales departments to be the most critical factor in increasing ROI.

Meanwhile, only 23% of heads of sales departments agree that marketers in their businesses are able to identify which customers are willing to purchase in the near term(ie. hot lead). According to the report, less than 25% of newly-acquired clients/leads are ready to make quick purchase decisions.

First, you need to know the best time to present them with the best deals, and secondly consider how to take care of the remaining 75%. So if the position of the company has been already reached on the market and we have a sufficiently large client base, it’s time to improve the sales system. This is when you should think about the implementation of the scoring system.

What is the most important factor in a scoring system?

The fact is that we do not only consider activity in the online world, but offline as well. Besides consumer behavior on the internet and on our websites, we can also take into account their activity in physical stores. How often they shop, how much time they spend there, what kind of products they are interested in, how often they buy and in what amounts – it all contributes to an overall picture of consumer activity. This is all possible due to technology based on beacons which we presented earlier.

Before the implementation of the scoring system you should look at all the data that you have collected so far. Thoroughly analyze client behavior before purchasing. The most common purchasing decisions are taken by people that are always opening our emails and spend a lot of time on pages of specific products in our online shop. Or maybe more people are likely to buy that product in stores rather than online, and on the website they spend minimum time required just to make payments when buying online? You should also watch on whether and at what point customer behavior starts to change. Pay attention to behaviors that are common to all shoppers and see how they differ from one customer to another.

The data to be taken into account may vary depending on the type of product or service they relate to, but they always can be divided into two groups:

  • Formal data (explicit) – This is mainly demographic data that tells us who our customers are. It includes age, location, marital status, job and earnings. Remember that with omnichannel solutions we can also obtain data from social media and enrich the profile of our customers.
  • Implied data (implicit) – Mainly behavioral data like customer behavior on websites, activity associated with mobile applications, product categories purchased online and offline, etc. These criteria give us insight into the preferences and shopping experiences of our clients.
  • Scoring can be also be lowered as a result of this data. This can result from things like unsubscribing from a newsletter, activity limited to noncommercial subpages, abandoning shopping carts or student status while our product is a service for corporations.

How to score customer’s behavior?

All criteria (formal or implicit) should be divided into categories according to their relevance and each of them assigned a certain number of points. For example, our division and valuation of criteria might look like this:

  • the most important criteria (10 – 15 points),
  • very important criteria ( 5 – 9 points),
  • valid criteria (1 – 4 points ),
  • negative criteria (negative).

The bigger the impact a certain factor has on a purchase, the more points we should give it. Moreover, the purchase of different products may be followed by another type of behavior. Therefore, you should think about different scores depending on the product category, even for the same client, and gather as much information as possible – the more you know about the client, the better you can prepare the scoring.

A profile of each of our clients will be defined in real time according to two coordinates (formal and implied). It should also establish the number of points divided into two categories, so that we can assign each client to a group of hot, warm and cold leads (or those ready for immediate sale, those requiring support of the decision and others still at the beginning of the purchasing path). To illustrate the method of how to assign leads to each of the three areas outlined above, all the data can be presented on one chart. Customer involvement on the horizontal axis, and its fit to our product on vertical. Thus, the highest priority should be to support contacts in the upper right corner of the chart.

In preparing the scoring system customers should be thoroughly assessed to ensure that the points they are assingned is not misleading for the sales team. For example, a customer who is very active on the website and social media, but had never bought anything because he views a page just out of curiosity is not a solid lead. Generally, the sales department should be interested in customers who have a balanced ratio of formal and implied features. You should also educate customers. If customer knowledge varies greatly about your product or service, you can educate them on basis of scoring.

You should also remember to consider the validity period of the scoring and the fact that the effectiveness of the scoring system is very strongly influenced by the quality of the client base and the number of different pieces of information that it has gathered. If, in addition to data about network activity we have data on activity in the real world, we can look at client behavior from a much wider perspective. According to research by Marketo in 2014, if the quality of our leads increased by 10%, sales efficiency increases by 40%. Remember to collect client data from every possible source to make the most informed decisions about crafting the best marketing strategy.

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The most important benefit of scoring clients is shortening the purchasing cycle and increasing the likelihood of conversion. It also gives you the ability to customize marketing to client behavior and prioritize how it operates (hot lead, lead warm, cold lead) at every stage of the purchasing path. Such activities establish a relationship with the client and build commitment, and consequently an increase in its satisfaction with the products and services that you offer.

Research shows that 68% of marketers believe a well-functioning system of scoring and appropriate content marketing are the two factors that have the greatest impact on company revenue. However, the preparation of an effective solution is not so simple. As was mentioned, a well-functioning system of scoring is based on a qualitative database, an overall (omnichannel) approach to the client and the use of complicated algorithms. One of the tools that provides solutions to that kind of scoring is the Synerise marketing platform. It will help you build and manage a quality database, collect a variety of data about your clients (online & offline), and process them based on advanced algorithms. As a result, you can prepare an attractive and effective scoring system that will positively affect the level of sales and client satisfaction.

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