Sunday, October 21, 2007

Automated Customer Scoring - Going Beyond Leads

Automated Lead scoring is a term that many in the B2B world are familiar with. Essentially, you take the typical manual lead qualification process that a sales rep or call center does over the phone to find the best leads and let technology do this for you. Can you apply this same concept to customers? I think you can and those of you in B2C already do this quite well.

At a recent MarketingSherpa's Boston Summit, Liz Thibeault, Senior Marketing Programs Manager, EMC Corp., described a process of having account reps manually deliver important names and lead qualification information to the marketing team for possible upsell programs. Knowing the account rep role myself quite well, wouldn't it be easier if you had a mechanism that scored existing customers through automation rather then waiting for account reps to pass on this data? For example, a highly qualified customer would be one that attended a webinar that was focused on a new product or service as well as downloaded a white paper on that topic. You can also blend into the mix data based on past purchases, role within the organization etc... If the score was high enough based on the defined criteria, the account rep would get a notification to follow up right away or the customer could be placed in a program that would deliver a highly targeted email asking the contact if they would like a live demo. It's this type of automated approach that could assist account reps in following up with the right customers at the right time which can lead to more closed deals.

The B2C world does this all the time. For example, if you purchased tickets to a Disney ice show in the past, you may receive an email letting you know that the Wiggles on ice is coming to town. Amazon shows you related books on the same page of a book you are looking at. In both cases, companies are using technology to inform customers of other offers that they may be interested in based on past activity.

If you've yet to get into lead scoring, I would first start down that path but if your main source of your business is return business from your customers, it's time to start thinking about Customer Scoring.

Chad H.

PS - Has anyone tried a Customer Scoring program?

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