How to Do Lead Scoring and Account Scoring in Hubspot

Learn how you can start scoring your leads and accounts in Hubspot.

By Luke Kline on June 8th, 2022Data

Chances are, your marketing team is actively working to generate and nurture quality leads for your business in a CRM like Hubspot before handing them off to your sales team. These top-of-funnel leads are often called MQLs (marketing qualified leads) or leads who have shown intent in your business. The problem is only a small percentage of leads end up converting to customers.

In an ideal world, your sales and marketing teams need to understand where each customer is in the buyer journey so they can move them through the funnel and convert your MQLs to SQLs (sales qualified leads). What happens if all of your leads look the exact same and how do you prioritize the ones coming in? What can you do to avoid chasing down dead leads? Being able to identify and prioritize high-value leads is the difference between losing a deal and closing a deal – and this is exactly the problem lead scoring solves.

What is Lead Scoring?

Lead scoring is the process of assigning a value or single score (usually numerical) to every lead you generate within your business. Lead scoring is typically based on demographic data and behavioral data. Demographic data usually includes attributes like job title, industry, company size, department, location, etc. Behavioral data is more specific because it’s based on actual interactions a user has had with your company or product.

This type of information includes interaction events like email opens, pages visited, content downloaded, webinar registrations, form submissions, etc. The ultimate goal of lead scoring is to determine which factors make someone more likely to become a paying customer. Once this is done, you can set up a system where your MQLs are actively scored and automatically converted to SQLs after a certain threshold is met.

Creating a Lead Scoring Model

Most of the time, a lead scoring model is based on a point range (e.g. 0-100), but this can vary to meet your needs. Generally, a higher score equals a more qualified lead. However, the respective scores don’t really matter; all that really matters is that you define your scoring range and understand where your leads fall in that range. To create a lead scoring model, you first need to calculate your lead-to-customer conversion rate by taking the total number of new customers you’ve acquired and dividing that number by the total number of new leads you’ve generated.

You’ll also need to define exactly what scoring attributes and data points are most likely to convert to a paying customer. The best way to define your scoring rules is to examine your current and potential customers and see what they have in common and answer questions like:

  • Who is your core customer (e.g. B2B organizations or B2C organizations)?
  • What is your target audience or buyer persona (e.g. marketing teams, data teams, HR teams, etc.)
  • What actions did your customers take to become paying customers (e.g. did they request a demo, view your pricing page, see an ad, submit a form, etc.)?

You’ll also want to run an attribution report to identify which marketing efforts are yielding the most conversions in your funnel. At the end of the day, nobody understands your business better than you, so you’ll be able to do a more accurate assessment here and define exactly which criteria are most important in moving your leads through the buying journey. Once you’ve identified the core factors in your sales funnel, the next step is to simply assign a value to both your positive attributes and your negative attributes.

For instance, if you identified that leads who requested a demo are two times more likely to close than leads who don’t, you could award five points to leads with those attributes. This same principle can also be applied to a negative score. A good example of negative scores are competitors, job seekers, or industries that are not a fit for your product. Without a proper lead scoring model, all of your leads look the exact same and your sales reps can’t prioritize the high-value ones.

What is Account Scoring?

Account scoring is slightly different from lead scoring because whereas lead scoring is focused on user attributes, account scoring is focused on mapping user actions and user-generated data to specific accounts. Account scoring uses the same data that is leveraged in lead scoring. However, the difference lies in the fact that account scoring happens at a broader level. With account scoring, you’re summarizing user behavior in the context of an entire account rather than looking at it on an individual level (e.g. account has opened 20 marketing emails in the last week).

Defining an Account Scoring Model

For account scoring, you don’t assign positive and negative attributes at the individual level. Instead, you summarize the data of your individual leads whether that’s demographic data, behavioral data, or even product usage data, and then assign positive and negative attributes. For example, you might have identified that accounts with over 20 users are a good upsell target for your next business tier. Likewise, accounts that have not logged into your app for the last 30-days may be at risk of churn.

How Does Lead and Account Scoring Work in Hubspot?

When it comes to lead and account scoring within Hubspot, the platform offers two main options, predictive scoring, and manual scoring.

Predictive Lead Scoring

With predictive lead scoring, Hubspot uses machine learning to review all of the data points (e.g.interactions logged in your CRM, email interactions, form submissions, etc.) across your entire contact base to identify the trends. Hubspot then associates this information to a score property type called “Likelihood to Close” and gives each individual contact in your database a probability of closing within the next 90 days (this feature is only available at the enterprise level).

Hubspot Likelihood to close property

Hubspot’s predictive lead scoring tool also uses a feature called Hubspot Insights, which automatically populates default company properties like annual revenue, city, country, industry, state/region, address, phone number, website URL, etc.) It analyzes what information your customers have in common and cross-references it against your leads who failed to close.

Manual Lead Scoring

For more granularity, Hubspot also has a feature for manual lead scoring. This contact property is known as “Hubspot Score” and unlike the “Likelihood to Close” field, it’s much more configurable.

With manual lead scoring, you award points to both positive and negative attributes for specific fields in Hubspot that you define. For example, a pricing page view might be worth 5 points, but if the job role is not in your desired ICP (ideal customer profile) you might want to assign some negative points.

Setting up a manual lead scoring system in Hubspot is relatively simple since all you have to do is click on the Settings icon, navigate to properties, and search for the “Hubspot Score” property. Once there you can assign your positive and negative attributes with a few clicks based on the fields that you’ve already created in Hubspot.

Hubspot Properties

Hubspot scoring.png

Account Scoring

Account scoring within Hubspot is also done manually as well. However, there is no pre-built property for it so you’ll need to create a new one and define your scoring criteria.

Best Practices for Lead and Account Scoring

Depending on your needs, a simple lead scoring or account scoring model may not be enough. If you introduce additional product lines you'll probably want to separate your scoring properties and set up additional criteria. You might also want to define an engagement score or a fit score to see which contacts or accounts are most engaged and which contacts most closely align with your favorite customers. Within Hubspot, you can even define an additional score using score tiers with the contact priority property. This is extremely useful when you want to categorize a specific buyer type or business type.

Hubspot contact priority property

Honestly, the use cases are endless with lead scoring and you likely have a better understanding of your use case. One of the major advantages of establishing lead scoring within Hubspot is that you can segment your contacts and accounts into smart lists for even more granularity based on the baseline criteria that you define. With automatically updating Hubspot lists, you can easily route your leads and accounts to the appropriate sales reps and add them to fully automated workflows – all you have to do is define your enrollment criteria.

The Problem with Lead and Account Scoring in Hubspot

One of the core problems with lead scoring in Hubspot is that the data housed within the platform is relatively limited. Hubspot doesn’t store the important behavioral data that you care about, as it’s limited to the fields that exist in Hubspot. Because Hubspot is a CRM (customer relationship management) platform, most of the data is sales-related. This means you won't have a full 360-degree view of your customer.

Although some data is captured automatically (e.g. account information, phone recordings, email interactions, etc.), most of it has to be manually inputted by your individual sales reps. Unless you’re using Hubspot-specific landing pages, you can’t actually track the user journey through your website, and if you’re not using Hubspot for email marketing you cannot track your campaigns. If you define your scoring model in Hubspot, it will be innately limited because Hubspot only provides one view of your customer data.

In reality, you probably have many more data sources with important customer information. This data likely includes important product usage data (e.g. workspace created, new user-added, last-login date, etc.), or key events from your website (e.g. viewed pricing page, item added to cart, abandoned cart, etc.). In fact, it’s highly likely that all of your customer data (including the information in Hubspot) already lives in your warehouse. To build a fully comprehensive lead scoring model in Hubspot, you need to take advantage of your data warehouse.

Defining Your Scoring Model in the Data Warehouse

At the end of the day, it won’t matter how many fields you create in Hubspot because the platform simply cannot capture certain types of data. Technically, you could fill this information in manually, but that requires you to hop from tool to tool, download/upload manual CSVs, or build custom integrations and that’s simply not scalable across your sales team.

When following a warehouse first approach, you generally have two options for defining your lead scoring model in Hubspot. You can either build a scoring model directly within your warehouse and sync that score directly to a custom score property in Hubspot, or you can sync individual data points to pre-built properties in Hubspot and define your scoring model directly in Hubspot.

The latter method is easier because your less technical teams can see values without having to navigate SQL from your data warehouse. Regardless of your data team, you’re going to likely need to move data out of your warehouse and into Hubspot, and data activation platforms like Hightouch are the best way to do so.

Hightouch Lead Scoring (Hubspot)

Activating Your Data in Hubspot

Hightouch is a Data Activation Platform powered by Reverse ETL. Instead of having to download ad-hoc CSV files or manage custom data pipelines, Hightouch queries from your existing data warehouse and syncs that data to the destination of your choosing (e.g. Hubspot). With Hightouch, you simply define the columns in your data model and map them to the appropriate fields in your Hubspot and run your sync.

Hightouch Objects (Hubspot)

You can have your syncs run manually, schedule them on a set interval, set up a custom recurrence, use a cron expression, or even schedule them to run after your data has been updated in your warehouse via dbt.

Hightouch Mapping (Hubspot)

Using Hightouch, you can even build custom audiences (e.g. users who have created a workspace in the last 30 days, or prospects who scheduled a demo and canceled) and sync them directly to lists in Hubspot. Hightouch empowers your Hubspot users and removes the guessing work so your teams can focus on driving business outcomes.

Hightouch Sync Scheduling

The first integration with Hightouch is completely free so you can actually start scoring your leads and accounts today!

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