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HubSpot Lead Scoring 101: Finding Quality Leads

Posted by Ali Schwanke on September 26, 2019
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You’ve heard the old adage: quality over quantity.

When it comes to sales leads, quantity might tell a big story, but it starts looking less exciting when that large quantity of leads generates very little revenue.

If you’ve been on the marketing end of the situation, you know that quality wins in sales leads every time. What’s ten prospects if nine are almost guaranteed not to close?

That’s where lead scoring comes in. It aligns your marketing and sales team and gives you a way to focus on the quality of leads, not just the quantity.10 Things to Tackle Before Buying HubSpot

What is lead scoring?

Lead scoring is the art of ranking your prospects in order to determine how ready they are for the next step in the sales process. It’s a scoring system shared by your sales and marketing teams that’s based on your contact’s actions and their fit for your business. This score is typically determined by a variety of contact attributes and how they interact with your content.  

Lead scoring indicates how ready a lead is to say yes when sales makes the move.

HubSpot has some great tools to help you score your leads, whether you want to do it automatically or manually.

Manual Lead Scoring: Manual lead scoring allows you to calculate a score based on a model that you create with attributes and actions that you identify as indications that the lead is qualified.

Predictive Lead Scoring: Predictive lead scoring uses a proprietary AI-based algorithm from HubSpot to automatically score leads based on their potential to become a customer

What is predictive lead scoring?

Predictive scoring in HubSpot uses advanced algorithms and machine learning to analyze and determine how likely a lead is to close as a customer within 90 days.

In HubSpot, Enterprise users can see this score by going to Settings > Properties. The information is broken down into two different categories: Likelihood to close and Contact priority.


Likelihood to close gives a score that shows the probability of a contact closing based on contact properties and behaviors. A contact with a score of 45 will have a 45% chance of closing in the next 90 days.

Contact priority breaks down into Very High, High, Medium and Low categories to give your sales team an easy way to filter based on the Likelihood to close score.

HubSpot’s algorithm looks at contact information that is available in the CRM and/or Marketing Hub such as demographics, website interactions, and company information, as well as historical information about what leads have become customers to determine this score.

Setting up manual lead scoring in HubSpot

The other lead scoring option in HubSpot is manual lead scoring. It can be an invaluable tool for your marketing and sales teams if you invest the time and energy to doing it correctly. Rather than making guesses or basing your decisions entirely on empirical evidence, take the time to look at the numbers and base your lead score on the quantitative data as well.

Find your lead-to-customer conversion rate

If you don’t know where you are, it’s hard to know where you’re going. Start by looking at how many leads you get each month and how many of those convert into customers. Divide the number of new customers by the number of leads and you have your conversion rate. This gives you a starting point as you build your lead score.

Determine what makes someone convert.

There’s a lot of information to sort through and decisions to make as you create your lead score. So, how do you decide what to include?

1. Start by looking at the data.

What content have you created that historically converts prospects into leads? Which industries are more likely to close a deal? Take a close look at your reporting and use it to determine which content works (and which doesn’t). If you have access to custom reports in HubSpot, you can run an attribution report that shows what content your visitors interacted with at different stages, whether their first interaction or their most recent. 


These are some attributes to consider:

  • Demographics
  • Company information
  • Email engagement
  • Social engagement
  • Website engagement
  • Negative engagement (what keeps someone from closing?) 
2. Talk to your sales team.

Your sales team is a wealth of information when it comes to what makes a successful lead. Ask them what blogs they send to leads and what responses they hear from these individuals. Use their qualitative insights to support what you’ve uncovered in the data. 

3. Talk to your customers.

Don’t forget to talk to your current customers about what impacted their journey with your company. This could be a survey that you send out or individual calls with top customers.

Ask them what questions they asked as they made a decision to purchase from your business and what resources were helpful along the way.

Set Your Lead Score in HubSpot

Once you’ve done the research, you’re ready to create your lead score! Go to Settings > Properties in your HubSpot account and search for the HubSpot Score property. Add the properties that have a positive impact on your close rates and then the attributes that negatively impact a contact’s likelihood to purchase from your company, up to 100 attributes. 


Track Your Success and Revise Your Score

After you set up your lead scoring, don’t set it and forget it. Test your results and compare it to the lead-to-conversion rate you had when you started. As you add new resources or discover new insights about your customer, your lead score might shift as well.

Benefits of HubSpot Lead Scoring

It takes time and energy to create the methodology behind your lead score. It shouldn’t be difficult to implement it once you’ve done all the hard work. HubSpot’s tool makes it easy to put your lead score into action, especially because all the important information is right at your fingertips.

But HubSpot is just a tool. The real value of lead scoring comes by bringing increased alignment to your sales and marketing teams. By working together to create a lead score, you not only have a common goal, but more qualified leads for your sales team, too.

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