Setting Up a Lead Scoring System

  • Updated
Lead scoring makes it easy to sort prospects into stages based on your sales funnel. It's a powerful tool that you can tune to the precise needs of your business.

A good set of scoring rules helps you send only the most qualified leads to sales. Your Act-On account comes with ten common activities listed with default scores, but setting up a custom scoring system will significantly improve the value you get from Act-On.

Determine Your Top Behaviors

Make a list of the key indicators that a prospect is ready to buy. These items should be based on your individual business and sales process.

  • What is typically the last step of your marketing funnel before a buyer purchases from you?
  • Do you have particular content, like videos or ebooks, that drives lots of conversions?
  • Is there a contact form that signals that sales should reach out immediately?

Make sure that your marketing and sales teams are both involved in creating this list. Once you have it, rank the items from most to least important.

Set up Your Scoring Rules

You can now assign specific point values to attributes and behaviors. When these points add up to a number of your choosing (we recommend 40), you can consider a lead to be sales-qualified.

  1. Click Contacts, and select Scoring Rules.
  2. Add values for each profile and/or activity.
  3. Update the Pick Time Period.
  4. Click the Save button.

There are two attributes when setting your scoring rules: Profile-based and Activity-based. Below are the steps to set up the scoring rules for each of these attributes: 

  1. Under the Profile section, click Add Profile Condition to set up a condition.
  2. Add a descriptive name for your condition, such as "High-Level Executives." This description is what will be displayed for your reference on the Scoring Rules page.
  3. In the next field, type or select the field name of interest, such as Industry or Job Title. This should match the name of an actual field in your lists.
  4. Choose a condition such as Equals or ContainsEnter the values you want to assign a specific score to, such as "President" or "CEO".
    • If there is more than one value that qualifies, enter them all in the box and separate them by semicolons, e.g. "President; CEO; VP"
  5. Click Save.
  6. On the Scoring Rules page, enter a score value that corresponds to your new condition.

SalesForce Hot Prospects users:

The score displayed on the Hot Prospects screen does not yet take the profile attribute scores into consideration and will continue to display scores based on behavior only. This enhancement will be available in an upcoming release!

Specify behavior-based scoring rules

  1. Click Contacts, and select Scoring Rules.
  2. Under the Activity section, select the time period of interest (or select ALL for lifetime lead scoring).
  3. Assign a unique numeric value to each specific activity.
    • Items in the default list (Was sent a message, Opened a message, Clicked on a message, Viewed a form, and so on) apply to "generic" characteristics: they don't apply to a specific message, form, document, page, or webinar
    • If you prefer, you can assign a numeric value to activities for specific items, instead (or as well), as described in the following steps
  4. Below the list of activities, click the drop-down list -- Add scoring for specific actions --, and choose one of the options.
  5. In the window that appears, select the specific messages, forms, documents, pages, or webinars you want to test for the specified behavior.
  6. When you have finished, click the SUBMIT button.
  7. You can edit an existing rule by clicking the link next to its name. You can delete a rule by clicking the X at the far right end of its row.
  8. Move the pointer over an icon next to the rule name to see a description of the selected item; click the icon to preview the item.
  9. Repeat steps 1 through 3 to define as many specific actions as you like.

Remember to give the highest point values to the items you listed as the most important buying behaviors.

If you assign a different power of 2 (1, 2, 4, 8, etc.) to each rule, the sum of scores for any given address will tell you exactly what that address has done. There's only one combination of behaviors that results in a score of 3, 6, or 10, for example. You can then create segments for each combination to target each group!

Sample Score Setup 

Here is an example of how to set up a lead scoring system. Remember that you can (and should) update these values to reflect your business needs.

Example Marketing Funnel Stage with Lead Score

  • Top of Funnel: 0 - 10
  • Middle of Funnel: 11 - 29
  • Bottom of Funnel: 30 – 39
  • Marketing Qualified / Sales Ready: 40 - 60
  • Hot Leads for Sales: 60+

Time Period: Start of Buying Cycle to Close of Sale

Target marketing-qualified lead to sales-accepted lead hand-off = 40 points

Activity Score Reason
Was sent a message 0 If you send a lead 40 messages and none are opened, this does not indicate buying interest.
Opened a message 1 Seeing that a message has been opened is nice, but it does not strongly indicate buying interest.
Clicked on a message 1-5 Clicking on a message shows engagement, but not a strong interest to buy.

Tip: We recommend subtracting your “Downloaded Media” score from 11 to determine the point value here.
e.g. if Downloaded Media = 10, set this as 1
Viewed a form 0 Viewing a form does not show intent to purchase in this example case.

The prospect will also get points from the “Visited a Web Page” score.
Submitted a form 10 Submitting any form means your prospects have become ready to trade information for content. This is a strong indicator.
Downloaded media 5-20 Downloading a media asset means the prospect has seen the content you designed to guide their buying journey. This is often a very strong indicator.
Visited a landing page 2 This is often a good indicator and typically weighted more important than a visit to your website.

The prospect will also get points from the “Visited a Web Page” score.
Visited a web page 8 How many pages should a buyer view before sales should engage with them? Take your sales hand-off score (eg., 40) and divide it by the number of pages (eg., 5) to get a good idea for this score.
Registered for a webinar 5 Registering for a webinar is a good indication of interest, and also helps you gauge the importance of the topic to this prospect.
Attended a webinar 35 If the prospect actually attended, we can consider them sales-ready and should get their information to our sales team immediately.
Clicked on an organic search listing 5-10 This may be a good indicator but is often not a sure sign of buying intent.
Clicked on a paid search ad 10-15 Usually a good indicator of buying intent
Unique: Visited Pricing Page 40 This typically means a prospect is ready to buy.
Unique: Submitted Contact Us Form 40 Submitting a Contact Us Form will result in a prospect becoming immediately qualified.

Multiple Score Sheets

Multiple Score Sheets allow you to create up to 4 additional scoring sheets in addition to your default score sheet that can be used to expand your current scoring model. This lets you customize your lead scoring rules for different teams, regions/geography, products/divisions, customers vs prospects, or any other segmentation of your marketing efforts.

Multiple Score Sheets are not calculated in Hot Prospects, and they are not available in the Contact’s Activity History.

Add score sheets

The process to set up and use Multiple Score Sheets is the same as above, with the exception of adding additional sheets.

To create additional Score Sheets:

  1. Contacts > Scoring Rules.

  2. At the top right, click the blue + icon (not the blue circle + on the left):
    Setting Up a Lead Scoring System 01.png

  3. Add a Sheet Name and click Save:
    Setting Up a Lead Scoring System 02.png

  4. Follow the scoring setup guide above to populate your sheets.

Multiple Score Sheets are found in:

  • The Change Field Value step in automated programs and list maintenance programs, when setting the field to overall behavior score or campaign score.
  • In query segments based on overall behavior score or campaign score.
  • When creating a new list based on the overall behavior score or campaign score.
  • When using the Change Column Value feature on list menus to update the selected field to the overall behavior score or campaign score.

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