Published: 26 March, 2011

Researching/Prioritising Mailing Lists or “Lead Scoring”

There is such a thing as too many leads.

A business thrives on a well-managed pipeline.
If following up leads does not fall into a process, the fact is they will get lost. The transaction size of hedge funds are that much higher, and leads that much rarer, that a detailed process and pipeline needs to be in place – rather than relying on charismatic sales people. ProFundCom aids this process by giving you access to a prospect’s engagement with your email and web communications – what is known as ‘digital body language’. This information is automated and delivered internally as reports and can provide automated messages to prospects and future prospects.

Do not abdicate responsibility
The most senior person in the business must own the pipeline and the process, and not abdicate the responsibility.

Hunting high and low
Lead scoring is a method of assigning points or markers to each prospect in your database or CRM. Points are assigned based on specific criteria and this criteria is based on experience gained by analysing success and failure in the current sales process. The higher the score, the higher the probability that this is a target prospect looking at buying your fund.

The most accurate lead scoring models comprise both explicit and implicit information. Explicit scores are based on information provided by or about the prospect, for example – company size, industry segment, job title or geographic location. Implicit scores are derived from monitoring prospect behaviour, such as website visits, fact sheet and fund performance downloads and email opens and clicks.

Today’s investor has all the tools available, both online and offline, to make informed decisions. With access to all the information they require, they are able to self-educate, discover funds that fit their investment profile, and form a view about which managers fit their investment profile. As hedge fund marketers facilitate this investment process, they must pay careful attention to prospects’ digital body language in order to detect when they are ready to engage in a purchase conversation with a sales person.

Information leads to investment.
Lead scoring provides the link from the behavioural information detected by watching prospects’ digital engagement, to the action that should be taken based on the insights gained.

In order to score leads well, marketing and sales must first agree on the definition of a qualified lead. This agreement allows for a ‘common language’ between hedge fund marketing and hedge fund sales, whereby marketing works to generate qualified leads and sales works to close them. This definition, however, has two distinct parts, ‘fit’ and ‘engagement’. Fit – or the explicit information known about a person, their role, company, industry, and revenues – defines whether they are the ideal person and company to sell to. Engagement – or the implicit information known about their investment profile and history – defines whether they are sufficiently engaged to begin a conversation with sales.

Now for the science bit
These two dimensions of lead scoring should allow marketing and sales to create a matrix of lead qualification. A, B, C, and D can define fit, and 1, 2, 3, and 4 can define engagement. This allows a next action to be defined for each square on the matrix. A1 leads, those with ideal fit and maximum engagement, can go directly to sales. A3 and A4 leads, those with the right fit, but minimal engagement, should be nurtured over time until signs of engagement are detected. C1 or D1 leads, where the engagement is high, but the level of fit is low, might be worth engaging with to see if they are doing research on behalf of a more senior decision-maker.

The score of a lead changes with each action they take and with each day that passes, so it is crucial to ensure that a re-scoring process can be automatically triggered with each action, no matter how small, and with each passing day. This requirement of lead scoring is what makes it a key consideration when looking at hedge fund marketing automation software.

Lead scoring allows marketing and sales to agree on not just the definition of a qualified lead, but the correct next steps for any leads that meet those definitions. As such, good lead scoring forms the foundation of any demand generation operation.

An excellent lead scoring resource is available from Aberdeen Group at


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