Topics: Sales

How to Setup a Lead Scoring Process for Your Lawn Care Business

Picture of Chris Heiler Author: Chris Heiler

scoreboard"These are the new leads. These are the Glengarry leads. And to you they're gold, and you don't get them. Why? Because to give them to you would be throwing them away. They're for closers." - Blake (Alec Baldwin), from Glengarry Glen Ross

But, but, but..."The leads are weak," Shelley Levene (Jack Lemmon) pleads to Blake.

If you're involved in sales in any way you're bound to hear a similar refrain. The leads are weak. The leads suck. These leads aren't qualified. This is a good lead. This is a bad lead. These comments are all subjective. Unless they are based on a company-established set of criteria, descriptors like "good" or "weak" are mostly meaningless.

Let's explore this topic from the perspective of a lawn care business who depends heavily on a consistent flow of leads to feed their sales team.

What if this lawn care business had an effective way to grade, or score, all incoming leads? A formal lead scoring process would allow them to:

  • More effectively qualify the leads
  • Prioritize the leads
  • Assign the leads to the appropriate sales person
  • Measure lead quality over time
  • Report and benchmark over time using real data, not subjectivity

All of this brings marketing and sales into better alignment.


Does your lawn care business need a lead scoring process?

Not all companies will want -- or even need -- to implement a lead scoring process. So, do you need to implement lead scoring for your lawn care business? The answer is "Yes", if any of these statements are true:

  1. You want to effectively scale your business and sales process as you grow.
  2. You have the ability to easily score your leads in a consistent manner (we use HubSpot's lead scoring and lead management tool for this).
  3. You are getting a large number of leads each month and some are falling through the cracks.
  4. You're tired of hearing your sales team complain about lead quality.

In my opinion, your answer shouldn't necessarily be based on the size of your company or number of incoming leads. To give you some perspective, we have two people involved in sales here at Landscape Leadership, myself included. For us, having a formal lead scoring process in place right now is important as we ramp up for future growth. We want this process in place before we are completely overwhelmed and unable to manage the incoming lead flow in an effective way.


How to set up a lead scoring process

There is multiple criteria a lawn care business can use to score or grade leads. Much depends on the amount and type of information (lead intelligence) collected from the leads. Lead scoring criteria can also vary for B2B companies versus B2C companies. Check out this helpful article from HubSpot about choosing your lead scoring criteria.

Here are some common criteria we use for lead scoring (internally and for clients):

  • Lead source- Was the lead from a referral or a cold call? There's a difference (learn more about identifying lead source in this post).
  • Location- Can be scored by county, zip code or even city
  • Budget could be used for a lawn care business or, maybe better yet, for a landscape contractor.
  • Size of company by revenue and/or number of employees (for B2B companies)
  • Job title or position in company (for B2B companies)- For our agency, a CEO or owner is scored much higher than an IT or marketing person at the same company.
  • Type of business (for B2B companies)
  • Website activity- This is huge for us. Using HubSpot's software we are able to track number of visits, number of page views, number of downloads, emails opened/clicked, etc. and automatically score the leads accordingly.

The lead scoring process you use will be unique to your business.

To setup your lead scoring process, select the criteria and lead intelligence you will use. You will then assign a point value to each.

The screenshot below shows how we grade leads based on job title or position (keep in mind, this is only one criteria).

lead scoring in hubspot by position resized 600

You can also deduct points, as is shown in the screenshot below where "average annual revenue" is used as a criteria.

lead scoring in hubspot by revenue resized 600

We also like to factor in website activity in our lead scoring process, as shown in this screenshot.

lead scoring in hubspot website activity resized 600

This automated lead scoring process -- enabled by HubSpot's marketing automation software -- allows us to segment leads into three groups: Leads, Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs) and Sales Accepted Leads (SALs). Follow-up with each is handled in a unique way. Learn more about our terminology in this blog post.

Some companies will setup lead scoring on a scale from 1 to 100 (figure out what a "perfect" lead looks like then work backwards from 100). We don't put a limit on scores, we set thresholds (it's easier!). For instance, a "Lead" becomes an "MQL" when it scores a 45.

Be flexible when you begin setting up your lead scoring process. You will have multiple iterations before landing on the most effective system for your business.

Lead scoring can be effective for almost any type of company, whether you are a lawn care business or a marketing agency like us. Of course, you've got to generate the leads before you can score them :-)

Check out our free ebook below that we developed in partnership with HubSpot that analyzes the relationships between various inbound marketing activities and the volume of traffic and leads that correlate with those factorsThis in-depth study and ebook is based on data from HubSpot's 4,000 customers, many of which are green industry companies like landscape contractors and lawn care operators.

image credit: andrewmalone
Picture of Chris Heiler

About Chris Heiler

Chris is the founder and CEO of Landscape Leadership. He has been in the green industry for over 20 years. Aside from leading the team at Landscape Leadership he enjoys speaking at green industry events across the country sharing his insights on marketing and sales. Chris now lives in Austin, TX, a transplant from the midwest and the great state of Michigan.

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