A clear goal will help guide a project in so many ways. It will also give you a clear definition of what success is, and should be your north star as you start planning and executing a project.
In addition to planning for a big project, when you find yourself getting lost in the weeds, go back to your goal. A good question to ask yourself is: how is this helping us reach the end goal for this project?
What makes a good goal, you ask? Remember the SMART acronym – specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, time-based.
This project will result in a new analysis tool by March 1st that will save account managers approximately 2 hours each week.
This project will result in a new data storage solution allowing for time savings related to monthly reporting, as well as additional future tools and analysis opportunities. By 2021 we will have all of our client and internal data uploaded.
Unfortunately, life isn’t free. If you need additional resources, you’ll need to budget for them. If it’s software that you need, be mindful of how much data you have, and how many users/logins you need.
If you are proposing something that requires additional cost, have a plan to demonstrate how this project is adding value, whether it’s cost savings, revenue generation, or time allocation.
This project will cost $500/month for data storage but will allow us to cancel our subscription to XYZ software, saving $800 a month.
This project will have an upfront cost of $1200 but will automate reporting and forecasting tasks, allowing Account Managers to spend their time optimizing their accounts
This aspect of project planning can be tricky, as unforeseen roadblocks can and do happen (sometimes frequently… *sob*). For data projects, I like to think of timing in the following phases:
Estimates are definitely okay here, just try to allocate time among the blocks as closely as you can. For example – I allocate quite a bit of time to research, set-up, and debugging.
“Scope” refers to how many people will be involved, and how many people will be impacted by the project. Generally, the larger the scope, the more planning is needed and the overall timeline will be a bit slower.
Determining the scope is important for a few reasons. The first being that you need to know how many people you need to be working on it (taking time and energy away from other potential projects). Secondly, you need to be thinking about who will be impacted and why, and how you will communicate that to your stakeholders (covered below).
Buy-in is a critical part of a successful initiative, and the beginning step is determining who your key stakeholders are.
What is a key stakeholder, and how do I figure out who they are? I think of stakeholders as anyone who will be using the final product, or anyone who is approving resources/budget/etc. for the project. It’s important to clearly outline the goal, scope, timeline, and what you need from your stakeholders early on in the process.
Solid planning around the data you are using will help you avoid future headaches. Better to find out that you need to restructure your data while you are in the planning stage, rather than midway through trying to write code (this definitely hasn’t happened to me before..?)
- What information do you need
- Who owns that information
- Where is it stored
- How is it structured
If significant changes to your data structure and storage are required, make sure you set aside enough time in the “set up” phase of your timeline.
One thing I have learned over the years (and many, many projects) is that communication is arguably the most important skill to develop for successful work. If you have a solid idea but aren’t able to communicate the value, your project might be dead in the water.
Remember those roadblocks I mentioned before? In my experience, communication is the fix for most of those. The more complicated the project, the more stakeholders, the better the flow of communication needs to be.
- Be Clear (try not to write a novel)
- Set Expectations
- Include Deadlines
- Provide Status Updates Along the Way
These tips are applicable for communicating your ideas and plan, but are also very useful when asking others to take some action that you need. (For tips on communication with clients, check out The Art of Client Communication). I like to format these requests with the ask, the deadline, and the why. Here’s an example:
“Action Required: I need Bob to update columns A and B on this spreadsheet (link here)
When: by 5 pm on Thursday, Jan. 30th.
Why: These numbers are instrumental in getting the new dashboard project up and running on time. If you cannot meet this deadline, please let me know and we will come up with an alternative.”
Definition and How to Calculate a Lead Score
Generating a high volume of leads is one thing while identifying which prospects are most likely to convert into customers is another. To put it differently, it’s all about quality over quantity.
That’s where lead scoring comes in. Let’s take a look at what lead scoring is and how you can calculate it effectively.
What is Lead Scoring?
In short, lead scoring involves gauging your prospects’ quality to determine which leads are worth pursuing and which ones are not. Usually, this process works on a point-based system.
You assign prospects points according to various attributes. More specifically, you can score leads based on implicit and explicit data.
Explicit information refers to factual data that your leads have confirmed through a phone call or by completing a form. On the other hand, implicit data is based on the information you already possess, like purchase history.
You can then break down both data sets into demographic and behavioral data. Demographic data refers to your leads’ company size, geographical information, or industry, while behavioral data focuses on information based on the actions your leads took, like form submissions.
What are the Benefits of Lead Scoring?
For starters, lead scoring makes the sales process more efficient. By identifying qualified and unqualified leads, you’ll no longer need to spend time cold-calling or personalizing sales emails to leads that will likely not bring any value to your business.
By getting bad leads out of the equation, you’ll likely be able to increase conversions with fewer sales representatives.
Consequently, lead scoring helps you save time and money. It also helps shift your sales efforts to high-value leads for better results.
In addition, a lead scoring system helps you improve your marketing strategy. You’ll get to identify which marketing channels bring in the most valuable leads, thus allowing you to determine which channels are worth investing in and which ones are not.
Moreover, lead scoring will improve the nurturing process, as it allows you to pinpoint where prospects are situated in the sales cycle.
You can use that information to send content dedicated to leads during each sales cycle stage. Consequently, you can create more meaningful relationships and close deals quicker.
Lastly, evaluating leads will help you get your sales and marketing teams on the same page. As mentioned earlier, having a lead scoring system requires data.
This information helps marketers understand what type of prospects are most likely to convert and how to create targeted campaigns to attract them. The marketing department can then hand over sales-ready leads to the sales team and help them generate more sales.
How to Score Leads Manually
Lead-to-Customer Conversion Rate
The lead-to-customer conversion rate represents the percentage of the company’s qualified leads that resulted in a sale. To calculate this metric, divide the number of qualified prospects that generated conversions by the total number of qualified leads.
Why is this metric important? It essentially acts as your sales team’s benchmark. It allows you to assess the performance of your sales funnel and helps you stack up multiple marketing channels against each other to identify which ones are most effective in generating high-quality leads.
Choose the Right Attributes for Your Model
Attributes are the backbone of your lead scoring model. They help you define and identify the characteristics of sales-ready prospects and give you an idea of how to improve lead quality.
That’s where the data we mentioned earlier comes in. First, identify the prospects that bring the most value to your business.
Second, take your implicit and explicit data sets and find similarities between your high-value leads by examining demographic and behavioral data. Upon reviewing the data, identify the characteristics that define high-quality prospects and assign the attributes accordingly.
Determine the Close Rate for All Attributes
Next up, it’s time to determine which attribute is more valuable than the other. You’ll first need to calculate the close rate for each attribute to do this. More specifically, identify how many prospects turn into customers depending on their behavior or demographics.
For instance, you could calculate the close rate of people who sign-up for your newsletter, follow you on social media, or determine the close rate of prospects within various regions or niches.
Assign Point Values
Upon determining the close rates for each attribute, you’ll need to compare them and prioritize one over another.
For instance, recent Instagram statistics show that marketers grade influencer marketing as their fastest-expanding customer acquisition channel. So you may find out that more prospects from influencer campaigns turn into customers than prospects who signed up for your newsletter.
In that case, the former attribute is more valuable. Repeat the process for each specific attribute to define the characteristics that accurately reflect lead quality.
Furthermore, compare the close rates of your attributes to your overall close rate. This will act as a reference point when assigning scores for your attributes.
For example, if newsletter sign-ups have a close rate of 15%, whereas your overall close rate is one percent, you could assign each lead that registers to your newsletter 15 points.
Setting a minimum score threshold is also recommended to draw the line between qualified and unqualified prospects easier. For instance, leads with a score below 50/100 points may not be worth pursuing.
Other Types of Lead Scoring
Aside from the manual approach, there are also other methods of scoring leads. More specifically, predictive and logistics regression lead scoring.
Predictive lead scoring might be your best bet if you’re looking to save time. This method uses machine learning to go through prospect data to find common points between leads that convert and leads that do not and rank each prospect based on their likelihood of converting.
Predictive lead scoring eliminates the need to manually sift through data to identify valuable attributes and minimizes the risk of human errors.
Moreover, since predictive lead scoring systems use machine learning technology, you won’t need to optimize your follow-up strategy manually.
On the other hand, the main strength of logistic regression lead scoring systems lies in their accuracy, as it considers how all customer attributes interact with one another.
This is a data mining technique that uses Microsoft Excel. It works by building a formula in the spreadsheet which will reveal the probability of turning a prospect into a customer.
Overall, lead scoring is crucial for identifying high-value prospects and giving you an insight into how you could lower your cost per lead.
Start by determining your lead-to-conversion late. After that, choose the right attributes depending on your customer information, calculate the close rate of each attribute, and sort them based on their importance.
Demand Generation Marketing: The Key to Long-Term Business Growth
6 Easy Steps to Choose the Right Ones
Snap Will Cease Production of its Pixy Drone Due to Worsening Economic Conditions
Google AdSense Won’t Help Your Site Rank Better In Google
How Data Analytics is Changing the Role of Employees
How to Start Affiliate Marketing With No Money in 2022 (5 Steps)
Google Announces New Search Updates Which Will Put More Emphasis on Content Depth
A Guide To Social Advertising Success
Inkulinati is Coming to Game Preview and Will be Available with Xbox Game Pass!
The Map to Creating Your Own Content Calendar [Infographic]
15 Excel Formulas, Keyboard Shortcuts & Tricks That’ll Save You Lots of Time
Being In Close Contact With Google Doesn’t Benefit You
Main Advantages Of LED Lights You Should Definitely Know About
Top 7 Ecommerce Podcasts You Should Listen to in 2022
Google Testing More List View Top Stories With News Taking Over Web Results
The Ultimate Guide to Google Ads [Examples]
How Do Enterprise & SaaS Marketing Software Solutions Differ?
Marketers’ secrets to overcoming challenges
10 DuckDuckGo Facts For Digital Marketers & SEO Pros
Spreadsheets remain critical for marketers