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Why we should treat our prospects like we’re dating them


“It’s not you, it’s me”

These aren’t the words you want to hear come out of your partner's mouth. Especially when you’re sat in Pret a Manger.

But I sat there and took it in, trying to work out what it was about her and what it wasn’t about me.

As I ignored the chocolate croissant that sat on my plate, trying to handle getting dumped in public as best I could, she gave me the usual lines…

“I just need to be on my own…I’m not ready for a relationship…”

And so on...

I tried arguing but ultimately, she wasn’t into me.

That’s fair. Not everyone is, shockingly.

But this is how my first college relationship ended. As she walked away and left me with the bill, it was a life lesson I’m sure we’ve all experienced at some point and one that is fairly obvious.

It won’t work unless you’re both into it

I found myself experiencing this again when I started my sales career. Only this time, it was me, not them.

As a target driven rep, I wanted to play where I was more likely to make sales, which meant spending more of my time with prospects who resembled someone who had bought from us before. What did all our buyers have in common and can I find more people like them?

Whilst I was trying to find more of the same, I was given leads from marketing to follow up on.

My first lead. They came through the contact us form wanting to learn more, had downloaded and registered for tons of stuff and as a result, marketing had scored them highly. On the face of it, a perfect match.

“Hot lead, this one Carl, get them called!”

I picked up the phone and spoke to them. Could this be my first sale?

When they answered, they were interested to learn more about our technology and I was more than happy to talk to them.

10 minutes later, I wanted to know more about them.

My heart sank when I realised they were a technology student wanting to learn more about the industry. No opportunity here. Not my type.

“Sorry, It’s not you, it’s me”

But marketing told me this was a hot lead…how was this so wrong?!

The problem here is a common one.

We measure how much someone is engaged thinking a more engaged person is more likely to convert. Unfortunately, a single metric system doesn’t take into account the quality of the lead, just how engaged they are.

It doesn’t take much for sales to call highly scored students and job seekers before they start distrusting the leads that come through to them.

So how do we stop this from happening?

It takes two


Using Pardots two-dimensional scoring system, you can take into account how you both feel.

  • A scoring mechanism for how interested they are in you

  • A grading system for how much the organisation is interested in them

Separating the grading metrics such as industry, job title, company size etc from their activity gives your sales team the complete picture as to whether or not this is potentially a good fit or not. Getting this right allows the sales team to see how engaged a prospect is as well as how much they fit the sales team’s ideal buyer profile.

They spend more time with the right prospects and marketing look like hero matchmakers, which is what we want, right?

Here is my advice to make sure you’re getting the most out of Pardot and scoring prospects.

Make sure you are scoring the correct activities

Email opens aren’t a great way of measuring engagement as a lot of email clients will class an email as “opened” if the email is loaded, which could be because their inbox is open. It’s a vanity metric so treat it as such.

Favour tasks that require actions

Score a form submission higher than an email click. They’ve gone out of their way to engage with you which indicates they’re interested in you.

Think of your grade A prospect and work back

Your grading of the ideal prospect should be accumulative. A good job title + good location + good company = a great prospect.

Assign the right weighting to each criteria to work up towards the perfect grade.

Consider your MQL threshold

You should then think about when this should be passed to sales. We’d all love grade A’s but is a C or B good enough?

I would also suggest you keep the scoring benchmark to a 100, which is just easier to get your head around (a 100% match is perfect, after all).

Use these combined criteria to automatically pass the leads to sales via an Automation Rule for prospects that make the grade.

Working with Pardots two dimensional scoring system brings marketing and sales closer together whilst ensuring the sales org are spending more time with the right people and nurturing relationships we’re both interested in.

A match made in (sales) heaven!

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