Stop Wasting Your Time: The Positive Role of Negative Lead Scoring

Avatar Act-On

Ever been on a date you knew was going nowhere? Maybe  your companion got some points for  being on time, but was also much different than the online dating profile suggested…and, what’s up with taking two phone calls during dinner?

Suffering through a bad date might mean sacrificing a few hours. But in marketing, trying to build a relationship with a prospect who’s never going to become a customer  is not only a waste of your time, but also your valuable resources.

Lead scoring is an objective system that helps you qualify and prioritize the right leads – the ones with genuine potential – for sales. But lead scoring isn’t just about identifying hot leads, it’s also about  figuring out who the “bad dates” are, so you can let them go before you make a bad investment.

Negative Lead Scoring: Weeding Out Unlikely Prospects 

Just like a really bad date has warning signs, there are ways to tell if  a lead just isn’t going to work out.

According to Gleanster, data points that should raise big, red, frantically waving flags for your marketing team include:

  • A website visitor spends most of his time on your “jobs” page
  • All of your clients are Fortune 1000 companies – and a prospect identifies himself as a small business owner
  • You sell manufacturing equipment – and a prospect identifies himself as CEO of a consulting firm

Rather than adding points to a scoring profile, each of these examples should subtract points. In other words, even if that consulting CEO scores points for doing the right stuff – downloading white papers, looking at demos – the fact that he’s way outside of your target market makes him a very unlikely prospect.

Some marketers hesitate to “demote” prospects, but remember: just like in dating, effective lead scoring is all about quality, not quantity.

In the recent white paper “Introduction to Integrated Marketing: Lead Scoring,” Gleanster provides an overview of how to get started with lead scoring, from gathering your lead scoring team to refining your process, and everything in-between. Make sure to download it for a comprehensive view of this marketing automation tool.


Does your organization utilize negative lead scoring? What kind of scoring criteria do you look at when assigning those point values?