The Complete Guide to Pardot Lead Scoring

April 22, 2024


We probably don’t need to tell you that engaging potential leads can be one of the most challenging aspects of the sales process—the numbers speak for themselves, with the average lead conversion rate sitting at only 2.9%. 

But there’s no reason your sales team has to accept the average. 

Setting up an effective lead qualification strategy is the first step to boosting your lead conversion rate. 

Salesforce’s B2B marketing automation platform Pardot—now known as Marketing Cloud Account Engagement—offers Pardot lead scoring. This reliable framework for scoring, grading, and qualifying leads is the key to optimizing your sales process and boosting conversions. 

What Is Lead Scoring?

Lead scoring is a ranking system that assigns a value to each lead based on their interest in your brand or their likelihood of making a purchase. 

There are a few main types of lead scoring to know about:

  • Demographic scoring: Companies use demographic scoring to compare a prospect’s personal characteristics with those that align with the most conversions.
  • Behavioral scoring: Behavioral scoring focuses on how potential leads engage with your brand and interact with your marketing content.
  • Fit scoring: Fit scoring combines demographic and behavioral data and determines how well a prospect aligns with your business’s target persona.

Setting Up Lead Scoring in Pardot

Pardot offers intuitive, easy-to-use lead scoring that automatically updates as you engage new prospects. Explore the basics below.

Types of Lead Scoring in Pardot

Pardot supports both lead scoring and grading to help you maximize your insights. 

Here’s a breakdown of these two types of lead scoring within the Pardot system:

  • Lead scoring: In Pardot, lead scoring refers to behavioral scoring. Put simply, the platform attaches a number to each of your leads depending on specific actions they’ve taken—or not taken. It assesses criteria like the time customers spend on a page and the number of demo requests and form submissions to identify a customer’s readiness to buy.
  • Lead grading: Lead grading focuses on demographic and behavioral information, helping you identify similarities between your leads and your customer profile. Pardot assigns a letter from A to F based on how much the lead aligns with your ideal customer persona.

How Pardot Lead Scoring Works

When you enter lead information into Pardot, the system generates a lead score based on certain activities. You can view the default scoring system on the Salesforce website, but here are a few examples of qualifying activities and their point value:

  • Successful form submission: +50 points
  • Landing page error: -5 points
  • Page view: +1 point

Steps to Set Up Lead Scoring in Pardot

With Pardot, lead scoring is automatically enabled—the platform will score prospects immediately once they start browsing your site or engaging with your content. However, you can customize certain features, such as scoring category options and scoring rules.

On the “Scoring” page, you can manually adjust the prospect score by changing the number of points associated with each action. You can also add new scoring categories and enable smart features like Pardot Score Decay, which decreases the prospect score gradually when a lead stops responding or engaging.

Managing and Adjusting Lead Scoring

Pardot scoring continuously updates lead scores based on prospect behavior, but you can use the prospect record to look at past scores. Keeping track of how your scores are distributed can help you determine which marketing strategies are nurturing the right leads for your brand. 

You can also use Pardot’s lead scoring data to determine the effectiveness of your prospect scoring model and make adjustments, such as increasing the value of customers who view videos. 

Integrating Lead Scoring With Sales

Lead scoring lets you strategically guide prospects from your content to your sales team. So, ensuring your marketing and sales strategies are in sync will help you get the most out of your lead scoring system.

Aligning Marketing and Sales Teams Best Practices

Both sales and marketing reps generate leads and make lead scores a shared asset. To ensure your lead scores work for both the sales and marketing teams, seek input from both departments on your lead scoring strategy and align your personas across teams.

Measuring the Impact of Lead Scoring

For your lead scoring strategy to have a long-term impact, you need to continuously assess its performance and refine your criteria and assignment rules. Track key performance indicators (KPIs) related to your leads, such as lead distribution, customer lifetime value, conversion rates, and time to conversion, to develop a balanced understanding of your leads. 

Measuring these KPIs will also provide you with an understanding of the return on your investment by helping you translate customer value into actual purchases and brand engagement. 

And here’s another notable benefit: An automated lead scoring system like Pardot allows you to process massive backlogs of prospect information. In fact, one SaaS company utilized lead scoring to process over 50,000 consumer records and set up a system to automatically assess incoming leads. 

Ultimately, these tools empower you to take control of your data and sift through the noise to find qualified customers.

Enhancing Your Business With Pardot Lead Scoring

Engaging potential leads is challenging—but it doesn’t have to be. Using Pardot lead scoring tools, you can target your most promising leads, streamline your sales pipeline, and increase conversions without adding any additional burden to your sales team. 

How Operatus Can Help

As an experienced RevOps as a service provider, Operatus can help you seamlessly implement Salesforce lead scoring tools into your sales ecosystem. Connect with our knowledgeable consultants to discover how the right lead-scoring strategy can enhance your sales teams and elevate your conversion rates.