Lead Scoring: Active versus Latent Buying Behavior

By Dayna Rothman

Lead scores are based on numerical values placed on factors such as active and latent buying behavior. When you’re scoring a sales lead, you must understand the difference between the two buying behaviors:

  • Active behavior involves sales readiness and purchase intent.

  • Latent behavior describes a behavior that shows less engagement and sales readiness.

To score a lead, define the buying behavior and score appropriately. For instance, just because someone downloaded a free mini-version of an author’s e-book doesn’t mean that your sales team should pick up the phone and call her right away. Effective lead scoring will guide you to your next move.

Here’s a look at sample lead scoring ranges:

Critical: 10 to 15 points

Important: 5 to 9 points

Influencing: 1 to 4 points

Negative: -1 to -15 points

And here’s how you can apply those scores to buying behaviors:

Active and Latent Buying Behaviors
Behavior Latent Score Active Score
Downloads early stage content +3
Visits a web page or a blog +1
Watches a thought leadership webinar +5
Visits a pricing page +10
Watches a detailed demo +10
Downloads late-stage content +12
Searches for branded keyword term +8

The key here is that the follow-up for active versus latent leads is very different. For an active score, your sales reps should follow up immediately. For a latent score, trigger a personalized message instead.

You can also score leads negatively based on actions. For instance, a student might download a ton of early-, mid-, and late-stage content for a research paper. If that person fills out your form and indicates she is a student, you can give a negative score, say -15. They’re most likely doing research and not actually interested in a purchase. The same is true for a person who visits your website’s career page.