Here's the thing.
HubSpot is an excellent tool, but it follows a traditional scoring method.
The platform uses demographic data and behavioral attributes like page views and content downloads but doesn't give you a complete view of the SaaS customer lifecycle.
Instead, it focuses on the top of the funnel actions.
What's wrong with this strategy?
Today's customer journey is far more complex and non-sequential than ever before.
For PLG companies, your sales cycle doesn't stop once a user hands over their credit card details. To prevent churn and increase your annual revenue, you must consistently nurture customers and identify revenue opportunities.
How do you achieve that?
By bridging the gap between your sales data points, avoiding silos, and becoming a data-driven B2B organization.
In this blog post, you'll find a complete breakdown of HubSpot's lead scoring modules, the limitations, and an easy-fix solution that'll bring your lead scoring into the 21st century.
What is HubSpot lead scoring?
Lead scoring is the process of assigning "points" to each prospect. The numerical value represents how valuable a lead is to your company.
It's basically the Hogwarts point system (where each student can earn and lose points for their House), but for your business.
Instead of winning the House Cup at the end of the year, you get highly qualified leads and a 30% increase in deal close rates.
Using a lead scoring range automates the sales process and uncovers "hot" leads.
Let's unpack an example.
- A lead visits your website and downloads your sales metrics ebook: +30 points
- The same lead visits your freemium tool sales page four times in a day: +20 points
- The lead fills out a contact form indicating their company role as a marketing intern: - 30 points
The first two actions are strong indicators the prospect is close to converting, but the final negative score tells us the lead isn't a good firmographic fit.
If your point threshold is 50, the lead won't become sales qualified despite the conversion-incoming signals.
It stops your sales department from focusing resources on a lead that isn't a good fit for your business and increases productivity, customer conversion rates, and alignment between your sales and marketing teams.
Lead scoring modules in HubSpot
Inside your HubSpot account (only available on Professional and Enterprise plans), you'll see two types of lead scoring modules: manual and predictive.
Predictive lead scoring
How much time does your sales team spend selling vs. trying to identify the sales-qualified leads?
If it's the latter, that's a leak you can fix with a predictive scoring system.
Not only will it identify the best leads, but you'll shave hours of admin off your sales reps' schedules.
HubSpot's automatic lead scoring uses machine learning to filter through thousands of data points to determine what makes a prospect convert. Once the AI has crunched the numbers, all your reps need to check their dashboard to see which leads to focus on.
The best part?
As you feed the algorithm data, it learns the preferences of your target audience. Over time, the predictions become more accurate, automatically optimizing your follow-up strategy and helping you make more money.
Manual lead scoring
Manual lead scoring is the old-school method.
Before machine learning, marketing and sales teams would come together and decide which attributes to track and how many points each action is worth.
Once you have your manual lead scoring criteria in HubSpot, the marketing automation platform will start scoring leads.
This method relies on hard data, leaves room for human error, and doesn't automatically optimize itself.
You'll need to manually log into your HubSpot account and adjust the attributes if you notice the leads in your sales funnel aren't converting, or your marketing activities aren't attracting your ideal customer profile.
The limitations of HubSpot lead scoring
While HubSpot lead scoring is a good product on the surface, it's not the best option for everyone.
Enterprise customers looking for a robust lead scoring tool may find HubSpot lacking, while others might not appreciate the extra steps to work around the platform's blindspots.
Before you say "yes" to HubSpot, read through these lead scoring limitations.
HubSpot lead scoring weakness #1: Lead scoring isn't based on cumulative actions
Wait a minute…
Aren't the attributes you set in HubSpot based on a lead's online behavior?
Yes, but the platform only uses the data on a rudimentary level.
While you can set up simple behavior lead scoring on HubSpot, there are limitations around cumulative actions.
- A lead submits a landing page form to download an online content resource: +10 points
- The same lead submits another landing page form: +10 points
That should give the prospect a maximum score of 20, right?
In HubSpot, the platform will cancel out the first action because the contact no longer meets the condition of filling out one form. Instead, it meets the condition of filling out two forms, leaving you with a total of 10 points.
That's a problem.
You might have SQLs never sent to sales because the cumulative actions never add up.
HubSpot lead scoring weakness #2: It creates data silos
HubSpot lead scoring works best when using data sourced from HubSpot products. This has limitations when you want to build scores using data for the entire buying journey and different sources.Lucjan Kierczak, Senior Demand Generation Manager at Breyta.
HubSpot limits you to the fields that exist within the platform, creating data silos and preventing you from getting the full picture of a lead.
It forces you to focus solely on sales-related actions and not what happens after the conversion.
Your company is vulnerable because you don't have a 360-degree view of your customers, and you're missing out on opportunities to upsell or prevent churn.
What happens after a lead converts into a customer is often an afterthought and companies lack a full picture of their buyers and effective ways to route accounts to the right person or team.
CS teams are often left without the crucial data to do their job, and the customer experience suffers.
HubSpot lead scoring weakness #3: No rule-based lead routing
What is rule-based lead routing? It's functionality that dictates how and when a lead is handed over to sales.
In HubSpot, you have a single score, meaning you can't implement scoring rules to stop unqualified leads from slipping through the cracks.
Think of rule-based lead routing as a safety net.
A lead might tick all your demographic and geographic requirements and has enough points to become an SQL.
...But there's only one small problem...
The lead doesn't meet your firmographic requirements, invalidating it as a great fit for your company.
Technically, HubSpot shouldn't hand over the prospect to sales, but because it only has two categories of lead criteria (negative and positive attributes), it can only use one final lead score.
With rule-based lead routing in place, you can use multiple scores to help qualify a prospect.
For example, a lead must meet the following sets of criteria before its sent to sales:
- Total contact score: 80+ points
- Demographic score: 20+ points
- Geographic score: 20+ points
- Firmographic: 20+ points
- Behavior score: 20+ points
Now, there is a possible workaround for this problem in HubSpot, but it's not a great solution.
You can set up an automation trigger and list all the additional criteria. Still, it's a tedious, time-consuming task and something you'll need to keep reviewing on a regular basis.
HubSpot weakness lead scoring #4: No triggers to improve lead scores
How do you collect missing information from leads?
Let's say you need demographic data to qualify your lead and push it to sales-ready status.
You can incentivize leads by sending an email asking demographic questions in exchange for an irresistible piece of gated content.
You get your missing data, the lead goes further down the rabbit hole, and sales has everything it needs to bring home a conversion.
So how does HubSpot fit in here?
With only one overall HS score, you can't distinguish between the categories (geographic, firmographic, etc.) Without it, you can't automate campaigns or trigger the next best steps for each lead.
And yes, you can solve this problem in HubSpot, but again, it's not a perfect fix.
- More list building to find the leads with missing information (but high overall scores).
- Handing those names over to SDRs.
- Waiting for reps to make contact and further enrich the leads.
What if you could automate the missing data and pull information from sources beyond HubSpot?
HubSpot lead scoring weakness #5: Lead score history
In the wise words of Robert Heinlein, "A generation which ignores history has no past and no future."
The same is true for your business if you only use lead scoring to find high-quality leads.
Lead score history allows you to see what causes a lead's individual value to change over time.
It helps you:
- Refine your lead scoring module.
- Learn what to do more of or stop altogether.
- Uncover what traits and actions your best leads have in common.
- Qualify leads faster.
Your HubSpot score doesn't give you these insights. You're not able to see exactly what caused a score to increase or decrease.
Again, there is a workaround, but it involves building scoring lists (again) and creating more workflows.
How to fix your HubSpot lead scoring limitations
You could spend the time creating scoring lists and workflows to fix all the gaps in HubSpot's lead scoring module, but you're still vulnerable.
The solutions for fixing HubSpot's lead scoring limitations are tedious at best. At worst, it creates data silos, a major problem for PLG companies.
So what's the solution?
You need a tool to bridge the gap between HubSpot and all your other data points, helping you calculate different scores and turn your data into actionable and automatic insights throughout your customer lifestyle.
That's where Breyta comes in.
It solves the problem of fragmented customer history, data silos, and CRMs that only cater to the top of the sales funnel instead of the entire lifecycle.
Get a bird's-eye view of your customer journey
With only 29% of brands nurturing their existing customers beyond the first purchase and Net Revenue Retention (NRR) an essential sales metric for PLG companies, a complete overview is no longer a nice to have. It's essential for your success.
Breyta helps you mix data from HubSpot and other sources to build a detailed lead score. You can set multiple scores to help you route leads to the right people from your sales team to customer success.Lucjan Kierczak, Senior Demand Generation Manager at Breyta.
With Breyta, you can:
- Uncover upsell and cross-sell opportunities: Filter through your data to find customers close to their service limits or to recommend alternate products that are a better fit for their goals.
- Focus on the best leads: With multiple scores, you can create a lead scoring system that perfectly matches your buyer persona. Your sales team only handles the most qualified leads and has a very accurate idea if the prospect will convert, boosting your closed win rates.
- Stop customer churn: If a user stops logging in or interacting with your blog posts or unsubscribes from your marketing emails, you can set up an automatic contact transfer to your customer success team to prevent churn.
- Use any data point: Integrate Breyta with HubSpot and create a score on any custom field from any data point. You'll seamlessly combine your contact and account data to create one holistic ideal customer profile score.
If implementing a lead scoring system can increase deal close rates by 30%, imagine the bump in your customer conversion rate with a more accurate, data-driven, and advanced scoring tool on your team.
HubSpot's lead scoring feature isn't a bad option for Professional or Enterprise users.
However, you'll run into problems if you're a company looking for extensive capabilities beyond basic positive and negative attributes.
By focusing only on the top of the funnel, HubSpot doesn't allow you to uncover upselling opportunities and nip churn in the bud.
Unless you sync your HubSpot data to Breyta.
Want to take our advanced lead scoring capabilities on a test drive? Schedule your demo here.