Marketo Lead Scoring: A Comprehensive Guide

• July 3rd, 2021

Marketo Lead Scoring - Featured Image

With the advancement in technologies, organizations and businesses are adopting newer strategies to accelerate their Sales, ROI (Return on Investment), and Productivity. One such strategy that is followed by most organizations is the “Lead Scoring Model”. Lead Scoring is a methodology that awards scores to potential customers based on the online behavior and data available with the organization. If the Lead Score surpasses the threshold score, then that Lead is said to have an Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) for that organization. Moreover, the Lead Score also helps make strategic and insightful decisions based on your customer’s behavior pattern. Marketo Lead Scoring is a unique method to help you set up your Lead Scores.

The Lead Scoring technique aims at increasing the Sales of an organization by utilizing the maximum potential of the resources. For example, a Lead can be analyzed on various characteristics such as Job Profile, time spent on the Product Page, whether he/she applied for a Free Trial or not, etc. Based on these factors, a score will be given to the Lead and if the score is below the threshold value, then that Lead cannot be considered as an ideal customer for the company. 

This article will help you understand Marketo Lead Scoring and its importance. You will also get to know how you can easily set up your Marketo Lead Scoring and some of its limitations as well in the further sections.

Table of Contents


  • An active Marketo account.
  • Working knowledge of Marketing Automation tools.

Introduction to Marketo Lead Scoring

Marketo Lead Scoring - marketo-logo
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Marketo is one of the popular Software as a Service (SaaS). Marketing Automation platforms that help organizations measure and automate Marketing Tasks. It provides various solutions to ease Marketing. One such technique is the “Lead Scoring Model”. The Lead Scoring Model categorizes the person as a Lead or a prospect. Leads are the ones who have the potential to become customers but have not yet become a customer while on the other hand, prospects are the customers who have engaged and showed interest in your products. Identifying the right Leads can help the organization to generate more Sales and Revenue.

Marketo considers the threshold Lead Score of 65 points. So, if the Lead score is below 65, you need to analyze those Leads in a better way to increase their Lead Score. On the other hand, if the Lead Score is above 65, those Leads are considered to be Sales-Ready. In some cases, the Lead Scores can also be deducted. For example, if a Lead stops using the product/service of your organization, their Lead Score will decrease. However, different organizations have different scoring rules based on the type of Industry, Customers, and Products.

There are several benefits of using Marketo Lead Scoring for your organization. Some of the benefits include:

  • Increase in Sales Productivity: Marketo Lead Score plays a crucial role in identifying Sales-Ready customers. This can surely improve the Sales of an organization instead of increasing the waiting time for customers that are not interested in your product.
  • Increase in Marketing Effectiveness: Marketo Lead Scoring helps in generating a measurable ROI (Return on Investment). Moreover, it enables you to understand which channels and campaigns are generating high-quality prospects. You’ll be able to make more effective decisions on where you should reinvest your money in the future.
  • Improvement in Aligning the Sales and Marketing Team: Marketo Lead Scoring encourages the Marketing and Sales team to work together. This increases the collaboration between both teams and they can work efficiently. 

More information on Marketo can be found here

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Types of Information for Lead Scoring

Marketo uses 2 types of information to evaluate its Lead Scores: 

Explicit Information for Marketo Lead Scoring

Explicit Information is the information that is directly provided by the Leads like Gender, Age, Job Title, Location, etc. This information can be taken via online or offline forms. 

The main motive behind collecting Explicit Information is that Leads with specific attributes are more likely to be converted into customers. For example, suppose a company deals in Marketing Software, in this case, the Lead with the job title “Marketing” will be an ideal candidate as your customer instead of a Lead with the job title “Doctor”.

Implicit Information for Marketo Lead Scoring

Implicit Information is the information that is judged according to the online behavior pattern of the Lead like the Number of Page Views, the Number of Downloaded Files, applied for Sign-Up Trial or not, etc.

The main motive behind collecting Implicit Information is that Leads who turned into customers exhibit specific behavior patterns. For example, the Lead who is interested in the demo of the product is more likely to become your customer. The customer’s behavior pattern towards your product does help you predict their next move. 

Combining both the Explicit and Implicit Information will give the Lead Score for a particular Lead and this will be the deciding factor whether the Lead is Sales-Ready or not.

Setting up Marketo Lead Scoring 

Below is a quick guide on how you can set up a Lead Scoring model in Marketo:

  • Step 1: The first step in setting up Marketo Lead Scoring is to log in to your Marketo account.
  • Step 2: Create a folder named Scoring in the Learning folder by clicking on Marketing Activities. Then, right-click on the Scoring folder, and select New Smart Campaign as shown below.
marketo lead scoring - New Smart Campaign Option
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  • Step 3: Change the Name field into Change Score and then click Create as shown below.
marketo lead scoring - Create button
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  • Step 4: In the Smart List tab, drag the necessary filters and triggers from the right-hand Triggers folder into the grey box area on the left as shown below.
marketo lead scoring - Triggers
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  • Step 5: Drag Change Score from the right into the grey box on the Flow tab as shown below.
marketo lead scoring - Change Score Option
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  • Step 6: Assign a value to the Score-Change box, then click on the Schedule tab, check the Smart Campaign Settings, and make any necessary changes. Then click on Activate as shown below.
marketo lead scoring - Activate button
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You have successfully set up Marketo Lead Scoring for your company!

Major Challenges with Marketo Lead Scoring 

Although Marketo Lead Scoring has helped organizations bring in huge Sales and identify the right Leads, there are certain challenges associated with Marketo Lead Scoring. In this section, you will understand some of these challenges:

  • Inaccurate and Obsolete Data: Maintaining accurate and up-to-date data should be the top priority for any organization. Inaccurate or outdated data may lead to serious implications for Lead Scoring. For example, if your Lead Scoring Model is based on Job Titles and if the majority of your Job Titles are obsolete, you may be prioritizing your Leads incorrectly. Such scenarios should be avoided.
  • Alignment between Marketing and Sales: The Marketing and Sales team must align together with the Lead Scoring values. Any inconsistencies might lead to inaccurate results and thus can affect their decisions. There should be proper communication between the Marketing and Sales teams.
  • Lead Scoring Threshold: The Lead Scoring Threshold is the exact score where the Lead can be termed as Sales-Ready. It is important to select the right threshold score for your organization. If the threshold score is set too low, then the Sales team will have a difficult time with customers that are not very interested in your product and if the threshold score is set very high, the Sales team might lose some of its customers.
  • Lack of Flexible Integration: Another challenge is that the Lead Scoring becomes inflexible when you integrate it with tools like Marketo and Salesforce. Also, it lacks support for automated logic in some scenarios.


This article provided a comprehensive guide of Marketo Lead Scoring and its importance to businesses. It also provided a step-by-step procedure on how you can easily set up Lead Scoring in Marketo. It also talked about various challenges that are associated with Marketo Lead Scoring. Overall, Lead Scoring is an essential tool that every organization must possess to accelerate its Sales. This can help the organization to achieve great heights and make strategic and effective decisions in the future.

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Share your experience of setting up Marketo Lead Scoring in the comments section below.

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