Marketo Lead Scoring: 5 Tips that will make your life easier

Marketo is the most sophisticated B2B marketing automation solution. One aspect that sets Adobe’s company apart from the competition is the Marketo lead scoring capabilities.

Before we jump in, if you need a refresher, pause here and head over to our guide to lead scoring models.

Who is this post for: You need some practice tips on how to make the most out of your Marketo lead scoring or do your due diligence before setting it up. I’ve been there myself. Here are my learnings and best practices to make your life easier.

#1 Use Tokens to score leads

When you rank leads to determine their sales readiness, you should create smart campaigns that use tokens instead of points. You can create the tokens in the same campaign or folder structure.

Why should you use tokens in your scoring rules? – Ease of management. You can have your entire lead score matrix in form of tokens in one place and easily adjust them.

Marketo Lead Scoring Tokens

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#2 Use one operational campaign for Marketo lead scoring

Don’t make the mistake of scoring your leads in individual marketing campaigns like lead nurturing, or form submissions. Marketo makes this actually easy for you. It has a template lead scoring campaigns.

Three benefits of having all scoring strategies in one operational campaign:

  1. Again, ease of management. You can collaborate, use tokens in a single place, and easily locate all lead scoring flows.
  2. Ensures score accuracy: If you add or decrease scores in single campaigns and also run an operational campaign, the score may be added/subtracted twice for the same information/action.
  3. Reporting: You can run a report on a single operational campaign.

#3 Use Interesting Moments

You can also add interesting moments for viewing case studies, visiting pricing pages, or streaming your podcast episodes. Marketo’s Sales insights use terms like hot, warm leads based on activities and interesting moments. This is a great way to let the sales team know what happens with the lead inside the Marketo marketing black box.

If you use Salesforce, make sure to enable the Marketo Sales Insights in your CRM, so your Sales team stays in the know.

#4 Incorporate Lifecycle Changes

Marketo has the capability to change lead lifecycle stages. This helps with marketing reporting and also lead scoring optimization. For example, you can change the lifecycle stage based on lead score thresholds.

Grouping lead scores together make it easier to determine if the lead stage is appropriate. Maybe some major milestones are missing to be considered an MQL?

This is a great segway to the next Marketo lead scoring best practice.

#5 Rule-based Lead Routing

Marketo is one of the few lead scoring automation that allows a safety net when routing “qualified leads” to Sales.

Most marketing automation solutions have a single lead score. When the threshold of Marketing Qualified or Sales Ready has been reached, the contact will be sent to Sales. This, however, could mean that a lead is only well qualified in one area but might not be in another.

The total lead score should consist of geographic, demographic, firmographic, and behavior-based scores.

Lead Scoring Formula

Marketo distinguishes out of the box between a person and a behavior score. Whereas the person score the combination of demographic, geographic, and firmographic data points is.

Customer Segmentation Data Examples

That’s great because a person that doesn’t fit the sales lead qualification may have been very active on your website. Let’s even assume she is a student conducting research. Without a rule-based lead routing the student would have been handed over to an Account Executive or Sales Development Representative.

In Marketo lead scoring the total lead score equals the sum of person and behavior score. Additionally, you can set a rule to meet a minimum for each criteria in order to be qualified:

If Lead Score is greater than X

And Person Score is greater than Y

And Behavior Score is greater than Z


If one of the scores falls short, regardless of how big the other grows, the lead will never be qualified.

On top of this, you can also include some must-have information like job title, company name, or whatever is important to your lead qualification.

After all, Marketo lead scoring is one of the best solutions. Lead scoring is not a one-time exercise but more so a marketing strategy that aligns sales and marketing teams. Additionally, it should align with Outbound and Inbound Marketing goals. Marketo is the solution I know that does this most effectively. 

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