A short guide to build a basic lead scoring for chemical buyers

Published July 8, 2021 | Written by Nicolas Dupond

Today, the first objective of most marketing teams is to generate leads. But, all your leads are not the same. A few of them are just curious visitors who visited a web page and left your website. Some are future buyers who downloaded tons of documents to find out if your product is the best specialty chemical or material for their project.

So the next mission of marketers is to answer that question: “How can I detect the quality and predict the intent of my leads?”.

And that is precisely the role of lead scoring — a score that reflects the quality and the intent of each of your leads.

This score can be automatically calculated based on:

  1. The lead’s interactions and navigation online
  2. The lead’s profile information that you can collect with online forms.

But there is no one lead scoring that fits all businesses. Your website structure, the type and number of documents that you share, the typical buying process in your industry — these are all criteria that impact the way to score your leads.

Based on our experience in lead scoring, we will show you what criteria matters to build a basic scoring system.


Step 1: What should my lead scoring look like?

Let’s start by the end. To be effective, your lead scoring needs to be easy to use and simple to understand. This is why you need to define what you want your score to look like before building the algorithm.

The goal of your scoring system is to determine if a lead is worth having a qualification call. To get that answer, you need to measure it with 2 dimensions:

  • Their profile quality: how closely your leads match the profile of your ideal customer
  • Their intent: are your leads considering your products for a project

We will describe how to measure each score in the next sections.

So, how should you represent those 2 scores to make it easy to use and understand? At SpecialChem, we use a 3-star ranking, but all the below representations are effective ideas that you can choose from:

  Profile score Intent score
Stars ⭐⭐⭐


Percentage by 10%
by 20%
by 25%
by 10%
by 20%
by 25%
Number Not recommended From 0 to infinity
Emojis (example, you can use the emojis you want) 🤑

Tip: Avoid using words as it requires a few more seconds to process that information when reading it. Images or figures are way better.


Screenshot-leads-list-specialchem-1Example of SpecialChem's lead scoring


Now that you know how your lead scoring should look, let’s calculate it.


Step 2: How to score my leads’ profiles

The goal of the profile score is to measure how close a lead is from your ideal customer.

But as we said at the beginning, there is not one scoring that fits all businesses. Your target is certainly as unique as your company and products are. And after generating and qualifying the leads of thousands of chemical suppliers since 2000, we know how true this is.

So, instead of searching for a generic calculation that you will never find, here is the best recipe that we recommend to follow:

  1. Use at least all the below demographics to portrait your ideal customers:
    • Company activity: OEMs, converters, formulators…
    • Job position: R&D director / manager, product developer…
    • Geography: country, city, sub-continent…
    • Markets or applications served: automotive, consumer goods…
    • Company size: 0-50 employees…

  2. Optional: Use extra demographics if you manage to collect them via forms for example. These criteria are best for your lead qualification calls:
    • Materials currently used: polycarbonate, epoxy resins…
    • Material to replace: product X, ingredient Y…
    • Conversion mode: extrusion, injection molding…
    • Problem to solve: scratch resistance, anti-foaming…
    • Desired improvement: chemical resistance, elongation, viscosity…
    • Targeted price/performance ratio: cheap, best-in-class, balanced…
    • Any other criteria: it is up to you

  3. For each criteria, list the possible choices for each lead category:
    • Ideal customer: +20pt by criteria (ex: Job position = R&D Director)
    • Secondary target: +10pt by criteria (ex: Job position = R&D Manager)
    • Out of target: 0pt total if 1 criteria is met (ex: Job position = Marketing Director/Manager)

  4. Calculate your Max score
    • Nb of criteria x 20pt = Max score

  5. Split your profile score like this:
    • Star ranking and emojis:
      🤑 / ⭐⭐⭐ ≥ 75% Max score
      😃 / ⭐⭐ ≥ 25% and <75% Max score
      🥵 / ⭐ > 0 - <25% Max score
      💀 / 🌑 = 0

    • Percentage: Convert your score into the % of Max score

Here is an example:

  Ideal customer
Secondary target
Out of target
0pt total
Job position R&D Director R&D Manager Marketing Dir/Mgr
Company activity OEM Converter Raw material supplier
Geography Asia Europe / America Countries X, Y, Z...

In that example: Max score = 60pt, and the scoring will be split like this:

≥ 45pt 🤑 / ⭐⭐⭐
≥ 15pt to < 45pt 😃 / ⭐⭐
> 0 to < 15pt 🥵 / ⭐
= 0pt 💀 / 🌑

Download your free template

Step 3: How to score the lead’s intent

The intent score helps you to predict if a lead is looking at your content by pure curiosity or because this person is working on a project right now. In the second scenario, you should better follow-up with this lead quickly in case they need help to determine if your product and company fit with their project.

There are 3 parameters to measure the intent:

  1. The number of interactions: the higher the better
  2. The type of content: the most decisive the better
  3. The time frame: the shortest the better

Let’s take two examples:

  • Alison interacted with 2 documents
  • John interacted with 4 documents

Only by looking at the number of interactions, you can already see which lead is more than curious.

But what if:

  • Alison downloaded 1 Technical Datasheet and 1 case study
  • John visited 4 website pages

Case studies and TDS are more decisive content vs website pages. The chances that Alison has a serious business need are higher vs. John in that case. This is why the type of content matters in your intent score.

And last:

  • Alison downloaded 2 TDS two months ago, and 1 case study this morning
  • John downloaded 3 case studies this morning

John seems to have a real interest right now, whereas Alison seems less in the hurry. John should have a higher intent score as he is actively looking for something.

But enough talking, let’s dive into the score. Here is a simple scoring idea that you can work on: Give +1pt to each decisive interaction that a prospective customer would do on your website, the ones that clearly show that a lead is considering your product:

  • Download high value documents (case study, technical datasheet, comparison study, formulation guides…)
  • Register to a webinar
  • Visit a high number of pages
  • Visit the Contact Us or specific pages
  • Etc…

As time is important, we recommend that you count the points for maximum a month after the interaction. You can broaden or squeeze that time frame depending on the results that you get.

You can keep the visual of the intent scoring as a number, as it shows the number of decisive interactions done over the past month. Or you can decide to dress it up with a nice visual. In that case, you can group your leads scores this way:

Intent score Star visual Emojis visual
5pt and more ⭐⭐⭐ 🌶️
3 - 4pt ⭐⭐ 🔥
1 - 2pt ❄️
0pt 🌑 💀

Now, you have a basic lead scoring to start with. All you need to do is to dispatch the hottest leads to your inside sales team so they can qualify them to see if they need help to progress on their project with your product. And if you need help to qualify your lead, you will find everything you need in our 101 Lead Qualification Guide.


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