SmartBug Media Q&A with Infer’s Sean Zinsmeister

Inbound marketing agency SmartBug Media does a great job of educating its clients on new ways to increase marketing ROI and grow their business. Recently, the company’s director of marketing, Dolly Howard, sat down with our own Sean Zinsmeister to talk about the value HubSpot customers can enjoy by adding predictive scoring to their technology stack

What is predictive lead scoring


Here’s a an excerpt from their Q&A:

How is predictive lead scoring different than custom lead scoring in HubSpot? There are two big differences between predictive lead scoring and the kind of custom lead scoring in marketing automation platforms (MAPs). The first is that predictive uses both internal data from your CRM and MA systems plus thousands of external signals from a variety of data sources outside your company. The second major distinction is that predictive scoring solutions use machine learning to look at all kinds of combinations in the data that humans could never grok on their own. Whereas MAPs require you to manually come up with points-based calculations formed through your gut instincts, predictive solutions take the guesswork out of the equation and do all that work for you in order to better predict higher converting leads.

Infer Partners with HubSpot to Bring Predictive to Inbound Marketing

Press Release: Infer’s Pre-Built Integration Helps Marketers More Quickly and Easily Target Top Prospects

Infer - HubSpot IntegrationInfer Inc. today announced a new connector for HubSpot (NYSE: HUBS) that feeds predictive scores into the inbound marketing platform for better targeting and segmenting. Infer helps businesses predict and prioritize their highest potential prospects using advanced data science and external buying signals. Many fast-growing organizations such as BlazeMeter, Virool and HubSpot itself use Infer Scores inside HubSpot software to infuse their marketing campaigns with valuable insights about leads and contacts.

“The new integration makes it easier than ever for HubSpot customers to pull accurate predictive scores from Infer right into the software they use every day,” said Megan Keaney Anderson, director of product marketing at HubSpot. “As a result, our customers can hone in on their very best prospects and know which to send immediately to sales, and which to nurture with targeted email journeys, content, offers or campaigns.”

The Behavioral Scoring Test

Every B2B marketer wants to do a better job of identifying which prospects are in-market and ready to buy, and which are just kicking tires. While there are a lot of vendors who say they’ve got behavioral scoring figured out, the degree of accuracy and coverage can vary widely. If you can avoid scores that sales doesn’t trust and instead find an approach that predicts winners at a very high rate, you’ll reach hero status in your organization. Below are four questions to help you evaluate behavioral modeling techniques:

1. Does the model tell you when prospects will buy?
Many behavioral models simply add points for different activities, but in order to know if someone is likely convert in a fixed timeframe, say “the next three weeks,” you need to take timing into account. A good behavioral model will look at the concentration of activity, the breath of engagement, and it will decay activities at the appropriate rate.

Infer’s New Behavior Scoring Predicts Imminent Buyers with Unprecedented Accuracy

Press Release: New Relic Boosts Win Rates by Using Infer to Model Nearly 10 Million Monthly Marketing Automation Signals and Uncover Prospects Who Will Convert within Three Weeks

Infer Inc., a leading provider of predictive applications that help companies win more customers, today announced the general availability of its behavior scoring solution, which helps sales and marketing teams predict which prospects will convert in the next three weeks. Infer is the first company to extensively mine the full spectrum of detailed activity data that is summarized in marketing automation platforms, and use advanced machine learning and predictive analytics to produce highly accurate behavior scores. Already delivering results for several rapidly growing businesses like AdRoll, Chef and New Relic, Infer has generated over 30 million behavior scores for New Relic alone by modeling 47 million activity records.

Infer’s Behavioral Modeling Takes the Lead

According to SiriusDecisions, 68% of companies use marketing automation systems to do lead scoring, yet only 40% of sales people are getting value from it. When marketers are sitting on mountains of data, how could that be?Behavioral ScoringThe challenge with traditional scoring found in marketing automation is that it wasn’t built with a predictive-first approach. Point values are manually assigned and there isn’t any emphasis on the combination, concentration, or recency of signals. Points are just additive and the point differences between activities (e.g., downloading a whitepaper or visiting a pricing page) are essentially arbitrary. While it’s a starting point, it is easy to see why it is prone to false positives and why it is not trusted by reps.

Evaluating Marketing Automation Software? See Why You Might Consider Predictive First

Some interesting research came out recently from analyzing what drives organizations to purchase marketing automation systems. Their key findings included:

  • Improved lead management was the #1 reason for evaluating marketing automation
  • Lead nurturing topped the list of desired capabilities
  • 91% of buyers were evaluating marketing automation for the first time
  • 48% were currently managing marketing activities in their CRM application

Top 20 Sales and Marketing Thought Leaders Who Are Influencing Predictive Scoring


As we’ve been building Infer’s predictive lead scoring engine over the past three years, we’ve also been following many brilliant thought leaders who are contributing to a range of discussions near and dear to our hearts. So in the spirit of Valentine’s Day, we thought it’d be fun to survey our team on their favorite influencers in the space, and send some love their way. We’ve compiled part of that list below — spanning experts in the realms of CRM, marketing technology and general marketing and sales best practices. Our list of top data science and predictive analytics experts is published here.

Three Ways Infer Increases Rep Productivity

Every company has good sales reps and not-so-good sales reps. While much about sales success relates to a rep’s personality, network, or other subjective attributes, some smart companies are starting to figure out ways they can more objectively evaluate and increase their reps’ success rates. To provide a quick illustration of how we’ve seen Infer create lift (increased win rates and conversion) for our customers, let’s look at some sample Salesforce dashboards. Below we’ll illustrate three ways predictive intelligence can help increase sales rep productivity.

1) Send them your hottest leads 

The first layer of benefit comes from knowing which leads to route to sales and which should be kept in a nurture program until they heat up. Infer uses machine learning to accurately predict which leads will convert. In this example, 97.3% of the revenue came from the top 3 tiers of hot leads Infer identified. Depending on your distribution of tiers, that means you could potentially reduce the inside sales team’s workload by 70% and still capture the majority of the revenue opportunities.