HubSpot Lead Scoring vs Lead Grading: What’s the Difference?

When it comes to managing and prioritizing leads, two commonly used methods are lead scoring and lead grading. While both techniques aim to evaluate the quality and potential of leads, there are some key differences between them.

Lead Scoring:

Lead scoring is a process of assigning a numerical value or score to leads based on their characteristics and behavior. It helps determine the level of interest and engagement a lead has with your business. The score is usually calculated using a combination of demographic data, such as job title and company size, and behavioral data, such as website visits and email interactions.

For example, if a lead visits your pricing page and downloads a whitepaper, they may receive a higher score than a lead who only visits your blog. The higher the score, the more likely the lead is to be ready for sales engagement.

Lead scoring allows you to prioritize leads and focus your resources on those with the highest scores. It helps you identify which leads are most likely to convert into customers and allows you to tailor your marketing and sales efforts accordingly.

Lead Grading:

Lead grading, on the other hand, is a process of categorizing leads based on predefined criteria or attributes. It involves assigning a grade or label to leads to indicate their fit with your ideal customer profile. The grading criteria can include factors such as industry, company revenue, and job role.

For example, if your target market is small businesses in the technology industry, a lead from a large manufacturing company may receive a lower grade than a lead from a small software startup.

Lead grading helps you assess the quality of leads based on their fit with your target audience. It allows you to prioritize leads based on their alignment with your ideal customer profile and focus your efforts on those that have a higher likelihood of becoming customers.


The main difference between lead scoring and lead grading is the focus of evaluation. Lead scoring focuses on the engagement level and behavior of leads, while lead grading focuses on the fit or alignment of leads with your target audience.

Lead scoring is a more dynamic and flexible approach as it takes into account the changing behavior and interactions of leads over time. Lead grading, on the other hand, is a more static approach that categorizes leads based on predefined criteria.

Both lead scoring and lead grading are valuable tools for managing leads and prioritizing your sales and marketing efforts. The choice between the two depends on your specific business goals and requirements. Some businesses may choose to use both methods in combination to get a more comprehensive evaluation of their leads.

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