Every company will have different ways of measuring a qualified lead, yet there are a set of factors that you can use to map into a lead scoring model. Many marketing automations solutions like Eloqua, Marketo, Hubspot, Pardot, ShaprSpring and others have built-in lead scoring algorithms and pass this information into a CRM system like Salesforce and SugarCRM.
These scores can be set up to deliver marketing qualified leads based on certain criteria and scores, helping sales teams accept the leads (Sales Accepted Leads) and focus their energies on the top prospects.
Marketing Automation and CRM are both important. We use Sharpspring technology for our small business retainer services to deliver inbound marketing programs and integrated marketing. Sharpspring includes an integrated CRM as well as API hooks into leading CRMs so it is great for small businesses. The life of the lead is a great way to see the flow of the lead through time and the lead scoring approach helps sales focus immediately on the top inbound leads.