Unlocking Sales Potential: Mastering Score Decay Management

Unlocking Sales Potential: Mastering Score Decay Management

Unlocking Sales Potential: Mastering Score Decay Management

A Primer on Scoring:-

Before we get into score decay, let’s level set on Account Engagement scores. Account Engagement scores are a measure of calculating engagement with your account engagement assets. Prospects with higher scores have had greater engagement and are therefore more sales-ready.

Base Scoring:-

All Account Engagement accounts come with base scoring rules configured. These rules add and subtract points for actions like email opens, form submissions, page views, link clicks, and more and are intended to be a starting point. It’s highly recommended that you customize these rules based on your organizational needs and conduct periodic reviews to ensure that prospects are not scoring up too slowly or too quickly. 

Review Your Scoring Rules:- 

Account Engagement Setting > Automation Settings > Scoring

Additional Scoring:-

Scores can also be increased in Account Engagement manually at the prospect level, using automation (automation rules, completion actions, and engagement studio programs), or in bulk when importing prospects into Account Engagement (by mapping to “Add to Score”).

Score Decay Methods:-

There are two primary ways that scores can be decayed – Activity-Based Decay and User-Based Decay.
  • Activity Based Decay is based on activity (or inactivity in Account Engagement). This method simply decays scores to a set value (or reduces by a set amount) based on the last activity date of the prospect.
  • User Based Decay is score decay that’s triggered by internal Salesforce users based on updates to the contact or lead record. This could be actions like updating the status or any other field.

Activity-Based Decay:-

Activity-Based Decay is very simple to implement but requires a few decisions to be made in advance.
  •  When should a lead be decayed?
  • By how much should the score be decayed?
The “when” question differs greatly between organizations and is often related to the length of sales cycles. Organizations with longer sales cycles tend to tolerate longer periods of inactivity while those that are more “transactional” in nature tend to decay scores quicker. The decay amount is also based on the organization and its scoring model, but I can offer some guidance and best practices based on experience.
  • Tip #1 – Don’t decay to 0. I like to keep some points associated with the prospect as an indicator of past engagement. As a starting point, I would recommend decaying by 50% of your threshold for passing leads to sales. If 100 is your threshold, decay to 50. 
  • Tip #2 – Decay to a set number vs. by a specific amount. Scores in Account Engagement continue to increase over time – if measures are not taken. It’s not uncommon to see some older prospects with very high point values. As an example, if a prospect has a score of 275 and you reduce by 50 points, you still have a lead with a score of 225 points who has not been active in an extended period. This does not help at all. My recommendation is to reduce it to a set value so you can be assured that the lead drops off the radar or your sales team – until new engagement is recorded.

Implementing Activity-Based Decay:-

  1. Create an automation rule in Account Engagement with a descriptive name.
    • Example: Score Decay – Last Activity > 45 Days Ago
  2. Make use of the “Description” section to summarize what actions the rule will take and when.
    • Example: Decays scores that are greater than 50 to 50 if the last activity is greater than 45 days ago. 
  3. Set the rule to repeat and specify the number of days before eligible to repeat.
  1. Configure the rules and actions.
    • The example below is very simple, but you can add additional rules as needed. For example, you can omit records that have open opportunities or are being worked by sales so their scores are not decayed.
  1. Since this rule will be altering the scores of prospects, be sure to preview the matches before activating. Also, be sure to review all automation in Account Engagement and Salesforce that could be triggered as a result of score adjustments.

User-Based Decay:-

Account Engagement scores are intended as an indicator of engagement within Account Engagement. Since scores can only be changed in Account Engagement, decaying scores based on actions taken in Salesforce requires a bit of ingenuity and a “handshake” between the platforms. The goal is to tell Account Engagement to decrease the score based on an action that occurred in Salesforce. In this example, we are going to use flows and custom fields to trigger score decay in Account Engagement from Salesforce. I like this option due to the ability to easily set the criteria that trigger the action and the fact that code is not required.


Scores should be decayed to 50 if the status is changed to “Nurture” by a user in Salesforce.

Implementing User-Based Decay:-

  1. Create “Trigger Score Decay” custom fields on the contact and lead objects in Salesforce.
    • Data type = Checkbox
    • Default value = Unchecked
  2. Create a “Trigger Score Decay” custom field in Account Engagement.
    • Type = Radio Button
    • Sync behaviour = Use the most recently updated record value
    • Values (these are case-sensitive)
      • true
      • false
  1. Create flows on the contact and lead objects to update the “Trigger Score Decay” checkbox based on the defined entry criteria. This is a straightforward flow that uses a single element to update a checkbox field. The checkbox will later be used to trigger an automation rule in Account Engagement.

Full Flow:-

Entry Conditions Configuration:-

Update Triggering Records Element:-

  1. The final step is to create an automation rule in Account Engagement that will decay the score if the “Trigger Score Decay” checkbox is checked. The rule will also need to uncheck the box as a way of “resetting” the record.

Score Decay – Status – Nurture Automation Rule:-

  1. Test, validate, and activate. As with all automation, be sure to test by debugging your flows and previewing automation rule matches before activation.

Address Overinflated Scores:-

Scores in Account Engagement are meant to identify prospects that are actively engaging with your marketing. If scores are not decayed, identifying prospects with recent activity can become a challenge and lead to confusion for your sales teams. Score decay is fairly simple to implement, but should not be done in a vacuum. There are likely processes in your Salesforce or Account Engagement orgs that could be triggered when the score of a contact or lead is decayed. For this reason, it’s highly recommended that testing is conducted in a sandbox organization before implementation in production and that key stakeholders are included in the process.