These features don’t exist, as far as I know, but I want them badly.

Lead scoring, for the uninitiated, is the practice of assigning values to prospect and customer activities. Score enough “points”, so to speak, and you’re qualified enough to pass along to a sales rep. So, for example, looking at a blog post might not be valued as highly as watching a five-minute product demo video.

But the largest weakness of lead scoring programs today is that the scores are created independent of real data and causality. It makes sense that a demo video view is worth more than reading a best practices blog post, but how much more valuable? Two times? Three times?

And just like A/B testing in direct marketing, the reality will often show counter-intuitive results to what you otherwise would expect.

To solve this, you’d think we could look at actual lead-opportunity-close performance and adjust lead scores accordingly. Some organizations do this on their own to come up with their initial lead scoring methodologies, but very few go back and make adjustments based on real data.

But there’s really no reason that optimization should be done manually at all in the first place. In the future, I’d like to see lead scores automatically adjusted based on the real-time impact and relation between qualified leads and closed business. I don’t know when it’s coming, but hopefully the marketing automation firms are working on it.

The other limitation on lead scoring programs today is that they’re based entirely on known leads. Unless you have the lead in your database, there’s no way scoring can occur.

Which is silly. The social Web is full of buying signals. And those signals can be scored. Just because you don’t have the prospect in your database, doesn’t mean you can’t score activity that is plainly available on the Web, and tell your sales team to follow up based on those signals.

Capturing the lead can happen later. Email registration is no longer required.

Of course, this doesn’t yet exist. But I hope someone is close to making it a reality.

Our ideas and innovation will almost always outpace reality and execution. But one can dream…