Charlotte_Bobcats_2012Executive Summary

The Charlotte Bobcats began using Turnkey Prospector, a lead scoring system built by Turnkey Intelligence, to identify strong sales leads during the 2010-2011 NBA season.  Over the course of the season, “hot leads” (i.e., individuals given 4- and 5-star ratings by Prospector) closed at rates over 200% higher than lower rated leads (1-3 stars). Most significantly, the best leads as identified by Turnkey (i.e., leads that were given 5-star ratings) closed at more than three times the rate of 1- and 2-star rated leads.


To increase the efficiency of their sales staff, the Bobcats elected to evaluate and prioritize all incoming leads using Turnkey Intelligence’s Prospector lead scoring system.  At the Bobcats’ request, Turnkey created a single custom scoring model to help identify strong leads for either a Bobcats Full Season or Half Season ticket plan.

Ultimately, nearly 20,000 prospects (i.e., individuals who did not hold either ticket plan at the time they were scored) were called by the Bobcats as part of their outbound sales efforts.  All leads were processed by Prospector and then, based on the scores they received, sorted into “priority” groups by the Bobcats. These leads came from the team’s nightly ticketing feed, or were imported lists of leads obtained from other sources (concert ticket buyers, names collected on the concourse, etc.).

As the 2010-2011 regular season came to a close, the Bobcats examined the sales associated with their Prospector-scored leads to determine the success of the integrated lead scoring system.  As noted on the chart below, the club found that close rates were over 200% higher for hot leads (customers given ratings of 4 and 5 stars) than for all other leads (1-, 2-, and 3-star leads), and over three times higher for the best leads (i.e., “5-stars”).


Effectively profiling incoming leads, and their likelihood to purchase, played a crucial role in enabling the Bobcats to distribute leads and effectively prioritize outbound phone calls.  Though the hot leads only represented approximately 25% of all called prospects, they clearly drove sales by closing at more than double the rate of all other leads.

The same can be said for the very best leads, i.e., the “5-stars”. Though they represented just 9% of all called prospects, their significantly elevated close rates emphasized their value and enforced the Bobcats’ philosophy that the best leads should receive call priority over lower-rated leads.

When asked to discuss his club’s direct marketing efforts, Flavil Hampsten, VP of Ticket Sales and Database Marketing at the Bobcats, noted the challenge of deciding which leads deserve the bulk of his sales team’s resources. “In any given email campaign, we might send an email to 100,000 people, but we know our reps cannot possibly call 100,000 people to follow up,” said Hampsten.   “At best, we might be able to call 15,000 leads in a given campaign.  As a lead distributor for the Bobcats, the difficult question becomes, ’Which 15,000 of the 100,000 do I assign to the reps?’ Because there’s a finite number of leads that your reps can actually call for a given campaign, you’ll need to create some sort of hierarchy to determine which leads receive those calls.”

Hampsten then stressed how crucial the Prospector platform has become in helping his team prioritize the leads that must be called every day. “Turnkey’s Prospector scoring model has helped us identify which leads give our reps the best chance of success at selling,” said Hampsten. “Using that information, we’ve made it a priority to assign the best 5-star leads first in any given campaign.”