There is no denying the impact and success that lead nurturing has had on determining the rate of converting leads into sales. To quote a couple of statistics, according to CSO Insights, companies with mature lead generation and management practices have a 9.3% higher sales quota achievement rate. In addition, research firm Forrester notes that companies that excel at lead nurturing generate 50% more sales ready leads at 33% lower cost.
Lead nurturing campaigns have been made easy to set up and also deploy thanks to marketing automation tools such as Marketo, Eloqua and others. The simplicity of it is nice but it does not mean that it is easy in any way. Below, I’d like to highlight the importance and value of lead nurturing and provide 5 ways that B2B marketers cultivate relationships with enterprise customers to make your lead generation programs more successful.
What is Lead Nurturing?
At a general level, lead nurturing can be defined as the process or strategy of using communication and marketing strategies to target and nurture your prospects until they are ready to make that buying decision. At a practical level, marketing professionals will recognize the use of eBooks, white papers, and other exclusive content that can be delivered to prospects to help “nudge” them into a position where they are more convinced – or at least ready to consider – your solution. This step is important because it helps guide and lead customers into that buying process. If you are not nurturing them and helping them along the way then they will never make it to the area you want them to be in.
Lead nurturing will also play a role in helping to position your company as a leader in your brand. During the nurturing process you can build credibility with your customers about your product and brand.
1. Keep It Simple
Many marketers have a tendency to make the mistake of overcomplicating things when it comes to lead nurturing. Companies who focus too much on their lead nurturing can end up wasting time and money that they could be using elsewhere. A simple nurture campaign is ideal and works perfect. These types of campaigns can be done in as little as 30 days.
2. Know Your Buyer
When it comes to your lead nurturing campaign, you need to know who your buyer is. This will help you understand who you need to be focusing on and it will help you know what to say to them. You will also want to make sure you understand your prospect’s purchasing cycle. A good nurturing program will help identify where your prospect is at in the buy cycle and it will also help them be able to move through it.
Consistency is key and also necessary for a successful nurturing program. If you begin to go off topic or send your prospect to too many places, you will lose them in the process. Make sure that your tone, offer, and message are all the same and keep it this way among all fronts.
4. Don’t Sell, Inform
One thing you want to make sure you are doing is telling your prospect and not selling them. It’s tricky, and you always want to find the right balance. Make sure, however, that your conversations are informational and also helpful. The tone of the conversation should be just that, a conversation. You do not want to seem pushy or else you could steer your prospect away
5. Add Complexity Very Slowly
Complexity will complicate things and can take a great marketing campaign and break it. It is important to make sure that you are incorporating any type of complexity slowly so that the campaign is not affected. You should always start small and in sections. Do not start adding multiple new steps or changing the scope of the campaign all at once.
Your lead nurturing campaign is important because it will take your prospects from the inquiry phase and help guide them through it all the way to the purchasing phase. It is important to make sure that your nurturing campaign is not overcomplicated and that it is simple. Prospects do not like to be pushed and you should make sure that all of your communications and pitches are very subtle, similar to guidance and not selling. These tips will help you improve your campaign and get more prospects into the buying phase.