The Basics of Lead Nurturing

The Importance of Lead Nurturing

Most marketers have not yet established a strategy for lead nurturing, nor recognized the importance and value it can bring. Did you know only 27% of B2B leads are sales-ready when first generated? What does this mean for your business?

In simple terms it means lead nurturing should be at the forefront of your strategy and is essential for capitalizing on the remaining 73%.

Just because you have had multiple website visitors who have downloaded your free eBook, registered for a webinar or filled out your online form doesn’t mean they are ready to chat with one of your sales reps. Too often we jump right to the sales approach step and forget these leads need a little bit of time and nurturing before they are ready to make a purchase.

Lead Nurturing Stats You Need to Know

Before you jump into lead nurturing, you may be skeptical of its value. The stats below will change your mind:

  • Only 25% of leads are legitimate and should advance to sales.
  • Only 5% of marketers use a full-featured marketing automation solution to help with lead nurturing and the overall sales process.
  • Research shows that 35-50% of sales go to those businesses and vendors who respond first – meaning if you aren’t nurturing your leads, you are missing out.
  • 65% of B2B marketers have not yet established lead nurturing processes.
  • Companies that excel at lead nurturing generate 50% more sales-ready leads for a 33% lower cost
  • 46% of marketers with mature lead management processes have sales teams that follow up on more than 75% of marketing-generated leads.
  • Lead nurturing emails get 4-10 times the response rate compared to standalone email blasts.

Lead Nurturing Basics

You’re excited, new leads are coming in daily and your sales team is ready to conquer them – but the new leads are not ready to talk to your sales reps. Now, the question is how do you ready those leads? The answer is lead nurturing.

Lead nurturing means more than contacting your leads and preparing them before your sales rep reaches them. A simple definition is: a process of building relationships by creating a two way dialog – and ensuring all expectations are met and a clean hand- off to sales is done and done at the right time.

Our series on lead nurturing is designed to help you get the info you need to effectively grow your business through tested and proven techniques. Turn more of your prospects into sales with the information here.

Fundamentals of Lead Nurturing

Get all team members on board

Lead nurturing is based on trust and consistency, therefore getting your entire management and sales team on board is crucial to the overall success of your strategy. You won’t be able to get your lead to the decision-making process if they do not trust who they are communicating with or haven’t had a constant dialog.

Find the balance between “too often” and “not often enough”

Figuring out the right amount of contact for a new lead can be challenging. Depending on the media type used, this can be different. You need to be flexible and willing to adjust your frequency and content relevancy as needed.

Don’t put your eggs all in one basket

Simply put, you want to establish lead nurturing programs with multiple media types and channels of communication. This article isn’t focused on one type, but do understand that there are many ways to reach your lead, at different times and frequency (e-mail, phone, social media, text messaging, etc.)

Not all leads are worth nurturing

In other words, you need to create a priority filter with all leads coming in and properly funnel them based on that priority level. This will not only save you time, but will also keep you on budget.

How Much is Too Much?

As we learned above, lead nurturing is a type of automation focused on leads that are not yet ready to buy. Developing lead nurturing campaigns adds a sufficient value to your leads that establishes a greater brand preference. The tough part is determining the right amount of lead nurturing and trying to coordinate concurrent campaigns.

Each business model is different, but it is said that there is a sweet spot between 5 and 10 campaigns being run concurrently, depending on your business size and number of leads being generated. More than this has been documented to be too overwhelming and distracting.

5 Steps for Creating a Successful Lead Nurturing Campaign

1. Define Your Audience or Segment

You first need to know who needs lead nurturing and who your campaign is going to target. If you are running 5 different campaigns, this step is crucial so targeted leads are not being overworked.

2. Offer Something of Value First

Don’t get too salesy to start. People want to know what you can offer them, not the other way around.

3. Set Objectives and Goals

Determining an overall goal for your campaign and an objective for each touch should be outlined prior to contact. Pick offers and messaging that will apply to your desired target.

4. Set a Timeline for Each Contact

Setting a timeline, or a roadmap as I like to call it, is important to the overall success of your campaign. You will want to space out your touches within the overall timeline and goal to point of sale. Patience is important to all lead nurturing campaigns.

5. Evaluate Your Success, Modify as Needed

Before you move on to the next campaign, you will want to evaluate the one you just finished. Re-work types of contact (email vs. text message, etc.); re-work headings and verbiage as you find out what worked and what didn’t. Lead nurturing campaigns are very effective if done correctly, which makes this step the most important.

Final Thoughts

Nurturing leads can be different for every business model – the importance lies within a good strategy that fits your business. Text messaging, emails, phone calls, newsletters and social media are only a short list of tools in your tool belt that could be used to properly convert your leads to sales-ready. Streamline your efforts, incorporate these simple tips and you will find success.