Nurture leads into sales ready opportunities

Lead nurture activity is an increasingly important stage in the B2B sales cycle. Lead nurture itself isn’t new, and many activities in the traditional B2B sales cycle contribute to moving the sale along. What is new are the tools and techniques available to even small and mid-sized companies, to respond to the changes in buyer behaviour and the information explosion.

Lead nurture is also referred to as drip-marketing, lead follow-up, precision marketing, marketing automation and similar terms.

Multi-pack lead nurture

To use a super-market phrase, you may be aware that we’re moving into a multi-touch, multi-media and multi-channel nurture environment.

  • Multi-touch – maybe your prospects need to hear from you 7, 17, 27 or even more times before it’s ‘right for them’ to be ready to invest time and commit to a purchase, especially if they have to align things internally.
  • Multi-media – do your prospects tune into and relate better to text, diagrams, detailed reports, audio, video, webinars and so on.
  • Multi-channel – do they may prefer to hear from you via email, social media, telephone, mobile phone, post, online, face to face or a mixture.

What is clear is that potential buyers will hear about potential solutions and benefits through multiple communications channels, and they have a huge choice.

Lead nurture benefits the prospect

Your prospect or potential buyer benefits by receiving timely and relevant information from you since, as a lead, they have an interest in what you offer.¬† However, at this stage in the buying cycle, the prospect is more interested in solving a problem or developing an opportunity, and how you can help, rather than your specific products and services¬† If it’s a complex, occasional and significant investment, on a personal, professional or company level, the prospect benefits from the experience of how to go about purchasing, rather than what the purchase actually is.

Lead nurture benefits the vendor

As a vendor this creates an opportunity to educate the prospect or lead in such a way that you develop leads into sales ready opportunities that are more pre-disposed to you as a potential supplier. There is also the potential to do this in a more timely, lower cost and more measurable way than previously.

B2B lead qualification

By tracking, recording and consolidating the responses of your prospects to your contact and communication with them you are able to build us a much more sophisticated profile of their interests and purchase intentions. This is an opportunity to qualify out as much as it is an opportunity to develop leads until they become sales-ready.

Building on qualification at lead capture stage, a good lead nurture program will enable you to identify more accurately those leads that are ready to ‘buy now’, to nurture those that will ‘buy sometime’, and to avoid wasting time on those who will ‘never buy’.

By developing and executing an appropriate lead nurture program it helps you as the vendor to allocate resources where you are more likely to gain a positive return and ultimately some additional business or a new customer.

Tips to develop a Lead nurture program

To be effective,lead nurture needs to become integral to your business, so consider:

1. People – think about both potential buyers and you and your team. How will buyers respond to a more advanced lead nurture campaign. And what attitude, training, skills and buy-in will you and your team need to have for success.

2. Process – what is your current nurture process, how many touch-points are there, what works, what doesn’t, what could improve, and where is there potential to automate based on rules. Consider also the lead capture and selling steps too, and how they inter-relate, for example when someone doesn’t buy how you recycle that contact into nurture.

3. Technology – with the explosion of cloud-based and hosted applications for marketing and sales there is now an enormous choice of lead nurture and marketing automation solutions at a variety of price-points.

To find out more about drip marketing and lead nurture sign up to ‘Wurlwind Wand’ on the right and we’ll send through what we hope is timely, informative and entertaining hints and tips to you. And do give us feedback too.

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