Not enough organisations make lead nurturing a high priority, even though it can be one of the most powerful methods for converting leads into revenue. This is partly because it is so time and resource intensive, prompting many companies to outsource to a lead generation and nurturing specialist.
Whether you attempt lead nurturing yourself or you call in the experts, make sure that best practice is followed in what can often be a delicate balancing act. Get it wrong and you’ll either drive potential customers away or see only a limited return on the time and resources you’ve invested.
Your guide to lead nurturing best practice
Here are the 6 most crucial guidelines to follow when making any serious attempt at lead nurturing:
1. Call when you say you will. It is absolutely crucial to contact the prospect within the time you initially promised. If you miss your mark, the prospect will quickly lose interest.
2. Make sure your leads are highly qualified in the first place. Chasing up and engaging with individuals and businesses who simply aren’t interested or to whom your product/service has no relevance is a huge waste of time. Use a lead generation specialist to make appointments and set up meetings with highly qualified leads – ones that have a good chance of becoming customers.
3. Get permission to stay in touch. This is crucial, as you could end up driving the prospect away with too much unwanted contact. Make sure you leave the conversation open, so that further contact is welcome.
4. Track and analyse all interactions. This will give you an indication of the progress you’re making, and how long it takes to turn a moderately interested lead into a definite sale.
5. Give the lead an immediate way to get in touch. Your prospect needs to feel that they can talk to a real person (preferably, the person they have communicated with previously) at any time, which is why providing them with a dedicated phone number or instant messaging contact is crucial.
6. Know when to make your move. This can be the most difficult part of lead nurturing, requiring skill, delicacy and above all, patience. It can be too complex for many sales and lead generation departments, which is why many call in lead nurturing experts with the experience to pinpoint the right moment to strike. You need to listen for agreement and identify exactly when a prospect is ready to make a purchase. You can nudge and suggest, but you can’t come on too strong too early. Again, it requires a lot of specialist skill to spot the right moment and the most effective strategy to close the sale.
As you can see, lead nurturing is a more complicated and strategic process than simply following up on sales calls. It often requires a specialist skill set and a considerable amount of time, but it is well worth doing as a method to drive sales and grow your business.