Lead nurturing is one of the most effective ways to grow your sales and expand your business, but it takes time, planning and skill.
You have a challenge on your hands, as research shows that a whopping 96% of visitors to your website aren’t ready to buy yet. And for B2B marketers, only 1 in 4 leads are sales-ready when first generated. This means that the rest of them will need to be nurtured.
But get lead nurturing right, and you could generate up to 50% more revenue at a 33% lower cost, according to an Invespcro study.
If you’re planning your first lead nurturing campaigns, here are some tried-and-tested methods to include:
Score your leads
As we’ve mentioned, lead nurturing can be time-intensive. So you need to prioritise your leads and focus on the most profitable opportunities.
Assign scores based on factors that matter to you, such as role, company and engagement activity – for example, downloading free trials, signing up to email lists and interacting with social media content. There are also negatives to factor in, such as email unsubscribes and long periods of inactivity.
Map out the sales journey
The top and widest part of your sales funnel should be dedicated to sales development activities. In other words, lead nurturing. Map out each stage, from providing information and answering questions to following up and finally, qualifying the lead.
Follow up fast
This is a key mantra for lead nurturing professionals, as every minute really does count. The faster you follow up with a lead, the more likely you are to nudge them into the sales process. In fact, research shows that you’re 21 times more likely to convert a lead within 5 minutes than leaving it half an hour to follow up.
Personalised content marketing
Every piece of content you send to a lead should be targeted to their interests, goals and pain points. This means segmenting your email lists and planning a personalised content marketing strategy for each customer persona group.
Take the easy wins
There are lots of ways to quickly and cheaply snap up sales, through retarget marketing. One of the easiest is abandoned cart recovery in ecommerce, where a quick email to encourage them to complete the purchase (perhaps with incentive) can deliver fantastic results.
Deliver a consistent experience across multiple channels
You need to nurture your leads across every channel they use. This means a strategic multi-channel nurturing approach, combining direct sales outreach and email marketing with social media content and marketing automation.
It takes around 10 ‘touches’ before a prospect is converted to a customer. Bear this in mind when mapping out your nurturing pipeline. You’ll need to be patient, as too aggressive an approach can scare off leads and ruin all your hard work so far.
Align sales and marketing
Get sales and marketing on the same page and you should find that your lead nurturing campaigns deliver better results. It takes careful planning to define and share out responsibilities, and the different touches and triggers on the nurturing pipeline – but work in harmony and your customer retention and conversion rates should improve.
Don’t have the time for lead nurturing? Put your campaign in the hands of the experts – get in touch with IT Focus and we’ll get started on lead nurturing campaigns that deliver real results.