As Vincent Van Gogh used to say “great things are done by a series of small things done together”. And if your goal for a great thing is a sale, then the small things in between all have to do with lead nurturing.
But while it may seem like common sense, some techniques do work better than others. Moreover, our digital era creates numerous nurturing opportunities that can be unknown or confusing to business owners.
This article will, therefore, define lead nurturing and help you leverage it with concrete examples.
Defining Lead Nurturing
Lead nurturing is about the gradual development of relationships with potential customers at every step of the sales funnel. It usually involves engaging with them and providing answers, guidance, and information that will help turn leads into informed buyers.
When to Begin Lead Nurturing?
The simple answer: right now. If your company isn’t nurturing a lead, chances are someone else is. Engagement is a highly competitive battlefield, and every step of your sales pipeline should have associated nurturing techniques to ensure you never lose a potential buyer’s attention.
Challenges of Lead Nurturing
Engagement with leads takes patience, persistence, and resilience. This is particularly true in the B2B sphere, where the buying process can take longer.
The general rule of thumb is that a single entrepreneur can look after a dozen leads at best. A small marketing team may stay on top of up to 50 leads. Automation can help you scale nurturing, depending on the channel you use.
Another challenge has to do with cooperation between sales and marketing. Nurturing requires a great deal of unity to ensure no opportunity is wasted. Irrelevant communications, excessive emails from multiple departments, and bad communication between teams can create confusion and ultimately disinterest from the lead.
Lead Nurturing Techniques That Work: Timely Follow-Ups
The quicker you respond, the higher the odds of moving your lead to the next stage of the sales funnel. In practice, this means having templates for your communications (email or phone scripts), but you also need to have the follow-ups prepared in advance.
Capture Relevant Lead Info As Early As Possible
Sales is essentially about relationships. And nobody wants to receive cold emails that have obviously been mass sent. The least you can do to start off on the right foot is research your lead properly. This begins with capturing the right data.
With Act!365, we make it easy to aggregate key info such as lead name, job title and even birthday to ensure you have the right info at your disposal.
Create Targeted and Personalized Communication
Once you’ve got the key lead info, it’s time to deliver content relevant to them. It doesn’t matter if your content is freely available online (blogs), hidden behind forms (eBooks), or attached to emails (newsletters). The important point is that it needs to be personalized based on your lead’s persona.
This is where a good lead scoring model can come in handy. It can not only help you see where the lead is in the sales funnel but also how likely they are to respond to targeted content.
Multi-channel nurturing is also a great way to re-engage leads with what feels like a fresh start. For instance, if an email campaign didn’t get a great open rate, you can try reaching out via social media instead, and link to the same content to meet your potential customers where they feel the most comfortable.
Don’t Forget Static Content
When it comes to offering value to potential customers, it helps to focus on passive elements like static content. In fact, they should be an integral part of your marketing strategy, as you can cross-reference it in email campaigns, social media, and even direct communication to point leads towards the appropriate resources.
Static content can include:
Strategic landing pages: ideally SEO-optimized, so that they attract organic traffic from search engines. These help demonstrate authority on a topic, boosts your company’s brand presence, and improve your chances of bringing leads into your sales funnel.
Blog posts: keeps your website content fresh and up to date. Demonstrates that you are active, and on top of recent industry developments, relevant news, or even product releases.
Resource center: FAQs, online libraries, or even a community forum can go a long way in showing your dedication to customer support and lead nurturing.
Use A Lead Scoring Specifically for Nurturing
You can use all the principles we described in our article on lead scoring models, and apply them more specifically to nurturing. This can help you focus on behavior that’s more relevant to early stage engagement, such as:
Visiting pricing pages
Watching video demos
Clicking on early-stage content
Visiting the website’s contact page
Key Takeaways of Good Lead Nurturing
Like Lead Scoring, nurturing can be as simple as complex as you want it to be. But when it comes to the former, there are still practices that are easy to implement and show great results:
Working on personalization: for all kinds of communications, from segmented email campaigns to tailored offers and discounts.
Offering quality content: whether it’s with your static content, email copy, and social media posts.
Making yourself available ASAP: with lead nurturing, the sooner you start, the better. The same goes for how quick you are to reply.
Integrate nurturing into other sales and marketing practices: lead scoring, your lead management software, and email campaigns should all take nurturing into consideration.
Granted, it might seem time-consuming and like a lot of effort. It is. But lead nurturing is one of the surest ways of increasing your sales successes in the long run.