Do a quick Web search on “lead nurturing” these days, and you’ll find plenty of high-level, strategic content on the “whys” – how nurturing can improve demand generation ROI, increase conversion rates, accelerate sales cycles, recycle long-discarded prospects, etc. What’s far less common and much needed, however, is practical advice on the “how’s” – nuts and bolts tips for how to design and structure a lead nurturing campaign.
What is one of the most unique lead nurturing tracks you have heard of someone creating?
Paradoxically, the most “unique” nurturing tracks are the most basic and have been executed long before the concept of lead nurturing ever existed: where a sales, marketing or customer service professional sends a prospect information focused specifically on meeting the client’s need.
This is the essence of lead nurturing.
Lead nurturing is based on relevance, and what is relevant differs — even slightly — from person to person because we all have unique needs and motivations. Without relevance, lead nurturing becomes just another marketing campaign.
A short story culled from Brian Carrol’s, one of his most impactful test run for a lead nurturing programs.
A global IT leader provided approximately 50% of their leads generated that year (1,500 leads) that had not engaged with the organization for at least 90 days. The IT company reviewed each lead to identify what motivated them and then phoned them. The conversation was based on their last engagement, and concluded the call by asking the prospect if the IT provider could serve as a resource.
After three months of calling, 40% wanted to continue to be in the IT company’s lead nurturing program, 15% moved further along in the sales cycle and 7% converted into customers.
For an investment of less than $50,000, within three months the IT company gained $1.2 million in sales from leads that had essentially been untouched or forgotten.
A few more thoughts to share:
And, here are some more recent thoughts on lead nurturing which I’ll likely expand on in the future posts:
•Lead nurturing supports the conversation of the customer before, during and after their buying process.
•Sowing + Nurturing = Reaping. As you sow, so shall you reap. A relationship properly sown, tended to and helped-along lead should reap a long and bountiful harvest.
•Lead nurturing is about building relationships through relevant conversations, not campaigns.
•If your sales team is following up on nurtured leads, give them relevant and related talking points to use. The first impression matters. So does the second. And so does every single touch after that.
•Consistency and relevancy are key. Don’t let up. Be consistent. No matter how busy you are, make time to do lead nurturing activities.
•Treat “leads” like “future customers” because that’s what they are.
•“Tell-and-sell” is a thing of the past. Become a trusted advisor by adding value with each interaction and sharing relevant information. Read what is and isn’t lead nurturing.
•Nurture your existing customers. Don’t just emphasize new account acquisition nurturing. You should look to nurture your current customers with the same energy and optimism as you do with prospects. You’ll be amazed with the results.