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Leads keep the business pumping. They are your potential buyers that could become the very lifeline of your trade. Basically, there are two types of leads – the old and new. The old lead refers to the previous customer who has already made a purchase of your offered product or service before. On the other hand, the new lead refers to a fresh prospect that is still yet to make an official financial transaction with your business.
Lead generation is a systematic marketing strategy designed to capture and verify real time interests of the target market. This process involves understanding the actual problems and needs of prospects for specific solutions. Today’s lead generation process employs a full spectrum of digital channels as well as a variety of internet driven social techniques.
According to the recent study conducted by Marketo, a marketing automation company, about half of any lead generation system is comprised of prospects that are not ready or interested to buy. MarketingSherpa (marketing research institute)on the other hand, has found out that only about20% of newly acquired leads are most likely to be effectively converted into sales.
Today, the worldwide web becomes more and more accessible to everyone, particularly to buyers with initiative looking for information they need prior to making a purchase of a needed product or service. As the number of self-directed buyers increases dramatically, businesses need to focus more on brand visibility and lead nurturing.
What is Lead Nurturing?
Every buying customer goes through a series of steps or stages before making the final decision to purchase. These are collectively known as the sales funnel. Basically, these are Awareness, Discovery, Evaluation, and Commitment respectively.
(PureB2B, “Understanding the Stages of Your Sales Funnel” https://pureb2b.com/blog/understanding-stages-sales-funnel/ )
Lead nurturing is a form of supplemental marketing tactic which essentially involves building relationships with prospects in every phase of the sales funnel through various platforms. The said prospects are leads you have acquired from the lead generation process. In this particular strategy, a firm foundation of trust between the potential buyer and the company is built brick by brick through various techniques which will be discussed in the later part of the article. And this requires a firm establishment of clear and consistent communication between the company and the prospect throughout the entire cycle.
Importance of Lead Nurturing
Lack of lead nurturing strategy will most likely lead to poor performance of marketing leads. According to Marketing Sherpa, about 70% to 80% of newly generated leads of any system are raw leads. This simply means that such volume of leads is not sales-ready or has the least likelihood of being converted into sales.
(Marketo “What is Lead Nurturing?” https://www.marketo.com/lead-nurturing/ )
According to The Annuitas Group, a demand generation strategy service company, nurtured leads make about 47% larger purchases compared to their non-nurtured counterparts. Forrester recently conducted a marketing research about the impact of lead nurturing strategy throughout the entire lead generation and marketing campaign. This US based market research company has found out that there is roughly around 20% increase in sales opportunity.
Furthermore, results in Forrester research also showed that companies engaged with lead nurturing strategy are able to cut their marketing campaign costs at around 33% while reaping 50% more sales ready leads.
( Hubspot, “7 Amazingly Effective Lead Nurturing Tactics”, https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/7-effective-lead-nurturing-tactics#sm.000010g8d216zjexiq8gnnnh5vkbk )
Putting the direct benefit aside, practicing a lead nurturing strategy will put your company a step ahead of the competition. This is due to the fact that only less than 40% of B2B marketers of today employ the lead nurturing strategy.
Lead nurturing methods and techniques
Nowadays, a successful marketing strategy doesn’t rest solely on lead generation. Lead nurturing has become a critical component of any B2B’s marketing campaign. The strategy helps marketers and clients build and establish a firm connection with each other throughout the entire sales cycle.
Lead nurturing is a process that requires time and consistency. Here are some effective techniques in establishing a firm relationship with your prospects from the very first lead interaction to the final step of the buying process:
- Get to know your target market
Before anything else, it is only wise to acquire demographic information of your target market first. Your marketing design and approach directly depends on the type of prospects you are trying to market to as well as their needs and interests. Complete and extensive demographic information can secure a fast and smooth work pace for your marketing team.
- Develop customer targeted content
Developing precision driven content helps direct your brand or business to the right kind of people. First, you need to acquire a full and clear grasp of your prospects’ distinct personas. Your next move will be to generate content that can accurately address their unique problems, needs, and requirements. Always come up with content with your prospects in mind. Generate something that your target buyers would definitely want to acquire. Basically, this technique is all about providing your prospects with the right kind of content at the right time. Targeted content help businesses secure greater chances of landing sales by up to 20%.
( Hubspot “7 Amazingly Effective Lead Nurturing Tactics”
- Merge with your SMM campaign
Majority of B2B businesses these days look to the social media platform when it comes to hastening their marketing campaigns and results. ( The Content Factory, “16 Reasons Why Your Business Needs Social Media Marketing” https://www.contentfac.com/9-reasons-social-media-marketing-should-top-your-to-do-list/ ) Merging your targeted content with your social media marketing campaign can help you acquire additional essential information through your prospects’ replies and comments. Engaging your social network through swift responses to inquiries and comments help establish credibility for your business.
- Marketing in multiple platforms
A good marketer can be consistent in utilizing a particular technique but a wise campaign strategist doesn’t just settle for one. Although social media has become today’s hottest online communication platform, it’s not the only channel being used by majority of buyers in the worldwide web.
According to Smart Insights, the email still has an average open rate of about 21% and a click through of somewhere around 2%-4%. More importantly, majority of smart buyers of today’s generation use the search engines to look for the information they need. Effective lead nurturing strategy doesn’t just focus on a single channel.
( SmartInsights “Email Marketing Statistics”
- Keep it warm
Initiate a quick follow up as soon as first interaction with the prospect is established. Think of this opportunity as a hot cup of coffee left on a table at your porch. Time is of the essence. Act quickly and make a swift follow up while the opportunity is still warm. In the digital era, time runs faster and people are used to getting information in a fast paced manner. Therefore, making a quick follow up will help you secure a buying prospect before everything gets cold.