Sales Lead Nurturing
A Relationship Building Process to Develop Ready to Buy Prospects
The Focus of Sales Lead Nurturing
The entire purpose of nurturing is to bring the decision makers to the point where they are ready to buy.
Which Sales Prospects Require Nurturing?
Your marketing database probably contains sales leads in the form of inquiries, prospects and suspects from a variety of sources. Most of these inquiries are not yet 'ready to buy' prospects. In fact some may never be in a position to purchase.
The only way to really ascertain the true level of interest and to quantify purchase potential is to engage with the prospect in a serious dialog. The dialog must be angled to identify needs, pain and purchasing ability and to respond with pain resolving solutions. A task in which only professionals who’ve been at it for years can expect to succeed,
When is the Decision Maker Ready to Buy?
That's not easily discerned. The best circumstance is when the prospect raises his hand and tels you he's is ready to place an order. However bringing the prospect company to this point could is frequently arduous and time consuming. Moreover success will elude you unless your program is based on a proven strategy and handled by an experienced, urbane negotiator. ETI has an enviable record of achievement in this difficult but profitable area.
Optimizing Sales Lead Nurturing
The strategy of sales lead nurturing is effective only when supported by a multi-touch program which delivers meaningful, customized messages and content, to each prospect. Such contacts may include personal calls, emails, webinars and white papers. You should also closely monitor your website to 'sense' which of your prospects are visiting .. and what content they are consuming. Monitoring electronic communications and website activity tracking activity is today easily and dynamically managed with a Marketing Automation system.
How Long Does The Nurturing Process Take?
Not surprisingly the only answer is “as long as it takes”. There is no one formula or technique which guarantees success. Ultimately, it is the practical application of a carefully planned, disciplined, multi-tasked approach to win the decision maker's approval.
Why It Pays To Accommodate Delays
It is essential to respect the decision maker’s delays without ascribing nasty motives. One must accept his/her circumstances courteously. This affords one the opportunity to pick up the phone again somewhat later and to try again for a commitment to meet with a representative or purchase. It may well take several nurturing communications before finally winning that all important promise.
Each discussion with a prospect should have a positive effect on your relationship. So that you will not be making cold calls to a stranger butto someone who appreciates your desire to gain his custom and with whom a sense of commitment is almost surely forming. Above all to someone who has not said “No”.
Sales Nurturing Best Practices
Nurturing as a best practice requires a formal systematic infrastructure designed to deliver relevant information to each decision maker - based on events in the field namely:
- Personal Direct Mail
- 3rd Party Reports
- Road shows
- White Papers
- Case Studies
- Research Reports
Successful nurturing can be aided by systematic event driven triggers to deliver either content or invitations to an event. For example a targeted prospect receives a Newsletter and clicks on a link about an industry relevant webinar. This in turn triggers a series of communications to build on that interest. Such items could include
- A relevant white paper from a third party.
- A phone call.
- An invitation to a relevant webinar or trade show.
All of these communication opportunities need to be pre-planned and time based so that they happen automatically without sales force intervention or participation.
Successful sales lead nurturing can easily lift sales prospecting results by as much as 20% or 30%. Not chump change but certainly worth the cost because a new customer who may cost you between a $100 or $200 to win, could spend tens of thousands of dollars with you.
The entire purpose of nurturing is to bring the hesitant decision makers to the point where they are ready to buy.