Essential techniques for lead nurturing success
Lead nurturing is an essential part of any sales strategy, as it forms the foundation of your sales pipeline. Nurturing is the ability to look after and educate qualified sales leads that are not yet ready to buy. This then can allow you to build a strong brand image amongst your prospects long before they’re actively engaged in the sales process. Effective and well planned nurturing will also help you better understand their needs and find out about their renewal strategy and timings.
It is therefore surprising how many companies are so bad at this, as without the proper processes in place, then mis-timed communications and missed sales will inevitably result.From experience about three quarters of all B2B leads are not sales-ready. This means you need to use effective nurturing techniques to engage and communicate with them at multiple touch points in order to help move them towards the buying stage. Below are some of the essential techniques for best practice that VSL employs with it’s clients
1. Understand who needs to be reached
We know that many larger organisations have multiple stakeholders involved in the overall decision-making process, so it’s important to understand which individuals we need to reach (including Junior Management through to key stakeholders) and therefore create the right communications strategy to reach those individuals. Once you can find a way to get in front of the people they answer to, you’ll have a better chance at influencing the decision-makers and making the lead into a sale.
2. Work closely with sales team
This is where so often the process can falter within a company between marketing and sales teams. It is essential to work closely with the sales representatives to ensure that the nurtured leads are being passed to sales at the appropriate time, and so that the right educational content is getting to them that’s going to engage them and influence their decision. We also always aim to target quality leads over quantity so that a higher conversion rate is reached and therefore a better ROI.
3. Keeping track – Score leads
Lead scoring allows you to assign a numeric value to all your prospects in order to prioritise leads according to their quality and how quickly they are likely to close. Creating a lead scoring methodology, should always include input from both the marketing and sales teams which analyses demographics, activities and behaviour that make up a sales-ready qualified lead. A simple but effective method of lead scoring is a combination of BANT (Budget, Authority, Need and Timescale), Activity and Demographics (BAD). (this will be covered in a future blog)
4. Establishing the right process
Attracting the right prospects is a systematic approach; first they need to know about you – so you need an integrated marketing strategy that ensures your brand is visible and using the right channels. Next they need to like you – by sending credible marketing collateral to them such as emails or content marketing. Then they need to trust you – and this can be achieved through telemarketing follow-up where you can demonstrate specific industry expertise or case studies can be discussed in more detail.
It is imperative that you engage a lead nurturing process to proactively keep prospects interested and move them swiftly through the sales funnel.
5. Monitor progress
Watch for signs of progress through the buying cycle. Every link they click, anything they download from your website and record all comments through telephone contact. You can use this information to understand how close they are to the buying stage and identify the sort of content that appeals to them so you can provide more of the same. If you’re finding that your typical sales cycle is taking longer to close, a lead nurturing strategy is definitely worth the time and effort, and help allow you to keep hold of valuable leads and convert them into customers sooner.
For more information on how we can help and develop you with your sales cycle and to find out more about telemarketing services from VSL, please contact us via our contact page or pick up the phone and give us a call on +44 (0)1403 788480.
Tags: B2B Sales, Lead Nurturing, Sales Pipeline