The Smart CMO’s Guide to Perfecting the Lead Nurturing Process
So you’ve improved your lead generation strategy, and you’re ready to see a sales increase, too. It’s just about waiting for those new leads to make it through the funnel, right?
Not so fast.
Improving lead gen is fantastic, but it’s only the first step to optimizing your sales funnel. In fact, 80% of leads generated never convert into a sale at all.
The good news? It doesn’t have to be that way. By perfecting your lead nurturing process, you can be sure no lead simply falls out of the funnel to improve your sales results.
- Lead scoring helps companies avoid the pitfall of wasting time on unviable leads and focus on those with the highest potential to convert.
- Lead nurturing requires a balance of leveraging martech automation tools and maintaining a personal approach.
- Using data analytics and buyer personas to target your lead nurturing efforts leads to higher conversion rates.
- Effective sales team preparation is key to maintaining a consistent and effective lead nurturing strategy.
WHAT IS LEAD NURTURING?
Lead nurturing, put simply, is staying connected and developing relationships with your leads throughout the entire buying process.
The truth about leads is that most of the time, they aren’t ready to make a buying decision when they enter your sales funnel. It’s up to your sales team to nurture those leads and give them the time, resources, and information they need to get to the point of buying readiness.
Companies who nurture leads make 50% more sales and do it at a lower cost. Lead nurturing helps you convert at a higher rate and avoid leaving viable opportunities on the table.
HOW TO PERFECT YOUR LEAD NURTURING PROCESS
Score Your Leads
Lead scoring helps companies avoid the common pitfall of spending time on leads that have no real chance of converting into sales. Instead, it rates leads based on their perceived value to the company (determined by factors that are most important to you), allowing your sales team to prioritize appropriately.
Leads can be scored on demographics, online behavior, location, and company (to name a few examples). The complexity of a lead score really depends on your company and how many factors you take into consideration when assessing leads.
When you know which leads are most valuable, you can spend the most time nurturing those leads and subsequently closing sales at a higher rate.
Implement Content Marketing
Content marketing generates 3x as many leads and is 62% more cost effective than any other marketing strategy. In a sales environment where 94% of buyers are doing their own research before they ever reach out to a company directly, it’s important that potential leads are able to access your content and see your industry expertise online.
Utilize Buyer Personas
Creating strong buyer personas allows you to target your lead nurturing and implement strategies best suited for that lead. Buyer personas encapsulate descriptors like demographics, interests, job seniority, buying patterns, pain points, and other behavioral indicators.
Your relationships with leads that fall under each of your different personas will vary because they’ll have different needs and preferences.
Quick tip on buyer personas: make sure they are actionable, focusing on what the buyer is trying to accomplish rather than (sometimes arbitrarily) assigned traits. When you’re focused on your buyer’s goal, you’re better equipped to lead them toward purchasing the products and services that can help them accomplish it.
Use a Martech Tools
Martech tools can manage your communications with prospective leads and ensure you never miss an important follow up. They automatically generate reports and analyze data that can help management teams optimize sales strategies and processes. They also streamline internal workflows to optimize collaboration between and within your teams.
Martech tools are also becoming a necessity in an increasingly digital and fast-paced B2B environment. Today the average enterprise is using 120 martech tools. They’re becoming a requirement to keep up with industry competitors.
Don’t Lose the Personal Touch
On the other hand, the rise of automation has not eliminated the need for a personal approach to sales, especially in the B2B world where the spend is higher and the impact is bigger.
People making B2B buying decisions are worried not only about their own satisfaction (like a typical retail consumer) but about how their buying decisions will impact their entire organization. Sales representatives must not rely on automated emails and reminders to nurture leads.
Instead, those tools should complement the personal outreach efforts being made to each individual lead. This emphasizes the importance of scoring leads, since it’s usually not possible to create and maintain a personal connection with every single lead that enters the funnel.
Get Your Teams on Board
Your sales strategy is only as effective as the sales reps who are executing it. Getting your team on board with your lead nurturing expectations and tactics is essential to its success.
This mostly means communicating it well to your reps. Sales and marketing teams want to succeed, too, and usually all it takes to create an engaged team is giving them the tools and resources they need to do well.
This can include brand assets, scripts, pricing information, standard operating procedures, and clearly communicated management expectations (among other things). It can also mean ongoing training, team building, and setting a culture of healthy competition but even better collaboration to meet individual and company goals.
Track Your Progress
Using an objective, data-driven approach to track your lead nurturing progress can ensure there are no gaps in your process and help you identify opportunities for improvement and further optimization.
Ways to do this include keeping your sales process consistent, utilizing a CRM system to track individual leads and the entire funnel, and tracking the performance of marketing campaigns. To lay the foundation for effective progress tracking, create SMART goals and identify specific metrics in advance that you will use to measure success.
Get in touch with Televerde today to discuss your goals!