Lead nurturing leads has multiple benefits:
· Understanding your customers’ intentions
· Obtaining swift information on the sales readiness of your prospects
· Sustaining leads’ interests
· Educating leads
Gartner suggests that successful enterprises segregate their leads into different classes: hot/warm leads, cold leads or dead leads. But the question looming large on all B2B sales teams’ minds remains - is there any sure shot and foolproof way of nurturing these different leads throughout the sales cycle? What does actual lead nurturing entail?
Nurturing leads is no longer simply the marketing team’s prerogative; it has grown mature enough to include both the sales and marketing teams. Lead nurturing is about building familiarity about the company and the product with the prospect, creating perception about the company and the product, and inspiring trust about the workability of the product. In essence, it is the activity of providing information, insights, expert analysis, etc., to a prospect.
Techniques for Lead Nurturing
Drip marketing remains the most common lead nurturing method employed, where every week, information is sent out to prospective customers who are still mostly unaware of the company’s products/services. The first email is the best way to make that ‘perfect first impression’. From offering presentations and targeted leads in the first week to emailing across effective call-to-action content in the form of newsletters, testimonials, e-books and reports in subsequent weeks, the basic idea behind the drip marketing method is to sustain the interest of the customer with more pertinent information.
In the last couple of weeks, emails inviting the customer to a trade show or providing freebies, discounts or bonuses can give insight into whether the drip marketing emails have made a positive impact. Drip marketing also remains the best way to gain valuable feedback from the customer and a value enhancer for the lead generation process. Therefore it is necessary that content is created in such a way that it attracts and intrigues the lead. So be it newsletters, testimonials, or even the email itself, only when content is targeted and sharp can it actually create an impact.
Lead nurturing campaigns are a must if companies want to bring about continuous communication with the customer and also know when leads are ‘sales ready’. Automated processes and technology enables marketers to keep in touch with multiple leads and scale up the number of prospects. B2B companies should employ a multi-pronged approach using different lead nurturing tactics.
Lead nurturing enhances the quality of leads obtained for lead generation. So from using the first degree connections on LinkedIn and mobilizing social networking sites, to using articles, case studies and research reports, to holding webinars, trade shows, seminars, workshops and blogs, there are many mechanisms for lead nurturing. Using B2B marketing automation for lead nurturing is a great way to improve the efficiency of the process.
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