Lead Nurturing in Plain English
Lead nurturing is about keeping conversations going over time, building relationships and allowing the creation of interest in products and/or services while bringing the leads to sales-ready status. It is about cultivating and maintaining mind share, building and sustaining interest in what you have to offer, and developing trusted relationships with those who could possibly be your next customer. Lead nurturing is exceptionally effective in articulating your value proposition to maintain, in a subtle and consistent manner, a stream of relevant information that is important for the audience to know.*
Marketing / Sales Funnel
- Lead Sources
- Leads are accumulated through various lead generation channels (trade shows, webinars, mailers, etc.)
- 25% of the leads are sales-ready and can go directly to the sales team for prospecting
- 25% are unqualified and irrelevant and may be safely discarded
- 50% are qualified marketing leads but not yet sales-ready. These accelerate toward the sale at varying rates and their journey through the sales funnel should be customised to fit different needs and timelines.
- Early stages – Low Acceleration Stay-in-Touch Campaigns – Campaigns that ‘drip’ relevant content to prospects over time, gradually educating and building trust for your company
- Mid-funnel – Medium Acceleration Lead Lifecycle Campaigns – Campaigns that ensure movement and interaction with prospects, even if they are not yet sales-ready
- End-of-funnel – High Acceleration Campaigns that try to accelerate prospects towards the sale by providing relevant ‘nudges’ based on specific lead characteristics or sales updates
- Lead Handoff Leads are pushed from marketing to sales
- Lead Recycling Leads are cycled back to the top of the funnel for further nurturing because the lead was not yet ready to buy after proposal.
Lead Nurturing Systems
- Nurturing involves maintaining a relationship with leads through regularly-scheduled, customized communications, such as “Drip Campaigns”.
- Lead nurturing is scheduled at regular intervals to deliver the benefits of a multi-touch campaign.
- With lead nurturing systems, subsequent action points in the campaign can be based on the precise activity of the lead.
- These campaigns guide prospects individually through the funnel according to their lead characteristics.
- Three key characteristics: Demographics, BANT (Budget, Authority, Need, Timing), Behavioural Indicators.
- Lead Characteristics are critical signifiers that determine the sales-readiness of a lead.
- Lead scoring ranks a lead’s level of interest and sales readiness according to a pre-determined scoring methodology.
- Marketing communications are customized to match the prospect’s lead characteristics and degree of “sales-readiness”.
- Every activity the prospect does is given a score.
- When the scores reach a pre-determined threshold, the lead is deemed sales-ready and transferred to the sales team.
Content Mapping with Buyer’s Persona
Content mapping for lead nurturing is the process of preparing and organizing your content so that it can be distributed to your prospects at the right time based on their needs and stages in the buying cycle. A content map based on buyer personae:
- Helps organize content that can address questions at various stages of the buying cycle.
- Creates a blueprint for content distribution through multiple channels.
- Serves as the primary content inventory for the purpose of reference and re-purposing.
* Adapted from “Lead Nurturing for the Complex Sale” by Brian J. Carroll
Courtesy: www.b2bento.com (Reproduced with permission)