Lead Nurturing and Internal Marketing
If your lead nurturing isn’t up to speed, you can bet you’re leaving business on the table.
What is it?
Lead nurturing is the process of ushering a lead through the sales funnel to the point of purchase and beyond. It should be viewed as an ongoing cycle – one that does not end with purchase – but a relationship that continues as long as there is an association between a lead/customer and your business. It is a KEY component of any successful inbound marketing effort, and its success is largely determined by the quality, relevancy, and timing of content delivered to a lead.
Practically speaking, lead nurturing is relationship building. It’s a golden opportunity to connect with leads, understand their wants, needs and pain points, and provide them with the information and assistance they need to become customers and ultimately, advocates of your brand.
Why is it important?
There is an abundance of data-driven proof supporting the efficacy of lead nurturing.
According to Gleanster Research, 50% of leads are qualified but not yet ready to buy.
Even in cases where customers are ready to buy, lead nurturing is valuable: nurtured leads make 47% larger purchases than non-nurtured leads, according to The Annuitas Group.
Such stats reflect why successful lead nurturing is so vital.
When moving a lead through the sales funnel toward becoming a customer, there are a number of common snags that, if not avoided, can lead to the loss of a lead. It could be that your sales team is contacting leads at inappropriate times. Or that leads are being prompted with lackluster or insufficient content that causes them to look elsewhere for what they need. The more accurate, and appropriate, your lead nurturing, the higher your conversion rate will be. Many of the pitfalls can be avoided and process improved, through marketing automation.
Automation: saving time, increasing sales
We know lead nurturing is important, but why automation? Briefly, precision and efficiency. Leads require different content and attention depending on where they are in the sales cycle. Automation allows you to track lead engagement with your site and content, and to employ a wealth of data gathered through that engagement to learn more about your leads, pinpointing where they are in the sales cycle, and determining what content (and how it’s delivered!) is needed to help move them along. Two key facets of the nurturing process – segmentation and scoring – are greatly improved by automation.
- Not a new idea, but one made much more effective by automation and machine learning. To effectively nurture a lead, you need information about that lead, and the more specifically you can address their queries, the more likely you are to turn them into a customer. By tracking how your leads interact with your content, you can segment them by any number of filters like age, location, profession, browsing behavior, pain point, etc.
- Marketing automation software and machine learning eliminate the need for manual entry of customer info and allow for more accurate and dynamic lead profiles.
- Marketing automation allows you to sort leads more specifically and deliver more personalized messaging. The more directly you can speak to a lead’s needs and pain points, the more trust they will put in you as an authoritative source.
- By providing scores for your leads based on their interactions with your website, content, emails, app and more, you can keep track of a lead’s progress through the sales funnel in real-time and pass along to sales confident a lead is sales-ready.
The better you know and understand your leads, the more effective your nurturing will be! Automation bridges that information gap.
How This Affects Your Sales Cycle
Automated Lead Nurturing is similar to a successful SEO strategy in that it takes a little time to get the components set up and rolling, but once you do, the payoff increases over time as the cost and time spent generating and nurturing each lead decreases dramatically.
- Gartner Research shows that companies that automate lead management see a 10% or greater increase in revenue in 6-9 months. As you fine-tune your content and delivery, you can expect this percentage will rise.
- By tracking where a lead is in the sales cycle, and correctly identifying when they are ready to buy, you prevent your sales team from wasting time on a lead who’s not ready, time that could be spent with a lead who is.
- Automation also makes it easy to identify problem areas and bottlenecks in the sales funnel and provide the information needed to quickly adjust content and delivery as needed.
Automated Nurturing deftly guides a lead through the sales funnel and provides the tools to adjust course for any bumps in the road. With an automated approach, you can build a highly-organized system that tracks and filters every lead and never misses an opportunity.
Categorised in: The Shoreline Blog
This post was written by Shoreline Content Team