The Importance of Lead Nurturing in B2B Marketing

So much of marketing education focuses on generating new leads, chasing down new prospects and closing the sale. But very few of your customers will buy the first time they meet your company. In fact, a Marketing Donut article says that only 2% of customers buy at the initial meeting.

The other 98% of your prospects need some guidance through the sales funnel before doing business with you. This is called “lead nurturing.” It can help you convert more leads into sales and increase the size of those sales. Following a few lead nurturing best practices should increase your sales.

Get a System

You’ll need a schedule for timing your follow-up contacts with customers. You’ll need to segment your leads (as in, ready to buy, not ready to buy, not likely to buy, etc.). And you’ll also need to score or rate each lead based on how close to a purchase it is. Salesgenie offers scheduling for timing, tagging to help segment and organize leads and ratings to score so you can easily track the best available data on your customers. Finally, you need a workflow to tie it all together. Salesgenie Team helps you manage your organization. Proper management of each lead throughout the purchase journey is the foundation of lead nurturing.

Multiple Touches, Multiple Channels

Each lead will likely require more than one contact to close the sale. As the saying goes “think outside the inbox.” Email isn’t the only way to reach people. If you’re uncomfortable calling for a third time, send a postcard. Make sure you addresses to the exact contact at the business you’re targeting so that it actually gets delivered to his or her hands. Also, don’t forget digital advertising, from search engine marketing and programmatic display to social media. Google AdWords and advertising on other searches is a very effective way to target different parts of the customer journey when they’re online researching their purchasing decision.

Personal, Targeted, Timely

Personalization goes beyond using a prospect’s name, so you want the ability to take notes on each opportunity, which is another helpful Salesgenie feature. If you know a prospect has standing meetings on Tuesdays, for example, don’t call or email on a Tuesday. Tailor your approach to what you know (or have reason to believe) is what your prospect prefers. Then make sure you’re delivering the content your prospect wants. You’ll need to spend some time thinking about how the prospect business aligns with your product or service, then create offers that fit. Finally, only reach out when appropriate. While you don’t want to overwhelm your prospect with calls and emails, you don’t want to be forgotten, either. You also need to make contact at the right time. If you sent a brochure via regular mail 10 business days ago, it might be time to follow up with a phone call.

Five ‘Nos’ Means ‘No’

You can set whatever rule you want, but after a certain number of “no,” “not now” or “not yet” answers, it might be time to move that lead out of your database, or at least down the priority list of your targets. Five is a fairly common threshold. Set the bar too low and you might miss out. Set it too high and you might develop a bad reputation.

By following these steps, you can nurture a lead through the purchase funnel to maximize your sales success. The idea is to turn a “not now” into a purchase, and therefore increase the number and size of your sales. And, if you need new leads, Salesgenie offers U.S. Businesses and U.S. New Businesses lists that you can customize based on your needs.