Nurturing Programs

Why set up for Nurture Programmed Relationship

Fewer than 25% of them meet the criteria for “sales ready” and fewer than 5% have an active opportunity. (Another 25% are either duplicates or should be disqualified.) The remaining 50% are not interested in or ready for a sales contact, yet the company attempts to contact each just to “see if they’re interested in talking”.

Finding out that most of what marketing calls “leads” are not really sales leads reinforces the sales team’s impression that marketing-generated prospects are not worth their time.

The 50% of qualified leads that are not sales ready get left in your database for the purpose of “lead nurturing”, which often means a semi-regular newsletter and “random acts of marketing” — not true lead nurturing.

As a result, your database becomes a place where leads “go to die” and most (or all) of them never make it back to sales. This critical marketing asset sits idle even as you spend new money to generate new contacts, perpetuating the inefficient process.

Using Lead Nurturing to Unlock the Marketing Database

True lead nurturing is the process of building relationships with qualified prospects regardless of their timing to buy. Unlike the popular perception, however, it is not a process but a conversation. Building relationships by definition cannot be mapped out in advance on a Visio diagram. Imagine going to a dinner party or on a date and having all your conversations mapped out before you even arrive! Instead, true lead nurturing means staying in touch while listening and reacting and adjusting appropriately. Only with this conversational view of lead nurturing will you reap the benefits.

Done well, lead nurturing can lead to much more efficient and effective demand generation. At Salesfit, when we nurture leads that are not immediately sales ready, they are three times more likely to become a sales lead in a given month than if they are not nurtured. Overall, that means we generate 50% more qualified sales leads each month at 33% lower cost per lead.

Some key tips to effective lead nurturing:

  • Make it valuable — to them, not just you. Each lead nurturing interaction needs to be relevant and useful to the recipient. If it is too promotional or not helpful, then severing the relationship is usually just a delete button or unsubscribe link away.

  • Make it bite-sized. The internet has changed how buyers make decisions, and it’s affected how they consume content. Rarely does a buyer have time to print out and read an entire whitepaper, watch a 60-minute webinar, or read more than a few bullet points on a website. Instead, today’s buyers have become accustomed to consuming bite-sized chunks of information in small free periods.

  • Match your content to buyer profiles. Prospects find content targeted to their situation much more valuable than generic content.

  • Match your content to buying stages. Different types of content will appeal to buyers in different stages of their buying cycle.

  • Get the timing right. It’ is always difficult to say exactly how often you should send nurturing contacts. My general advice is that more than once a week is too much and less than once a month is not enough, and the right answer for your approach is somewhere in between. One tactic we use is to let our prospects determine the pace themselves, choosing between one a month or bi monthly.

For more about these ideas plus an inside look at how Salesfit designed our own lead nurturing program, contact us.

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