The Executive’s Guide to Effective Lead Nurturing Programs
98% of marketing qualified leads never end up closed according to SiriusDecisions. 54% of all sales representatives will also not make quota. This is all despite the record high investments in sales and marketing automation tools like CRM Singapore software.
Using effective lead nurturing programs increases the effectiveness of sales. The top objective of today’s marketers is to increase their leads or contacts generated through inbound marketing, according to a report: State of Inbound 2015. The secondary objective is converting these leads into loyal paying customers. In the last 5 years, I have seen more and more marketers shift their focus into lead generation among the small and medium-market businesses. Back in 2013, I regularly engaged executives who had contacted me in order to discuss some sales problems in a move to educate them what the reasons for their problems in sales are. Nowadays that things have changed, I do much less teaching as more and more marketers pivoted the focus to generation and nurturing of leads.
While it’s a great idea to focus on lead generation, there is a significant difference between nurturing leads so that they are sales-qualified and predictably get turned into loyal, paying customers, and just generating leads and then driving them at the top of the sales funnel. By simply looking at the difference in search volume for the terms “lead nurturing” and “lead generation”, you will immediately know what I am referring to.
While we all agree that the generation of leads is very important, making more effort to generate a lot more leads without setting up an effective process for lead management is just simply stupid.
What is Lead Nurturing and Why is it crucial to the success of your marketing campaign?
Here are some exciting statistics:
- Effectively nurtured leads produce 20% more sales opportunities – DemandGen
- 50% more sales-ready leads are generated by effective lead nurturing and at a 33% lower cost –DemandGen
- 47% of larger purchases are made by nurtured leads than non-nurture leads- The Annuitas Group
- Customized emails drive 18x more income that generic broadcast emails – Juniper Research
- Lead nurturing content which is targeted to a specific niche is more valuable according to 82% of prospects – MarketingSherpa
Nurturing leads is a process of interacting with a specifically targeted segment by giving out information that is relevant at each of the stages in the sales funnel. This positions your business as the safest and best pick for your prospects so that they may accomplish their goals.
An effective process for lead nurturing drives your prospects you have created through your lead generation and marketing efforts through a sales process to the point where they will become paying customers. Sales and Marketing tactics are being used highly in lead nurturing in order to augment the velocity and predictability of income growth.
It should also be worth taking note that nurturing leads is more than just blasting emails or monthly newsletters. Lead nurturing is just more effective when following a clearly defined process.
Educate: From the start, a process for lead nurturing for teaching prospects and delivering your commercial teaching point-of-view.
Inform: Educate your prospective buyers on how to make more informed decisions and advance their initiatives.
Engage: By sharing content which is relevant, you gain the interest of your prospect and begin your correspondence
Convert: Be very clear about how your prospective buyers can engage with you and how to begin.
Types of Lead Nurturing
Nurturing lead is never a one-size-fits-all approach. There are a lot of types of programs for nurturing which is designed to fit the situations that your prospects are into and your goals. We have identified 3 different programs that work with a wide majority of instances.
- Programs for engagement keep your leads actively engaged with your company by giving out straight-forward, credible, and uncomplicated content that is highly relevant to your leads and retains their interest.
- Programs for education encourage your leads to acknowledge the benefits of using your services or products and to provide insights that are unique to how they can do their job more efficiently.
- Programs for active funnels are highly focused on the leads which have actively entered the buyer’s journey. These campaigns are where the rubber meets the road…where sales and marketing must work together in complete unison to take your efforts to the ultimate objective – a loyal paying customer.
Every one of these lead nurturing programs has different kinds of campaigns that should be implemented to meet the different goals you have.
How to Create Effective Campaigns
I’m going to share a step-by-step procedure that I use when I conceptualize programs for lead nurturing intended for my clients:
Define your buyer personas.
Having a deep understanding of your potential buyers you are trying to promote your products to give you a sales and marketing advantage. Creating all those buyer personas take a lot of time, however, once you complete making them, they leverage and focus your marketing efforts. You simply just can’t have nurturing programs that are consistently effective and which do not have personas that are well defined.
Your ability to collect relevant information from the people who visit your site and download your content has never been easier. By making use of progressive profiling, you are able to collect the correct information about the people you wish to sell to, and then focus your sales message to increase your lead conversion rates.
Create relevant content.
70% of companies produce more content than they had a year ago according to a recent study done by the Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs. It is not enough to just create content, the content you create should also be relevant. Now here are tips on how to make that happen:
- You must know your audience
- You must put yourself in the journey that you put your buyers through
- You must set a tone that’s casual and conversational
- You must keep it all simple
- You must highly personalize your content
Decide which lead nurturing programs are to be implemented.
As you decide, consider asking these questions.
- Which of the campaigns for lead nurturing will best fit the needs of your business?
- Do you have the appropriate people skills to implement the campaign effectively?
- What is required to ensure the success of the campaign?
- Do you have the systems appropriate to put in place in order to support the campaigns that are chosen?
Establish clear goals.
Right before you commence any campaigns for lead nurturing, you must have your goals clearly defined so that you would know what’s considered “success”. Not having any objectives that are clearly defined as what you are trying to achieve in your lead nurturing campaigns you will never know if you are successful or not. You can simply define your objectives as X% conversion rate, X% click-through-rate or X% open rate”. These are all up to you but you need to be already established.
Test, calibrate and adjust.
Don’t ever stop trying out new things and learning what works best for your buyers. Use all available opportunities for A/B testing. It could be in the form of landing pages or emails or anything else entirely. You will want to test items such as headlines, images, email subject lines, and positioning of opt-in forms. By doing so you can see what will it bring nearer to your established objectives.
Summarizing it all Together
Effective nurturing of leads has the potential to make a profound and lasting effect on the success of your business. The ability to create and then manage a program that’s successful requires people who are dedicated, a powerful and strategy, innovative technology and a good workflow which aligns actions from start to end.
While the work required is clearly significant, the benefit is truly worth it.