So, you’ve got leads. Your sales pipeline is bursting with qualified prospects who’ve been to your site, who’ve engaged with your content. They may have even provided you their contact information.
Yet most of them aren’t buying.
We all know how long the B2B sales cycle can be. According to Gleanster Research, on average, 25 percent of leads are qualified and ready to buy, and 50 percent of leads are qualified but not ready to buy. The remainder will never buy anything. And that’s being optimistic. Marketing Sherpa reports that 79 percent of all marketing leads never convert into sales!
So, what can you do?
You probably already know that Lead Nurturing is the answer. But knowing which tactics work best and how to get started isn’t always so simple.
Let’s dive right in – follow these 5 steps and you’ll become a B2B lead nurturing pro in no time.
- Understand your customer personas and trigger their problems. The first step is to identify your target audience. Then take a deeper look at the different types of problems (paint points) they need you to solve. As you build your lead nurturing strategy, it’s your job to know what these are, create triggers to get their attention and demonstrate how your product or service takes away the pain. Help buyers relate to your service or product while building trust and rapport.
- Create a buyer journey map. A buyer journey map tells the story of the prospects’ experience as they move through the sales funnel: from initial contact, through the process of engagement and into a long-term relationship. Use both analytical and anecdotal research to map out all the potential touchpoints a prospect may have during their decision-making process. Consider their needs, questions and feelings through their interaction with your organization.
- Offer regular, targeted content (but be patient!) Getting a prospect to buy isn’t going to happen overnight. In fact, flooding leads with irrelevant content marketing spam is a surefire way to lose their attention fast. Instead use targeted content and no-pressure communication that addresses their pain points, builds trust and nurtures them along their decision-making path. For example, get them to “say yes” to a helpful how-to guide, watch a video or engage with your blog post. You might need to do this several times before they’re ready to meet with a sales rep and ultimately purchase your product or service.
Effective lead nurturing means giving prospects things they want, being consistent and taking the time to ask and observe. Remember, customer buy what they want, when they want. You just need to make sure that when they’re ready, they choose YOUR product or service over a competitor’s.
- Think multichannel with multiple touches. According to the Online Marketing Institute, it can take 7 to 13+ touches to generate sales-ready, qualified leads. That’s about 10 touches on average! Help your prospects progress through the buyer’s journey with a mix of tactics and content, including email, direct mail, digital display and retargeting, social media, blog posts, whitepapers, and dynamic website content. And don’t forget direct sales outreach!
Need some ideas for building your own B2B lead nurturing touchpoint process? Contact us to request a free copy of our B2B Customer Acquisition Journey flowchart.
- Test, measure, revise and repeat. Leverage marketing automation to help you identify, segment and target your personas. Run tests to see what messaging or channels they respond to. Are they engaging with your latest blog post? Are they more likely to open emails when you offer a white paper or infographic? Remember, it’s all about building the relationship before asking for a commitment.
We recently helped a leading energy consulting firm establish the foundation for a multichannel B2B lead nurturing strategy. Take a closer look; then let’s talk about how we can help you boost engagement, close more leads and increase revenue.