Consider the following statistic: Up to 95% of qualified leads on your website are there to research – not to talk to a sales team member.
Welcome to the new world of B2B marketing, where B2B buying process has drastically changed. Prospects are going to websites, social media sites and search engines to carefully research and gather information. Thanks to this approach to buying, companies are meeting prospects earlier than ever before and still need to engage them.
What does this mean for sales professionals? In today’s independently researched, web-centric buying process, leads are reluctant to engage with sales until much later in the decision making process. This means marketers must keep these leads engaged and interested to prepare them for the hand off to sales. Lead nurturing builds relationships with prospects that are not yet sales ready.
During this process, the marketing and sales collaboration becomes a business imperative. Meaning, sales and marketing must share a common marketing revenue goal. As sales professionals, you must pay close attention to collaborate with marketing in these three areas:
- Definition of a sales-ready lead derived from co-defined lead scoring values
- Appropriation type of customer communication, associated cues and optimal timing
- Lead profile and history that is most interesting and valuable to sales, especially for recycled leads
One of the best places marketing can focus lead nurturing efforts is on your existing prospects. Nurturing these prospects leads to a huge ROI.
- Generate 50% more sales-ready leads at 33% lower cost per lead
- Reduce percent of marketing-generated leads that pass by sales
- Raise win rates on marketing-generated leads and reduce ‘no’ decisions
- More sales representatives make quota and a shorter ramp up time for new reps
Knowing which leads to nurture first begins when marketing and sales determine the profile of an ideal customer and a lead scoring methodology. This allows for leads to be categorized and bucketed as hot, cold or warm to help sales know which leads are ready and which are not.
With an effective marketing automation system, sales professionals can expect:
- Qualified leads from converted online traffic
- Instantly identified hot sales leads
- Personalized nurturing campaigns to convert sales-ready leads
- Ability for sales follow-up with transparent connections to CRM systems
- Closing the loops with marketing ROI analytics to see which campaigns were effective