“Lead nurturing is a process, not an event.” That statement in a Marketing Experiments article caught my attention.

All too often, as marketers, we focus too much attention on the final conversion point in our customer’s decision process. The contact us or request a quote form submission is often held up as an example of how strong marketing campaigns are performing. The unfortunate result of this type of focus is that it’s not taking into account all of the micro-conversions that have to happen along the customer’s path to a decision to use or not to use your company.

Focusing too intently on the final conversion is much like our Romeo in the picture, it’s not going to end well.

Do you want more leads or more qualified leads?

Did you know that only 19% of buyers want to talk with a salesperson while they are in the awareness stage of their buying process? This is according to research done by Hubspot.

Your customers are controlling how they are going to do business with you, and you can’t rush them. But, you can nurture them. You can educate them about your company and why you’re different from your competitors. You can educate them about your products and why they’re different from your competitors. By taking this nurturing approach to selling, you’re building a business relationship with your future customers that will help you to be more responsive to their needs and as a result, you’ll be able to close sales with less effort.

Nurturing your leads will also increase the efficiency of your sales team. Think about how often your salespeople are chasing leads that aren’t “sales ready”. Here’s a typical scenario. Someone lands on your website and downloads a piece of gated content. It might be a case study, a white paper, or any other type of content that they have to fill out a form to get.

As soon as that person’s information hit’s your CRM your salesperson in on the phone or typing out an email to “schedule a time to talk”. The problem is that the customer isn’t ready to talk, yet. It’s too soon. So, not only did your salesperson waste their time running after a lead that’s not ready but they have, now, also left a negative brand impression with someone that was thinking about becoming one of your customers! In fact, according to Marketing Experiments, only 36% of companies nurture leads.64% send leads straight to the sales department!

Why you should think about nurturing your leads

  • 50% of leads may be qualified but they are not ready to make a buying decision. > Gleanster
  • Lead nurturing can result in a 50% increase in sales-ready leads. > Forrester Research
  • Nurtured leads experience a 23% shorter sales cycle. > Market2Lead
  • 79% of marketing leads never convert into sales, the common cause being lack of lead nurturing. > Marketing Sherpa
  • Lead nurturing emails get 4-10 times the response rate compared to standalone email blasts. > DemandGen Report

Is it just me or is sales getting more complicated?

No, it’s not you. Sales is getting way more complicated. The more the buyer’s process for purchasing changes, the more complicated the lives of both salespeople and marketers gets. Just think about the time, energy and systems that it will take to start tracking all of your leads, trying to determine when they want to talk with a salesperson, when they don’t, what information they need next, or what they’re really interested in. It’s overwhelming, to say the least.

Marketing Automation is the answer. Marketing automation will give you the ability to nurture your leads until they are ready to make the buying move, by giving them the most relevant information that they want and when they want it.

Marketing automation will give you the ability to nurture your leads until they are ready to make the buying move

Increased personalization is one of the most important features of using Marketing Automation For Lead Nurturing. Let’s say that someone lands on your website and downloads a case study about how your red widget product improved the life of one of your customers. You can have a workflow setup so that that person will receive an email about your red widgets a day or so after they’ve downloaded that case study. Highly relevant information for them to make a decision on.

Or, you could set up your Marketing Automation to alert a salesperson when someone revisits your website and looks at the same product or service more than once. The repetitive visits will demonstrate interest so your salespeople will know what to talk about when the time is right.

By re-evaluating your sales process and adding lead nurturing to your marketing process you’ll start to see increased conversions, happier marketing, and salespeople and improvement in the ROI for all of your marketing functions.