I read, with great interest, Brian Carroll’s account of how most marketers still send off every single lead directly to sales, without nurturing those leads first and making sure they are sales-ready.
I was frankly surprised to see those statistics. It seems as if, doing marketing automation for as long as I have, I’ve started taking for granted the existence of lead nurturing programs and the fact (it IS a fact, ask any expert) that you cannot send leads to sales unless they are ready to buy.
As Brian says, sales simply do not have the time or the resources to do what should be our job as marketers – slowly, patiently readying leads for a sale, moving them along the pipeline from the very initial phase of first contact to the last phase where they have determined we are the right solution for them and are ready to buy from us.
Of course, the most compelling reason to employ lead nurturing programs is that when you’re too quick to hand off leads to sales, you are much more likely to end up losing them. Lead nurturing has a very real impact on the bottom line, and now that quality marketing automation systems offer a lead nurturing component, there truly are no more excuses.
A good marketing automation system makes it easier than ever before to grow your relationship with potential customers by automating the nurturing process to assure you maintain effective and timely contact with them based on who they are and their activity.
Most new prospects are not yet ready to talk with your sales team. To avoid losing them, well-timed and targeted communication is critical and helps you build a relationship and become part of the prospect’s decision-making process. Doing so manually across all your prospects is a daunting task, but this is where marketing automation makes your life easier by helping you track each prospect, where they are in the buying cycle and what might interest them, based on their activity.
You still need to create compelling content – the system won’t do that for you – but marketing automation is invaluable in helping you send that content to the right people, at the right time, without annoying them, and without losing them.
Generating sales-ready leads takes patience, persistence and precision, but is quite doable with marketing automation. Don’t send cold leads to sales! You will end up losing them. Nurture them first, and only when your lead scoring parameters indicate that they are ready to buy, send them off to sales.Google+
Tags: Lead Nurturing