The Prospect is Clearly Interested. Why do I Need to Nurture Them? Why not Send them Directly to Sales?
Because any company who still automatically sends all webinar registrations to sales for follow up calls is wasting precious time and resources.
Because those first inquiries are usually not yet ready for a call from your sales team. Instead, you should nurture them for as long as it takes for them to become sales-ready. Place them in your database, follow up with automated lead nurturing for a while, and when the prospect reaches a pre-determined score, only then you should send them to sales.
Think about lead nurturing as a relationship building process, where you leverage multiple vehicles (email, blogs, social media, webinars, and the old fashioned phone calls and direct mail) to engage your prospect and bring her from that initial inquiry to becoming sales-ready.
Your focus should be on personalization and on relevant content, so that you can build an ongoing dialog that positions your company as the best choice when a prospect finally becomes sales-ready. The idea is that you start with generic content, but go more personal as engagement levels rise, and tailor your content to the individual prospect as they (hopefully) become more and more engaged.
Got it. But why automate the lead nurturing process?
To make the process more manageable and more effective. You simply can’t engage with everyone manually, not on a personal level and with relevant content, especially in the B2B space, where 70% of leads take 12 months to become sales-ready. In addition, automation helps you with timing your messages. Up to 50% of sales go to the vendor that responds first. Early contact is extremely valuable, and automation makes sure it happens.
Automating the lead nurturing process also helps you to get to know each prospect better, because every action that prospect ever took, including browsing your site when she was still anonymous, is stored by the system. So with just a glance, you know exactly who she is, what she’s interested in, and where she is in the buying cycle.
Lastly, marketing automation enables you to continuously test different campaigns, measure their results, and adjust your marketing programs accordingly.
Next week we’ll look at the difference between a drip marketing campaign and a nurturing campaign, and discuss the importance of targeting your messages.Google+