In order to develop better revenues, it is necessary to develop better relationships. Lead nurturing is the process of developing that relationship so that those who aren’t yet sales-ready can still stay in contact with your organization. When the time is right, these leads that have been nurtured can be handed over to the sales process.
For lead nurturing to work effectively, your brand needs to be known. This means brand building must become part of the introduction process if more leads are going to be nurtured. Your message is diluted in today’s marketplace because leads are bombarded with messages and offers every day. The only thing that can help a message stand out is a clear brand and a clear desire to build a relationship through that brand.
1. Your First Impression Matters More Than You Think
First impressions in the lead nurturing process are actually the second, third, or even fourth encounters that a B2B lead has with your organization. The introduction process is more about establishing the validity of your brand. Your first impressions come after this validation and are the first steps toward establishing the actual value of what is being offered.
There are a number of ways that these 1st-4th impressions can leave a positive outlook.
- Through the use of short videos and demonstrations that show proof of concept.
- By providing whitepapers and other downloads that allow research to happen on the lead’s time.
- In case studies that give an evangelistic outlook for the lead’s success while challenging them to proceed further within the sales funnel.
Premium content is necessary to keep facilitating positive impressions. Most leads aren’t going to read entire case studies or whitepapers in one sitting. They’ve got a job to do too! They will take their time and come back to it when they have some time. That’s why all subsequent impressions must be as positive as the first impression.
2. The Best Nurturing Comes Through Personal Contact
One of the most common mistakes that happens during the lead nurturing process is that instead of developing relationships, businesses look to build experts. Many see the lead nurturing best practices continuing the conversation that develops from the premium content so that niche expertise can be further developed. They don’t try to make it personal.
Lead nurturing doesn’t happen unless the relationship takes on a personalized role.
Appearing to be cold and indifferent can stop sales funnel progression immediately. Giving a lead too much niche expertise might cause them to abandon the process altogether because they see better value in a competitor’s product. Webinars and other training components from the premium content can expand a knowledge base, but give this process the human touch. Personalize emails. Make phone calls to talk about things other than business sometimes. Meet for a casual lunch.
The goal is to make the lead feel like your #1 priority.
Having a scoring in system in place here will help a lot. By assigning certain values to certain lead actions, you’ll be able to better determine where someone happens to be in your sales funnel. This will help to better dictate your interactions with each lead.
3. Don’t Rush the Close
B2B leads are going to be ready when their business is ready. You might have the person on the hook and ready to engage, but their business just isn’t in a place to do so yet. Don’t rush the process. Keep nurturing the lead so that when the business is ready, they’ll be ready.
Yet even the most hyped goods and services can be abandoned in an instant if the final part of the sales process is incomplete. Landing pages must be optimized and provide a good user experience. The quality of your data must be equal to the quality of the nurturing that has been provided to the lead. From start to finish, the process must be consistent. The instant there is inconsistency, even the strongest lead might decide to abandon ship.
As with any relationship, leads must continue to be nurtured after the close as well. A marriage fails if the couple doesn’t work on it and the same is true with the B2B relationship. Don’t abandon your leads after a sale. Stay in contact. Ask about their kids, their interests, and use this as a chance to follow-up on the value they are seeing with your goods or services.
Lead nurturing takes time and effort, but so does any surviving relationship. Use these best practices to build foundations for your B2B leads today and your revenues may just see a spike in the coming days.