Lead nurturing is the process, the system, the technology, and the strategy for taking raw leads and warming them up to be ready for a more productive sales conversation.
Your lead nurturing strategy is going to vary -- it needs to be customized depending on your company's business model, target markets, primary and secondary buyer personas, average client lifetime value, and average sales cycle length. All of these will factor into how in-depth you go with your lead nurturing program.
Before the Modern Buyer’s Journey
Before we were in a digital-first world, going back ten years or so, lead nurturing was accomplished using manual intervention. Your sales reps could make phone calls, send one-off emails, and could even visit potential leads in person.
While some of that is still an effective way to nurture leads, in a digital-first world, in the modern buyer’s journey, people are judging your company against all the other companies that they do business with, from Netflix, SiriusXM, Amazon, iTunes, Uber, and Lyft. They’re not expecting your company to be all the way up there, but that is the context in which they’re looking at your website and looking at your social media.
For example, if someone converts to a lead on your website by downloading an ebook, and it’s 2 pm on a Saturday afternoon over a 4-day holiday weekend, with manual nurturing, no one from your sales team will reach out to them until Wednesday.
Nurture, Educate, and Build Trust
An effective lead nurturing program where you know who that person is, you know their buyer persona, and where they are on the buyer’s journey can automatically begin to start nurturing, educating, and building trust with that person and helping to accelerate the sales cycle.
When you understand the buyer’s journey of each of your most important buyer personas, and you know the steps that somebody goes through in between becoming a stranger to a visitor to a lead to a marketing qualified lead (MQL) to a sales qualified lead (SQL) to a client, it’s a lot easier for you to put the right asset proactively, put the right information in front of them. And that’s where lead nurturing really shines.
The Bottom Line
Lead nurturing allows you to provide a much better experience to your prospects with a much more rapid response time.
It can make an enormous difference to be able to accelerate your sales cycle and close sales faster in the right context.
In addition, those leads are coming to you educated, knowing most of the right questions to ask so that you can have a much more productive conversation.
Lead nurturing done right can have a transformative effect on your business's growth trajectory.
What does your company do to nurture leads? Share your thoughts in the section for comments below.
To learn more about lead nurturing, enroll now in our free 7-day eCourse: Go-to-Market Strategy 101 for B2B SaaS Startups and Scaleups.