In a complex sale, my experience is, most of the selling actually happens when the sales person isn’t there. I know there’s a lot of emphasis on lead generation (that’s a good thing) but, getting a ton of leads doesn’t guarantee that increased sales will follow. You can increase your odds success by adding a lead nurturing program.
What’s lead nurturing?
Lead nurturing is all about having consistent and meaningful communication with viable prospects regardless of their timing to buy. It’s not calling up every few months to find out if a prospect is “ready to buy yet?” Lead nurturing about building solid relationships with the right people.
Walking in their shoes
Consider the concerns that are going through a potential customers mind before they make a buying decision.
Lead nurturing helps people find the answers to these questions and reminds them of the benefits of working with you. You’re creating value by giving them useful information in bite sized chunks.
How to start lead nurturing – for marketers
A typical lead nurturing program includes: a series of letters, emails, voicemails, case studies, success stories, articles, events, white papers, and web casts that are meaningful to your potental customers.
The interval will depend on the type of solution that you’re selling and the buying cycle. If there’s a long lead-time, you’ll space out your campaign longer, but will usually want your sales people involved at about six months before a potential purchase
Lead Nurturing Plan
Below is a sample schedule of a lead nurturing program
Day 1: Phone call "nice to meet you" and send email
Day 28: Send e-newsletter and leave voicemail to announce
Day 42: Email recent customer success story (related company)
Day 60: Call from sales person personally invites to seminar
Day 80: Mail case study and personalized letter
Day 100: Email a recent article of interest link
Day 120: Email "touching base" note
Day 140: Mail follow-up letter with free report
Day 160: Prospect calls you – Qualified lead
As a result of lead nurturing, InTouch clients have seen more sales-ready leads, higher close ratios, a stronger sales pipeline and now my average sales cycles is getting shorter too.