May 9

How Lead Nurturing Improves Lead Generation ROI

Lead Nurturing


ImaginationtreeI 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. In a complex sale, my experience is, most of the selling actually happens when the sales person isn’t there.

Startling as it may seem, recent research (and even studies from ten years ago) shows that longer-term leads (future opportunities), often ignored by salespeople, represent almost 80% of potential sales. 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 (those that are “a fit” for your solution) regardless of their timing to buy. It’s not “following-up” every few months to find out if a prospect is “ready to buy yet?” Lead nurturing about building trusted relationships with the right people.

Continue Reading at the INSPIRE Blog (a new blog I’m contributing to monthly) presented by Netline.

On June 6th, I’m doing a webcast on a multimodal approach to lead nurturing as part of ON24’s Wednesday Webcast with Experts Series. I hope you can make it. Register here.

About the author 

Brian Carroll

Brian Carroll is the CEO and founder of markempa, helping companies to convert more customers with empathy-based marketing.

He is the author of the bestseller, Lead Generation for the Complex Sale and founded B2B Lead Roundtable LinkedIn Group with 20,301+ members.

  1. Thanks for asking. The Study was by Cahners Research Report 210.0

    Also, some other related data you may find interesting.

    A survey of approximately 800 senior marketing and C-level executives in the large technology and business services found they could increase their revenues by more than 20% through the adoption of improved prospect-harvesting practices. About 80% of leads are typically lost, ignored or discarded, compromising top-line revenue growth. – “Gauging the Cost of What’s Lost”: CMO Council Survey (November 2004)

    More than 70% (of leads) are never acted upon, because they do not reach the right person… at the right time” – Gartner: “Reengineering Lead Management” (October 3, 2002)

  2. Hi Brian, Do you remember what studies and research you found that those statistics from? I’m constantly telling people about this point of yours, and it would really help to be able to say “The XYZ institute says that… long-term leads…etc, etc.”

    I’ve seen it mentioned a couple other places, but no one ever says where they found the data.

    It’s such a strong point to support your system!

  3. the key is creating content that is important to the prospect regardless of your product. They need to develop a sense of report over time or trust that you are an expert in their industry and can answer their questions once they are ready to buy.

  4. Thanks for sharing your challenge. Many marketers are in the same boat. CEOs often fixate on what’s the best single tactic but there’s never one guaranteed way to get leads. The key is to not rely on one specific tactic but take a multimodal approach. See this link:

    Also, you should think about being muti-touch. One white paper won’t make you into a thought leader either. At InTouch, we work with our clients to reach out to their audiences with a meaningful and relevant piece of content at least once a month. Again we do it in a multimodal way.

    You really need to balance the direct mail program your doing (which may be appointment bribery) seek other ways you can reach out to your audience with relevant and consistent communication.

    I suggest that you think a publisher and anticipate the issues, needs and questions of your target audience. Then find, filter or create content that’s relevant to those points and related to your value proposition.

    For you as an inside sales person, this content can help you advance the lead when there isn’t an immediate need. Otherwise you’re stuck wondering, “What else can I talk to them about?” Phone calls such as, “I’m just calling to touch base” or emails that say, “I’m just checking in…” are like saying “Are you ready to buy yet?” and that won’t help your cause.

    Finally, watch the free webinar that’s referenced in the above post. Better yet, watch it with your CEO. I think it will help your cause.

  5. Hi Brian,

    I am in this exact dilemma right now. We are in the first phase of an elaborate direct mail campaign involving designed cardboard boxes, holding a key chain pointing to a customized URL. It has cost us 10K and we are a small business trying to get meetings with VP and C-Level. My CEO and President want meetings, results right away and have basically told me that we badger the prospect into either meeting with us or tell us to go away (which then we’ll never do business with them). I have proposed we try a second step where we publish a VALUABLE white paper about how we are the thought leader and where we see the market going. Of course we would ask for their information. I think this is the core difference between realizing immediate ROI and lead nurturing. So as an Inside Sales person do I beat down their door until they meet us? I just don’t see that being effective. But they are the boss….sigh.

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