January 4

Lead Generation Check list – Part 8: Lead nurturing for lead development

Lead Nurturing

3  comments

To help you start the New Year, I’d like to wrap up my Lead Generation Checklist Series with the secret to successful lead generation – and, for that matter, marketing in today’s B2B space: lead nurturing.

At its core, B2B lead generation is about building relationships. In today’s commoditized business climate, the one thing that sets apart companies with a complex sale is how well they build and nurture long-term leads.

Throughout this series, I’ve discussed many aspects of lead generation and emphasized how organizations can optimize the process.

I’ve talked about creating the right mindset, and how to repair the rift between sales and marketing; I’ve discussed how to create the ideal customer profile (and the un-ideal customer profile as well) and how a universal lead definition that fits your company’s goals and culture can help organizations zone in on their sweet spot as well as the importance of a well maintained database;

I’ve outlined a multi modal approach and emphasized its role in effective lead generation, as well as the aspects of an effective lead management process.

Today, I’d like to talk about the part of the process that fundamentally stops viable leads from leaking out of your marketing funnel. Lead nurturing: It’s the one thing that will make all your hard work come together – or the one thing that could make your whole process fall apart….

While lead generation initiates and perpetuates dialogue with the right people in the right companies in the quest for opportunities that are relatively imminent, lead nurturing keeps the conversation going over time, building solid relationships. It allows the creation of interest in products and services while bringing the leads to sales-ready states when the buying opportunity presents itself.

To ensure successful lead nurturing you must:

  • Have a lead development process in place to cultivate marketing leads into sales ready leads.
  • Employ methods to motivate sales people for consistent contact with prospects who may not yet be ready to buy.
  • Have a process for ensuring that your Sales team hands back inactive leads for further nurturing by marketing. That centralized database that I keep emphasizing will come in handy now. Sales can make notes as to why they are not going to use the leads and give feedback to Marketing at this point.
  • Capture future opportunities that are being currently missed and nurture them into viable sales. This is where Marketing can take many opportunities that are being ignored and keep them warm for Sales.
  • Leverage content to position sales people as trusted advisors. A carefully crafted lead nurturing program anticipates the prospect’s questions and responds with timely answers. This inspires awareness that you are creating value by providing useful information. Relevancy is the key.
  • Aid in positioning sales people as trusted advisors. By consistently offering relevant content in the context of lead nurturing, the potential customer’s inner dialogue should be: something like this: “You and I have been talking for quite a while, and I feel that you understand me, my company and my industry. You have given me useful and pertinent ideas on this issue, and you have helped me sell the idea to my colleagues and they understand and accept it. It’s a challenging project, but I think you can do it. Let’s get going.”

The true value of lead nurturing comes from the disciplined technique of staying in touch while providing the “right information throughout the evaluation and buying processes. The result is optimized mind share, efficient budget spending, profitable relationships and increased business.

Don’t let all your hard work go to waste. Keep your prospects interested, informed and feeling good about you. If you haven’t already, I encourage you to read each checklist in my series.

I would love to read what you have to say. Feel free to make comments or ask questions.

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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 a lot for a bunch of good tips. I look forward to reading more on the topic in the future. Keep up the good work! This blog is going to be great resource. Love reading it

  2. There is nothing worse than spending all the time, effort and money associated with gathering leads, to then just neglect what you already have by not following up. For that kind of stupid inaction on your behalf there is just no excuse, and it must surely rank as one of the greatest wastes ever.

    Just don’t do it. Treat each lead like gold, ansd be sure to nurture and pursue them until you’re sure all possible value has been eliminated from them.

    Regards

    Lizzie

  3. I agree about the need for a process and implementation of methodologies to reach the goals established. Also, I think it’s important not to hurry up the process as prospects would need to evaluate their existing setup before they would decide on to which vendor to work with. Being too pushy might only turn your quality leadsinto cold ones. So be careful when generating leads and be sure to nurture them, listen and engage and not just push your services. People appreciate those who are genuinely interested in them than those who simply promote.

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