Sometimes in an attempt to vamp up lead nurturing efforts, misguided and well-meaning organizations simply start sending out more emails. When an email is misused in this manner, companies are really just training prospects to ignore or delete their messages.
If your organization lacks a well-defined process for nurturing early-stage leads and building relationships before the buying process, you are missing out on opportunities. True lead nurturing involves creating and maintaining a relevant and consistent dialog with viable potential customers – regardless of their timing to buy. Your content should help you become a resource to prospects.
A true lead nurturing program will always include:
- A relationship building mindset
- A multi-modal approach
- The human touch continues a relevant dialog and makes appropriate offers based on behavior and engagement.
Lead nurturing automation tools that will support, personalization, lower volume and ad hoc delivery while tracking all touch points such as phone, email, online efforts and personal contact.
The measurement of nurturing results such as:
- Depths of contacts in the sphere of influence
- Contacts that “opt-in” for nurturing
- Contacts that become “sales ready” leads
This can seem like a complicated ordeal. It’s easy to see why organizations get overwhelmed by the time and planning required for developing an effective program, so I’ve broken down the process into eight steps.
- Define the Ideal Customer Profile: Make sure you are nurturing relationships with the right people and organizations.
- Define the Universal Lead Definition: Higher standards on qualifying inquiries to actual leads positively impacts conversion with lead to pipeline and lead to sale.
- Lead qualification: Marketers have a tendency to require too much information from their inquiries at the first touch in an effort to qualify someone right away. The process can be broken down into steps that balance out the process.
- Understand and Capture Audience: You need to understand who’s involved in the buying process so you can build a database based on your prospect’s role. The goal isn’t to build the biggest database, but to build one that is going to be most relevant.
- Message Development: Message mapping is a great way for organizations to tie in what they are selling with what the buyer’s key issues are.
- Build Lead Nurturing Library: Gather content that you can use to set yourself and your company up as thought leaders.
- Develop Lead Nurturing Tracks: Map out tactics for sharing your content. Remember to start out slow and build your program slowly.
- Executing Multi-Modal Lead Nurturing: Track all touch points (email, web, phone, social media etc.)