In a perfect world, your sales team would close every lead with relative ease. Unfortunately, the real world isn’t perfect and most leads require a few follow ups with a bit of sales and marketing strategy to gain the buyers trust and finally close the deal. While those numbers may make you throw up your hands and rethink your entire lead strategy, a more simple solution might be gain a better understand of lead nurturing.
What is lead nurturing and why is it important?
Lead nurturing describes the process by which a salesperson can leverage a relationship with a potential customer in order to close a sale. Nurturing efforts usually come in the form of occasional emails reminding the potential client of the benefits your company has to offer, or may even include promotions or coupons. The goal of lead nurturing is to always stay in the front of the mind of potential clients so when they are ready to purchase, your company is the name they’ve come to know, love, and trust.
Many sales opportunities are lost or ignored because the client isn’t ready to commit to the deal during the initial meeting or phone call. But walking away from these leads could prove to be extremely costly. Good lead nurturing efforts tend to yield 50% more sales at 33% the cost!
So how do you do it?
Both marketers and sales people will agree that lead generation programs are only as effective as your follow up. In a 2010 study performed by Gleanster Research, between 30% and 50% of all prospective leads are not yet ready to buy and 79% of marketing leads never convert. This makes following up just as vital as having an effective lead generation planin place.
Just like in our day to day relationships, developing a relationship with a potential client requires you to find something you both have in common and can enjoy discussing. Since personally reaching out to each prospect individually may not be feasible, especially if you’re a small startup, content and email marketing are effective ways to interact with all of your potential clients at once.
According to the Direct Marketing Association, email marketing has a 4300% ROI, making it one of the best ways to nurture your leads. But simply sending sales email after sales email could make you come off more like spam and end the relationship before it gets its started.
With over 100 billion emails sent each day, you’ll need to make your emails stand out from the crowd, lest they end up in the junk folder. Your email marketing plan should always be relevant, strategic, and interesting. If you haven’t devoted time to developing an effective email marketing campaign, there’s no time like the present!
Devoting time to the content on your website will not only help with overall lead generation, but if done correctly can help set your brand ahead of your competitors by providing valuable information to current, potential, and future clients.
Adding a blog to your main website that provides relevant, helpful, and free advice keeps people returning to your site and getting to know more about your business. Blogging about topics on which you’re knowledgable helps develop trust and asserts you as a leader in your industry. Don’t forget, blogging is an excellent way to not only add value to your website, but also add call to actions encouraging potential clients to get in touch.
Good old fashioned phone call outreach
If you have the resources, once you’ve developed a pretty solid list of potential customers, sometimes following up by phone is a good way to remind those prospects you’re still here and ready to help them with their project. A recent study found that 52% of customers still prefer phone contact to anything else. Sometimes all it takes a simply followup call to see if that customer was still in need of your services to result in a new sale.
Discarding an opportunity rich lead just because the deal isn’t closed right away is potentially losing your business money from future business. Though lead nurturing is definitely more of an investment than you may be used to, the potential future business is worth a bit more effort.