Lead nurturing is an efficacious tool, which is not only limited to marketing and sales department, but coalesces the overall brand value.
So, what is Lead Nurturing?
Lead nurturing is a term which is used day-in and day-out in your sales and marketing domain. It is about building relationships with your prospects, even if they are not planning to buy your product/service. It is an instrumental practice intended to raise your company’s profile in the eyes of a potential client. This helps in a effective lead management. This practice can often guarantee returning customers, healthy lead closing and top-notch lead conversions.
In a typical marketing and sales setup, whenever a survey is conducted and your reps are questioned about lead nurturing practices, there is one myth which is always there – on papers, in their heads and poorly researched content available on internet.
‘The Myth: Lead nurturing is just a fancy word for email marketing.’
‘The Truth: To be very clear, it is not email marketing. Email marketing can be a part of one of the many campaigns you are running for lead scoring and generation.’
Today’s buyers will not turn into customers overnight. They need to have trust on your brand and company. This is where right lead nurturing practices becomes quintessential.
Lead nurturing is like getting ‘into a relationship’. Finding the right match, dating for a while, knowing them better, making a proposal and finally getting hitched! To get started, here are 5 must follow practices to hit the bull’s eye and get started.
1. Discover your Ideal Prospect
The first step any rep needs to take is to know his prospect. Just like you know you like tall, dark and handsome, along with your likes and dislikes, you need to have a thorough knowledge of ‘what and who you are looking for as a customer’. It is imperative to know your target audience. Having a clear picture of what your ideal prospect’s profile should be, will make it easier for marketing and sales to focus on certain locales and mediums. It is not necessary that what works for one company or a certain product will work for your product/service. Carefully hand-pick all the information you need to work out your ideal customer’s profile.
2. Plan your First Date
No one likes blind dates. Whether you are introduced by friends, the internet or your neighborhood matchmakers, it’s nerve-wrecking to meet absolute strangers. It is pretty much the same when it comes to marketing and knowing your prospects. Your first ‘date’ needs to be well-planned. Your first impression will speak the most about you. It is all about creating a good lasting impression. That way,even if prospects are not ready to buy your product/service, they will not flinch away from referring you to a friend or colleague. Don’t come across too strong, as this could put doubts in their minds. And don’t only talk about yourself. Use the first date as an opportunity to talk about your prospect’s wants and needs, as well as to share some relevant information about your company and product.
3. Take Charge
So, you have courted him for sometime now.Your prospect has shown some interest in you. Now, it’s your turn to take charge of things in your hand. However, you don’t want to ruin the first impression by calling too often or asking for too much commitment too soon. Instead, develop a lasting mutual relationship by sharing key details of your product and service, at the right time. In a B2B or B2C business setup, it is crucial for you to make offers at respectable intervals and determine your prospects inclination, at each level. A subtle yet commanding approach works the best while nurturing leads.
4. The Proposal
When working towards creating an ideal customer profile, sales and marketing needs to work hand-in-hand. This will take into account demographics, past preferences, associations and why is (s)he looking for a change. During this phase, you need to determine the activities that paves way for a sales-ready lead. For instance, if a prospect fits into your demographic target, clicked on one of your pay-per-click ads, and downloaded your ebook – you can consider him to be moderately qualified. Thereafter, if you send him an invitation for a webinar, or a free demo and he accepts it, it indicates that he is ready for a direct contact with your sales team. This whole process actually governs lead nurturing practices, which often organisations rush into.
5. The Perfect Timing
Every move you make – every email, message, invitation to attend a free webinar, etc. should be timed perfectly. You cannot push a potential buyer to become a loyal customer by continuously pestering them. Give them their fare share of time. Once you have made them your proposal, clearly stating your products’ USP, let them think about the pros and cons. Patience and the perfect timing are two ruling factors to be kept under check for best lead nurturing practices.
If you have more insights and tips for us and our readers on the given subject, please let us know in the comments section.