65% of the businesses say that generating traffic and leads is their biggest challenge. But 96% of the visitors who come to the website, are not ready to buy. And this is even more worrisome: 80% of the new leads never translate into sales. So, whats the solution? Well, I think its lead nurturing. Many businesses pour their heart and soul into generating leads, but it is astonishing to know that a lot of them still have not adopted lead nurturing practices in 2020. So, I decided to write the first blog series in my blog: what is lead nurturing. In the second part of this blog series, I will cover the benefits of lead nurturing. And in the concluding part of the 3 part blog series, I will cover the winning lead nurturing strategies.
Also, as a business leader, you need to understand that, you cannot drive conversion rate simply by focusing on lead generation. In addition to generating relevant leads, you need to focus on building and reinforcing relationships with the leads at the six important stages in the sales process or sales funnel – awareness, discovery, evaluation, intent, purchase, and loyalty.
What is Lead Nurturing
Lead nurturing refers to the process of building and sustaining relationships with the customers throughout the buying process by sending relevant content and personalized messages to the newly-generated leads. Your business can easily translate leads into sales by keeping in place an elaborate lead nurturing strategy.
According to the latest statistics posted on 99Firms.com:
- Companies good at lead nurturing generate 50% more sales-ready leads.
- Deals closing with nurtured leads receive a 47% higher order value.
In addition to boosting your lead generation efforts, lead nurturing will help you to increase conversion rate and order value consistently. You can easily nurture the existing and newly-generated leads using the right lead nurturing tool. The tool will automate and streamline lead nurturing campaigns by following a series of steps.
How Does Lead Nurturing Work?
Assign Scores to Every Lead
The lead scoring process starts with the segmentation or categorization of leads. You cannot deliver relevant and timely information to leads without understanding in which stage of sales funnel they are in. You can easily evaluate and categorize leads by assigning lead scores.
The tool will assign positive or negative scores to every lead based on important parameters like location, pages visited, content downloaded, frequency of visits, and willingness to receive email communication. You can add customized parameters to the list to assign accurate scores to each lead.
Identify the Sales-Ready Leads
The lead scoring mechanism will help you to identify the sales-ready leads and differentiate them from dormant leads. In addition to removing dormant leads from the database, you must focus on nurturing the sales-ready leads. You can easily nurture these most qualified leads by linking them with the right buyer persona. The buyer persona will help you to map and personalize the content to every lead.
Implement a Lead Nurturing Strategy
Your business can influence the buying decision of a lead by sending a variety of content – blog posts, whitepapers, case studies, podcasts, and webinars. The lead nurturing tools help you to deliver the content to every lead through multiple channels of communication. But you cannot convert a lead into a customer without sending the right information in the right way and at the right time.
You must implement a lead nurturing strategy that focuses on delivering the right content to a lead regularly. Instead of implementing a single strategy, you must run targeted lead nurturing strategies that are mapped to buyer personal based on important criteria like location, job function, industry, and buyer cycle.
Launch Lead Nurturing Campaigns
After gathering the information required to nurture the leads, you need to launch targeted lead nurturing campaigns. The lead nurturing tools enable you to automate the lead nurturing campaigns end-to-end. You can monitor the lead nurturing campaigns simply by generating reports based on real-time data.
But you cannot make the lead nurturing campaigns effective in driving sales conversion without focusing on a slew of important factors – diving the target audience into relevant segments, sending valuable and personalized content, automating lead nurturing email delivery, and closing the sales transaction.
Monitor and Fine-Tune Lead Nurturing Campaigns
In addition to launching targeted lead nurturing campaigns, you must monitor the performance of individual campaigns continuously. You can easily evaluate the performance of individual campaigns using email open rates and click through rates. However, you must use important parameters like the percentage of nurtured leads that place orders and the amount of time a lead requires for making the purchase decision.
The parameters will help you to evaluate the performance of a lead nurturing campaign and identify the troubled areas. After analyzing the campaign results, you must fine-tune the lead nurturing process by sending new types of content to the leads and switching to new communication channels. Hence, you must remember that lead nurturing, like lead generation, is an ongoing process.
Your business cannot drive sales conversions simply by adopting lead generation best practices. You must complement the lead generation strategy with a lead nurturing strategy to increase both the number and value of orders. It is always important to keep in place a solid lead nurturing strategy to convert newly-generated leads into sales-ready leads.