We all know how challenging lead generation can be, as today’s buyers have an abundance of choices and possibilities. After you complete the first step and the top of your funnel is packed with qualified leads, or prospects who expressed interest in your product or service, it’s time to start nurturing them. Did you know that almost 80% of new leads never turn into paying customers (Source: MarketingSherpa)? That’s a lot of potential customers and a lot of money that companies leave on the table. Poor lead nurturing is one of the main culprits behind this statistic, and even relevant research studies prove this. Companies that nail their lead nurturing strategies generate 50% more sales at a 33% lower cost (Source: Forrester). This speaks volumes about the importance of lead nurturing, so let’s discuss some simple, and yet effective tactics to capitalize on lead nurturing.
Relevant and valuable content is essential for lead nurturing. Still, it’s not enough simply to write killer content because you need some fine tuning if you want it to reach the right audience. Namely, using targeted content for nurturing leads results in an increase of sales opportunities of more than 20% (Source: HubSpot). Easier said than done. 33% B2B marketers report that targeted delivery of content is their No. 1 lead nurturing challenge (Source: Forrester). The first step towards solving this problem is identifying your buyer personas and coming up with a collection of different content suitable for each one of them. It’s crucial to offer your buyer personas content that is tailored to fit their needs, interests, goals, and objectives. It should address their particular concerns and problems, and provide them with solutions. Understanding your buyer personas also means that you know what type of content they prefer, and you can repurpose your existing content and shape it into forms appealing to them. This means that you can transform your whitepapers into articles, or blog posts into videos. Finally, use a reliable marketing automation platform that will help you to identify, segment, and target your buyer personas and reach them.
34% of B2B organizations touch leads with lead nurturing content on a monthly basis, while 22% does the same on a weekly basis (Source: MarketingSherpa). According to some estimates, it takes about 10 interactions to get your prospect to engage in doing business with you. On the other hand, 49% of marketers incorporate less than 5 touches in their nurturing strategies (Source: 2015 Lead Nurturing Benchmark Study). Many companies rely only on occasional email follow-ups, but if you want to increase your conversion rates, you have to think about other mediums, and employ touches across various channels. Social media can do wonders for your conversion rates and help you effectively nurture your leads. One of its great perks is the possibility to interact with the members of your audience directly, in real time, and by means of one-to-one conversations. Social networks also provide you with the possibility to “listen” to your audience and feel their pulse, which can help you to target them more precisely. Finally, don’t underestimate the power of direct mail, as nurturing your leads requires a comprehensive approach. Timely and regular follow-ups, as well as valuable offers, are a must if you want to push your leads down the funnel.
Align Sales and Marketing
Sales and marketing have to join forces and share responsibilities when it comes to lead nurturing. A study showed that 89% of companies that implemented sales and marketing alignment reported an increase in the number of leads that turned into paying customers (Source: Sales Performance Optimization Study). The thing is that sales and marketing use different metrics, although they have the same goal – increasing revenue. 61% of B2B marketers send all leads directly to sales, but only 27% of those leads will be qualified (Source: MarketingSherpa). In other words, this results in wasting 60-70% of B2B content, and you get the picture how important it is to identify when the transition of leads between marketing and sales teams should occur. That’s why it’s recommended to establish shared goals, responsibilities, and expectations between these two departments in a formal sales and marketing service level agreement. Companies that implemented this agreement are 67% better at closing deals.
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