Not every business-to-business (B2B) lead will convert into a customer. According to Marketing Sharpa, you're luck if you get only 1 in 5 of your sales leads convert. So, why aren't B2B leads converting and how can you solve this problem?
The reason why so many B2B leads fail to convert is because sales and marketing teams aren't nurturing them. B2B sales people must “warm” their leads to increase the chances of a successful conversion, which is where lead nurturing comes into play.
Lead Nurturing Defined
Lead nurturing can best be described as the long-term process or processes for strengthening relationships with prospects with the end goal of converting the prospect into a paying customer. You nurture the prospect/lead through the sales cycle, passively encouraging him or her to buy your product or service.
This doesn't necessarily mean that you have to directly promote your product or service when nurturing your sales leads. Instead, consider strengthening your relationship with the prospect by building trust and presenting your company as a leading authoritative figure.
A study conducted by Market2Lead found that nurtured leads have an average 23% shorter sales cycle than non-nurtured leads. Other studies have shown that lead nurturing helps 9% more sales persons make their quota, while also shortening ramp up time of new quotas by 10%.
How to Nurture Industrial Leads
As previously mentioned, lead nurturing doesn't involve direct promotion. Rather, it involves building a stronger relationship with prospects, typically through multiple channels.
Publish high-quality content that's relevant to your prospects' interests is one way to nurture them through the sales cycle. If you publish high-quality content that prospects want to read, they'll continue checking back with your website or blog, which can further help to strengthen your relationship with them. And as the prospect begins to trust your company, he or she may feel inclined to buy your product or service.
Regular follow-up correspondences is also essential in nurturing industrial leads. Whether it's email, phone or face-to-face, you should follow up with prospects. This gives you the opportunity to present new products or services, discuss challenges facing the prospect and his or her company, and build a more solid relationship.
To recap, lead nurturing is an important part of the industrial sales process. By nurturing leads, sales persons can increase conversions while also creating more satisfied customers. It's a simple yet highly effective way to boost industrial sales, all while exerting minimal time and resources. So if you aren't doing so already, make lead nurturing a regular part of your sales process.