Lead nurturing has become a hot topic among business-to-business (B2B) sales and marketing leaders in recent years. Not every prospect to whom you promote your company's product or service will buy it during the initial correspondence. By nurturing your sales leads, however, you can often re-enforce your value proposition while further exposing them to your brand.
Benefits of Lead Nurturing
So, how much of an impact does prospect nurturing really have on B2B sales? According to a report published by Marketing Donut, only 2% of prospects buy during the initial correspondence. That means an overwhelming majority – 98% – will not buy your product or service during the first correspondence. Nurturing allows sales reps to encourage these prospects to buy. It may not happen on the second correspondence or even the third, but embracing lead nurturing is guaranteed to boost your sales.
According to a separate report by Forrester Research, companies that successfully use lead nurturing generate approximately 50% more leads than – and at 33% lower costs – than their counterparts who do not use lead nurturing.
Segment Your Leads
If you plan on nurturing leads to generate more sales, you'll need to segment your list of leads first. This means going through all of your leads and grouping them based on various criteria (e.g. demographic, lead quality, source of acquisition, etc.). Once your segmented your leads, you can customize your marketing approach to achieve a stronger reaction.
Multiple Communication Channels
It's recommended that you use multiple channels to communicate with prospects and nurture them through the sales cycle. Just because you reaches a prospect via email doesn't necessarily mean that he or she can also be reached through email in the future. Use multiple channels of communication to increase your chances of successfully nurturing prospects into paying customers. This may include email, phone, fax and web chat.
Don't be Pushy
Of course, there's a fine line between nurturing leads and being overly pushy. If a prospect continues to decline your offer, accept the rejection and move on to the next prospect. Continuing to push your products or services will only hurt your efforts by creating disgruntled prospects. Some marketing experts recommend limiting your rejections to 5, meaning once a prospect has said no five times, you should skip him or her and move on to the next prospect.