Conventional wisdom should tell you that a shorter sales cycles means more sales. Regardless of what specifically you sell, you want to do it as quickly as possible. The longer it takes to convert a prospect into a paying customer, the more time and resources you'll have to exhaust -- and that means fewer sales in the long run. Thankfully, there are ways to shorten your sales cycle, beginning with automated lead nurturing.
Automated lead nurturing, as the name suggests, involves the use of software, apps and systems to automate the process of nurturing leads through the sales cycle. Not every prospect will immediately buy your product or service. On the contrary, most prospects take days if not weeks before they make a purchase. Lead nurturing involves helping and encouraging these prospects to make a purchase. And automated lead nurturing involves an automated, hands-off approach to this process.
Of course, there are several benefits associated with automated lead nurturing, beginning with efficiency. Normally, salespersons manually nurture leads through the sales cycle. Common tactics may include phone calls, face-to-face meetings and emails, all of which are effective at lead nurturing. Automated lead nurturing, however, simplifies the process, allowing salespersons to focus their time and resources elsewhere.
When used correctly, automated lead nurturing can yield a higher conversion rate than traditional manual lead nurturing. This is because automated lead nurturing uses data and insights to target the prospects at the right time.
Automated lead nurturing relies heavily on data. If you don't have data on your prospects, you won't be able to automate the lead nurturing process. So, collect as much information on your prospects as possible, including their names, company for whom they work, budget, new vs returning customer, etc. Using this information, you can automate many of the lead nurturing tasks.
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Another essential step in automating lead nurturing is to set up an email campaign. Using the proper customer relationship management (CRM) software, create an email campaign that automatically sends prospects messages -- and follows up with those prospects -- at various stages of the sales cycle.
Finally, use analytics software to track your automated lead nurturing process and optimize it accordingly. If a particular message is generating a high conversion rate, you should stick with that message while also split-testing it with other new ones. Using an automated and optimized lead nurturing process will prove invaluable in your sales operations.