SalesTech Star Primer: What is Lead Nurturing?

What Does Lead Nurturing Mean?

A report by Marketo revealed that around half of the leads interested in buying do not commit immediately. In order to convert them into buying customers, you need to listen to them, understand their exact needs and behavior, and provide them with tailored experiences to streamline their needs.

Growing relationships with your potential customers in order to make purchase is called Lead Nurturing.

Lead Nurturing is the process of developing relationships with buyers at every stage of the Sales funnel and through every step of the buyer’s journey. It focuses on Marketing and Communication efforts on listening to the needs of prospects and providing the information and answers they need – Marketo.

Marketo also found out that companies that invested well in Lead Nurturing generated 50% more Sales-ready leads at a 33% lower cost.

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Unbounce considers Lead Nurturing as the act of educating a lead and moving them through the stages of your company’s customer lifecycle, improving the quality of that lead over time. Lead Nurturing is about building trust and reciprocal relationships with your prospects.

As per DemandGen, Lead Nurturing is “The process of engaging prospects by providing the information and dialogue they need at each stage of their buying process to position your company as the best choice to help them achieve their objectives.” Some of the tactics to nurture leads are through targeted content, multi-channel nurturing, multiple touches, timely follow-ups, and personalization, as per HubSpot.

SalesForce defines Lead Nurturing as “The process of developing and maintaining relationships with customers at every stage of their journey, usually through Marketing and Communications messaging.” SalesForce offers easy-to-use, powerful tools for lead nurturing that includes its Marketing Automation solution, Pardot.

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Why is Lead Nurturing Crucial?

As per MarketingSherpa, about 79% of the Marketing-qualified leads do not convert to Sales. This failure can be attributed to the lack of Lead Nurturing efforts.

The B2B buying cycle is a complex and time-consuming process. It can last several months sometimes. B2B buyers are more concerned when it comes to making buying decisions. There is no scope for impulsive decisions as is the case with B2C buying. They tend to do more in-depth research and follow companies, products, or their services closely before coming to conclusions. The process of Lead Nurturing provides effective ways to communicate with these prospective customers and help them arrive at a decision.

Also known as Drip Marketing, Lead Nurturing is a series of processes used to build effective relationships with leads before converting them into paying customers, and then into repeat customers. The aim is to keep the prospects happy and engaged so that they eventually convert into customers. It helps educate the prospective customers much earlier in the Sales cycle so that when the leads reach the Sales team, there is very little to explain and Sales happen faster. The Annuitas Group revealed that nurtured leads make 47% larger purchases than non-nurtured leads.

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The Process of Lead Nurturing

Lead Nurturing is all about providing customized responses and communicating differently with different leads as per their requirements and behavior. A prospect that visited four pages on your website should receive a different message than a prospect who visited just one or two pages. If someone downloaded an e-book, s/he may actually be more interested than those who just browsed the pages.

Not necessarily all of those are looking to make a purchase instantly. But gauging them by their behavior, it can be determined if they would be at all willing to make a purchase later in the future so that apt messaging can be directed towards them.

Automation plays a crucial role in the process. Automated email campaigns are used to communicate with the website visitors or the list of leads. It further requires shooting automated emails to prospects that do not respond within a stipulated period. Campaigns can be then remodeled based on the visitors’ and customers’ activities. AWeber, leadSquared, HubSpot, Marketo are just a few of the top players helping companies nurture leads better. In addition to e-mails, voice broadcasts, phone surveys, video messages, and SMS texts also offer great methods to nurture leads.

This should also be considered that mass e-mails do no good to a Lead Nurturing campaign. They send out the same messages and mass-offers to a wide range of customers/prospects. This is not a recommended practice. Automated e-mails segmented by leads’ behavior, demographics, buyer personas, etc., on the other hand, are much more effective.

Targeted e-mail campaigns do wonders in enhancing the buyer journey and customer experience. A DemandGen report stated that Lead nurturing emails get 4-10x the response rate compared to standalone email blasts.

Marketing Automation has helped optimize the Lead Nurturing process to a large extent, supporting the Marketing and Sales teams to achieve their targets better. Running campaigns and tracking success becomes an easy task with various Lead Nurturing platforms available nowadays. 

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