By Lisa Cramer, President, LeadLife Solutions
I speak at a number of events, on webinars and in one on one discussions with prospects. One of the latest events I spoke at was uncharacteristically full of sales execs versus marketing executives. We mostly speak to rooms full of marketers anxious to learn about marketing automation and how to apply it to their businesses. However, in more and more events we see sales and marketing executives working on the lead management process together. So after surveying the room, I anticipated a lackluster response to my topic about lead nurturing and its effect on revenue. I was dead wrong.
The audience couldn’t have been more interactive, copiously taking notes and making sure they understood exactly what I was saying. Essentially this focus seemed to be about these sales executives starting to understand why the dynamic in their world of selling has changed. They all were struggling with it but having a difficult time understanding what was happening. The reality is the buyer has the leverage, and as a matter of fact, doesn’t even have a conversation with the vendor/supplier until they’ve proceeded through 60% of their buying process (Corporate Executive Board). To a lot of these sales guys that was shocking, staggering and scary. So the question in the room then became what can sales do to get in front of people?
We then proceeded to discuss lead nurturing and how it doesn’t distract from sales, but actually aids it. It’s important to note that many sales people have done their own “lead nurturing” for years so I needed to help them understand what we are describing, and how that actually should work in an organization. When we discuss lead nurturing, we are talking about touching the prospect with relevant content based on who they are, what they’ve showed interest in and where they are in the buying process. And we need to be able to do this all without them speaking to us (because as referenced above, they won’t).
Marketing automation tools provide the ability to track an individual’s digital behavior to put together a “story” of what they are interested in, where they are in the buy cycle (based on what they download or engage with or not) and who they are (fields on forms they fill in). With this information now, we are able to “trigger” relevant content to these people in a timely manner. In this way, lead nurturing provides value to the prospect while keeping the company’s brand top of mind, without scaring them away. It also eliminates the need for sales people trying to get someone on the phone who will not talk to them. Marketing needs to deliver “sales ready” leads: prospects that have shown some level of buying interest (these rules are different for each company). With marketing automation and lead nurturing, the sales person receives data regarding what a prospect has shown interest in which provides for a warmer call.
The numbers are compelling. If you don’t have a lead nurturing strategy in place, you need one. It’s not just for marketing departments. Companies that start a lead management and nurturing strategy increase sales opportunities by 20% (Demand Gen Report). LeadLife has had clients who’ve increased revenue by 150%, increased qualified sales opportunities by as much as 78% and increased first call contact success rate by 85%. Good nurturing translates to shorter sales cycles and higher value deals. That’s why sales people love it.
To learn more, register today for our upcoming live webinar: The 3 Ways Lead Nurturing Generates Demand (And Why Sales Loves It), Wed., February 20, 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm ET, featuring sales enablement guru and author Michael Nick of ROI4Sales.
If you miss the webinar, go to our webinar archive for the recording.