Lead nurturing is the process of cultivating leads that aren’t yet ready to buy. Lead nurturing is at the core of any good sales-based business. Without it, a vast majority of qualified leads would simply forget the company ever called and move on. Just because a qualified lead is not yet ready to buy, does not mean they will never be ready to buy. However, unless you have a consistent nurturing process the sale may be lost. There are several things sales teams do, and don’t do, that can easily alienate a qualified lead. This leads to loss of revenue for the company. If you are looking for ways to improve lead nurturing across the company follow these do’s and do not’s.
Do: Test, Track and Re-evaluate
Lead nurturing can be tricky, specifically because different markets segments will respond differently to lead nurturing tactics. To account for these differences it is important to employ a testing approach. Test out different approaches, and monitor the outcomes. Ensure that you have collected enough data so that your result is statistically significant and you can depend on it when you roll it out. It is perfectly normal to expect different segments to respond to completely different strategies, so focus on finding the most effective tactic for each segment rather than throwing a single approach at all of them.
Do: Keep CRM System Updated
Your CRM system is one of the key components to successful lead nurturing, however, more companies fail miserably to leverage the full potential of customer feedback. Many times, sales representatives fall short on documentation. They will call a lead, but fail to update the CRM. The next day another rep will call the same lead. This can lead to over-contact, which can turn the lead off. Ensure your team is keeping the CRM system updated regularly. It is, after all, the central nervous system of your lead and customer relationship management.
Do: Develop Lead Criteria and Stick with It
Developing a specific lead criterion can ensure that lead nurturing is taking place optimally. Often times, sales and marketing departments are at odds with each other. They might also blame each other for providing unqualified leads, or not following up on qualified leads (depending on who you are speaking to). By creating a lead scoring, you can make it much easier for the two teams to work together, creating a much more efficient and lucrative process.
Don’t: Inundate Your Leads
Lead nurturing should be gentle. When sales or marketing departments pounce on potential leads, it will scare them off. When your team over-works a qualified lead, the lead can quickly become annoyed, or feel as if they are being pressured. This tactic does not work. Define a contact plan and ensure you’re your team follow it to deliver a consistent experience of value. Define the frequency of contact, the number of days apart they should occur and the content for all messages, emails and call scripts.
Don’t: Leave an Ambiguous Message
Ambiguous messages never work. When executives get phone messages they want to know who is calling and a quick understanding of what the potential value is for considering a call or meeting. Carefully craft each message for your sales team and ensure that the contact plan is executed. Follow-up each message with an email to reinforce the value and to offer an opportunity to view further information on your website. Try to create an online engagement that is attractive to the lead and that will uncover key insights for future value alignment. Any message that lacks this structure is likely going to fail.