You may or may not have a marketing automation tool, but likely you do have a number of leads that are falling out of the sales and marketing funnel because of a lack of quality interaction. Scenario: a prospect shows interests, marketing passes them to sales, sales reaches out and sets up a free trial. Free trial eventually ends. What happens if the prospect decides not to purchase? Maybe they weren’t sure about price or maybe they just need more time?
In our webinar this Thursday at 2:00ET, we’ll speak to the above questions and then some. I sat down w/ our speaker, Kelly Hall, Business Impact Director at 90Octane, and asked her to give us a sneak peek into what she’ll be presenting. Ultimately – when it comes to lead nurturing, where do we start, what are the best channels to use, and why does it even matter in the first place?
Nurturing = Prospect and Customer Relationship Management
What does it really mean to “nurture” a lead, and where does it fit in your marketing mix? The term “lead nurturing” has been front and center in the marketing world for some time now, but there are varying definitions as to what it means, when it makes sense to undertake and what, exactly, you need to create a successful lead nurturing program.
What is lead nurturing?
The easiest way to conceptualize lead nurturing is to think of personal relationships. We don’t leap immediately from dating to marriage, but rather through developing and nurturing the lifecycle of the relationship. Your personal and business relationships are a conglomerate of communication touch points, from face-to-face interaction to phone calls and more. This is also the case for lead nurturing. We would be remiss to define lead nurturing as exclusively an online activity. Conversations with sales or customer service representatives, attendance at tradeshows, and participation in events all factor into nurturing a prospect or customer relationship.
Where (and when) should you nurture?
Lead nurturing is the natural evolution from pure-play demand generation. Regardless of whether you are operating as B2B or B2C lead nurturing can, and should, be utilized. At its most fundamental, lead nurturing is the management of the relationship. Leads aren’t just leads, they are people who need communication before, during and after making purchase decisions.
How should you approach it?
Strategy is the single most important thing you need to undertake lead nurturing. That means you must answer these questions:
- Why am I asking them to engage with me?
- What do I have to offer?
- What is the best way to communicate with the prospects?
- How often should I communicate with these prospects?
Unfortunately, there’s a misconception that lead nurturing is equal to marketing automation, or that the only way to nurture is through a tool. And, while the help of a marketing automation tool may be great (and frankly, sometimes mandatory), often you can undertake lead nurturing strategies sans the tool. In fact, we recommend for those new to lead nurture strategy that you undertake the strategic side of things, and then use your findings to inform whether you need a marketing automation tool, and if so, what the best tool given your business requirements is.
Once you have established your strategic goals and defined when and where you need to nurture, you’ll be well on your way to determining how lead nurturing can work for you.
Be sure to register for the webinar and if you are seeking additional information, check out our sneak peek interview with Kelly on what you can expect to learn and who should be attending. Hope you can join us!