Did you know that:
- 80% of marketing leads wind up lost, ignored or discarded
- 80% of B2B marketers pass raw leads to sales
- Long-term leads (future opportunities), often ignored by salespeople, represent 77% of potential sales
- 73% of companies have no process for re-engaging and nurturing leads after sales
If these stats make your hair rise on end, don’t worry. Last week, Brian Carroll, Executive Director of Revenue Optimization at MECLABS, outlined the key components of a successful content-driven lead engagement approach in his webinar entitled “The One-Two Punch of Effective Lead Nurturing: Accurate Lists & Powerful Content.”
We’ve asked Brian to share his key takeaways and links to resources he mentioned during the webinar in this post. Here’s what he had to say:
Lead nurturing pays off. According to the 2012 MarketingSherpa Lead Generation Benchmark Report, companies that nurture leads report a 125% return on lead generation investment, compared to a mere 86% for companies that don’t.
In this post, I am going to outline the most basic elements of lead nurturing. I advise you to watch the webinar to learn more.
Lead nurturing is made up of four key steps:
- Set a foundation
- Design a content library
- Measure and tweak
- Circle back to improve
1. Set a foundation. Create a single nurturing database that is the hub of all communication. Include:
- Leads your sales team hasn’t touched in months
- Past customers
- Past event participants
- Newsletter subscribers
- Inbound inquiries
- Direct mail and teleprospecting lists
Only 5% to 15% of leads are ready to speak with a sales person. Create a Universal Lead Definition (ULD) with Sales that will signal when a lead is ready to be passed along to them. A ULD:
- Fits the profile of your ideal customer
- Has been qualified as sales-ready
- Spells out the responsibilities and accountabilities of Sales and Marketing
- Makes Marketing and Sales more efficient
Get the basics of how to move forward here: Universal Lead Definition: Why 61% of B2B marketers are wasting resources and how they can stop
2. Design your content library. Content is required to nurture lead, and at the early stage of the buying cycle, that content should include information that will benefit them regardless of whether they buy from you. Here are the content-creation basics:
- Create personas. These are profiles of each person who is involved in the buying process - their roles, and the questions and issues they’re facing. Use personas to clarify what’s relevant to your target markets as they progress along the sales cycle.
- Harness knowledge in your organization by developing thought leaders and a process to share that knowledge, whether that’s through, blogs, whitepapers, webinars or on social media like LinkedIn.
- Leverage third-party content. Go to http://www.google.com/alerts. Enter keywords relevant to your industry to receive updates of the latest news and information than can be used in your nurturing campaigns. You can also purchase third-party content Go to timestamp 20:00 in this webinar to learn how ECI Telecom went about it: How Content Strategy is Transforming an Entire Marketing and Sales Organization.
3. Measure and tweak. Use analytics to determine what kind of content drives the most leads. Pay attention to comments and shares on social media. Ask your sales team to forward content to their customers and prospects for feedback. Look for patterns of what’s working and what isn’t.
4. Cycle back to improve. Connect your content touch points to your database to measure how efficiently prospects are advancing on the sales cycle. Make sure your universal lead definition aligns with reality: that the right people in the organizations are being nurtured, and that they are being passed off to sales at the right time.
If you missed Brian’s presentation, you can view webinar recording. How are you planning to nurture your leads?
Brian Carroll is Executive Director of Revenue Optimization at MECLABS and CEO of InTouch, part of the MECLABS Group. Author of the bestseller, Lead Generation for the Complex Sale, Carroll is a leading expert in lead generation and he's profiled and regularly quoted in numerous publications. Carroll also speaks to 20,000 people a year on improving sales effectiveness and lead generation strategies. He's been profiled and regularly quoted in numerous publications such as BtoB Magazine, Selling Power, The Wall Street Journal, Entrepreneur, Target Marketing, Inc. magazine, Marketing News, DM News, MarketingProfs, MarketingSherpa, Software CEO and CMO Magazine. If you’d like to learn more about MarketingSherpa and MECLABS visit http://www.marketingsherpa.com.