Lead nurturing is the process of educating and developing relationships with qualified sales leads who have not yet made the decision to buy. The next step after lead generation, the end-goal of lead nurturing is to convert these prospects into paying customers.
According to Hubspot, less than 10% of inbound leads are ready to make an immediate purchase, leaving upwards of 90% of inbound leads on the table. As sales cycles continue to lengthen, understanding and mitigating the concerns of the individual in charge of the decision-making process is key to getting them to buy sooner rather than later.
Lead nurturing best practices
Address key pain points through education
One proven way to address the pain points of decision makers is to provide relevant and helpful content that is personalized per buyer persona. Using marketing automation software like Marketo, businesses can track, identify, and segment qualified leads and automatically deliver targeted content (e.g. ebooks, case studies, blog posts, etc.) through a series of personalized emails in a drip campaign or through various online marketing channels.
Embrace Lead Scoring
As this study reveals, 68% of marketers cite lead scoring based on content and engagement as the most effective tactic for improving revenue contribution from lead nurturing. Lead scoring is executed by assigning values to certain browsing behaviors, conversion events, or onsite interactions. The resulting score is used to determine which leads should be followed up with directly by a sales rep or which leads need to be nurtured further down the funnel. (source)
Strike while the iron is hot
Following up within the first five minutes after a conversion or inquiry makes a big difference. According to an MIT study, lead qualification rates were 21 times higher when leads were contacted within 5 minutes as opposed to 30 minutes.
Lead nurturing is the optimal way to keep prospective buyers actively engaged and interested in your product or service. By automatically delivering relevant and personalized content, you can encourage more qualified leads to enter the buying phase.