In Sales, Timing is Everything.

New business sales are a focal point for businesses of all sizes. There are countless strategies and services to generate new leads for a company. Companies often pay top dollar for well-cultivated lists of potential customers. The startling truth is that 80% of new leads never become buyers. Some leads may not be a great fit for the companies’ product or services but the majority (40-70%) will not be in a buying window when initially contacted. How does a company turn these leads into customers?

Lead Nurturing is the Solution

Lead nurturing is the process of repeatedly, and methodically, communicating with a cultivated list of prospective buyers. Nurturing existing leads is much more cost-effective than generating new leads. A large part of any sales process is introducing your brand and building brand awareness. Lead nurturing takes that to a new level.

Research has consistently shown that most buyers will not purchase until they know, and trust, the brand they are purchasing. They will also buy more (or make larger purchases) from someone they trust. Taking the time to properly nurture leads will result in more engaged customers that buy more.

Building a Lead Nurturing Strategy

It takes, on average, 10 touches to convert a lead into a customer. A proper lead nurturing strategy will engage prospective customers and convert them to a paying customer.

A Solid Lead Nurturing Strategy Should:

  • Qualify Your Leads – Sales teams often spend a lot of time working with groups that can not, or should not, become customers. A quality lead nurturing plan should include a method to qualify, or score, all leads to ensure time is being spent on the correct prospects.
  • Stay On Topic – Laser-focused messaging can be the difference between a qualified buyer and a lost opportunity. Every contact with a prospective buyer should be focused on the message. Avoid anything that doesn’t educate the prospect or drive them closer to a buying decision.
  • Have A Consistent Message Between Marketing And Sales – Sales and marketing teams often have very different ways of communicating. Devoting the time to consistent messaging results in better educated, more focused buyers and eliminates potential customer service issues.
  • Encourage Feedback From Existing (And Potential) Customers – Existing customers have been through the sales process. Solicit their feedback. Use direct feedback instead of anecdotal evidence when determining what works.
  • Leverage Social Media – A key to selling is to be where the customers are. The majority of people use some form of social media. Using social media, and nurturing leads by engaging with them, builds brand awareness and trust. Social media is second nature to most consumers, and they will interact with brands that have a compelling message.
  • Include Consistent Email Messages – Well nurtured leads are far more likely to open email messages. Potential buyers are unlikely to open an email from a brand they’ve never engaged with. Building an email list and giving potential buyers a reason to read those messages is one of the strongest ways to nurture leads. When offering multiple products, it is important to segment email lists. This keeps the messaging on topic and relevant to the buyer.

Lead nurturing is a proven method for converting leads into business. Using the strategies in this article will increase conversion rates and lead to steady, consistent growth.