Do you find that a high number of leads sent through to your sales team are simply not ready to purchase? In the past, the solution for this has been to forget about those leads, tossing them aside and drilling through new data instead. This model is a business staple but an altogether ineffective one; continuing in this way will result in you consuming masses of data with very little return.

Just because a lead is not sales-ready right now doesn’t mean it never will be. It’s therefore essential that your business’ relationship with that lead continues through effective nurturing. A solution that recycles those leads currently not ready to purchase and keeps them warm, lead nurturing is a means of getting the most out of the leads you currently have without having to obtain more.

Lead nurturing: Doing the Right Thing

Lead nurturing requires subtlety and an organic approach; the lead has made it clear that they are not ready to purchase so don’t insist on the matter. All future communications need to be educational in nature, building up a level of trust with the audience. Use the data within your CRM to identify what a lead appears to be most interested in and leverage this information for use in your communications.

If you don’t yet have that information, the concept fits neatly alongside marketing automation and lead scoring; you deliver content on different (yet still relevant) themes until you find what these leads are interested in, gradually refining the process over time.

Content is the engine that runs your lead nurturing program. The difference between traditional marketing campaigns and content to drive your lead nurturing is the focus on educating rather than selling. Your organisation needs to be viewed positively and an insistence on sales-based content is unlikely to achieve this, leaving your leads feeling pestered and likely to look elsewhere.

Instead of service or product specifications, Marketing should be sending out guides, creating interesting blog posts and using multimedia creatively. You should be giving your leads a reason to return to future pieces of your content. Once you’ve achieved this, you’ll likely be their first port of call when they finally are ready to purchase.

Prioritising your leads

It’s at this stage in the process when using lead scoring within your CRM is most effective. As the name suggests, lead scoring attributes a points score to leads depending on their actions to help identify engagement levels. It’s down to your company and the departments within it to decide what those lead thresholds are.

This may be a slow process (in fact, it definitely requires a long term mentality to be successful) but it is an effective way of creating revenue from leads that may have previously been disregarded.

The figures supporting lead nurturing speak for themselves with the technique having been shown to:

– Increase the ROI of lead generation by around 45%

– Bolster sales opportunities by as much as 20%

– Increase sales by over 9%

– In combination with marketing automation, it has been shown to increase qualified leads by 451%

Lead nurturing in combination with marketing automation has been gaining a strong foothold in modern CRMs. A system such as Microsoft Dynamics is fully kitted out to deal with lead scoring, marketing automation and lead nurturing. And, with incentives as strong as they are, it seems foolish not to at least consider doing so. Whilst it’s not quite money for nothing, it is money from what would have previously been lost.

Source of statistics: Online Marketing Institute.