5 Advanced Lead Nurturing Strategies To Ensure a Shorter Sales Cycle

by Carolyn Edgecomb on March 18, 2013

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Lead Nurturing StrategiesHow long is your typical sales cycle?


If you're finding that your leads tend to be more marketing qualified than sales qualified, therefore you have to spend more time implementing lead nurturing strategies, it's probably taking longer than you'd like.


Just like you wouldn't just jump feet first into shark infested water without the appropriate gear, a lead wouldn't jump right to a sale before being fully prepared and educated.


You cannot just jump right in, you have to develop and organize your lead nurturing strategies. If your sales cycle is much longer than it should be, here are five advanced lead nurturing strategies to help you convert leads into customers sooner.


Develop a Shorter Sales Cycle with Lead Nurturing Strategies


Know Your Buyer Personas


What type of people are buying your product(s) or service(s)?


If you cannot answer this question, you need to put your lead nurturing campaign on hold and thoroughly outline who your buyer personas are first. You cannot start selling your product or service if you don't have an understanding of who your ideal buyers are.


You don't want to waste your time nurturing and selling to someone who will NEVER buy from you. You might be thinking, this lead nurturing strategy is completely obvious, but do you have a clear picture? Do you understand what challenges they face, what makes up their demographics, and their background?


Here's a few key elements you should identify while constructing your buyer personas.


To develop your buyer personas ask yourself these questions:



  • Who is your ideal buyer?

  • What is your customers need?

  • How do we solve that problem?

  • What is your unique value proposition?


Now that you know what information you should be looking for, bring together members of your sales team as well as current customers to talk about the different buyer personas that make up your prospects, leads and customers.


Content Mapping


Now that you've nailed your buyer personas, you can start mapping out your content for TOFU, MOFU and BOFU offers for each persona. Develop a chart or list that clearly identifies each stage and the content associated with each stage.


Don't be afraid to give these personas names, photos and to even create a story that can help your sales and marketing teams relate and better understand each persona.


Buyer Persona 1: 



  • TOFU content and offers

    • Blog articles

    • Ebooks



  • MOFU content and offers

    • Blog articles

    • Ebooks

    • Case studies



  • BOFU content and offers

    • Blog articles

    • Ebooks

    • Webinars

    • Demos




Buyer Persona 2: 



  • TOFU content and offers

    • Blog articles

    • Ebooks



  • MOFU content and offers

    • Blog articles

    • Ebooks

    • Case studies



  • BOFU content and offers

    • Blog articles

    • Ebooks

    • Webinars

    • Demos




Buyer Persona 3: 



  • TOFU content and offers

    • Blog articles

    • Ebooks



  • MOFU content and offers

    • Blog articles

    • Ebooks

    • Case studies



  • BOFU content and offers

    • Blog articles

    • Ebooks

    • Webinars

    • Demos




Now this might take you a while to sort through all of your content and identify which stages of the sales funnel each offer or content fits into. However, you might find gaps in the content. This presents you with the opportunity to create content for those areas, allowing you to deliver relevant content or offers to leads at each step of the sales funnel.


Segmented Lead Nurturing Campaigns


Segment, segment, segment. That is probably all you hear these days. It is essential for you to develop segmented lists for your lead nurturing campaigns because not all of your buyers are the same, your contacts are at different points of the sales cycle and you can achieve better results.


As we all know, you don't have just one type of customer or leads, therefore you cannot market to them the same way. You should be slicing and dicing your email database into various segments and tailoring the content in your emails to those segmented lists.


List segmentation strategies include:



  • Geographic setting

  • Industry / role

  • Content interests

  • Behavior based

  • Brand advocates


Utilizing Workflows


Now that you've set up your segmented lists, you can now begin utilizing workflows. If you're not already using workflows, you're missing a big opportunity to engage and nurture all of the contacts in your marketing database. Yes, workflows is an automated process allowing you to schedule when and which leads will see specific emails.


According to Epsilon, "The average clickthrough rate for triggered emails is more than double the rate for mass emails." Knowing this statistic, wouldn't you want to set up workflows that would add or take a person off a list based on their actions and behaviors? Noone is going to open an email if they aren't interested in the email subject line.


Email workflows you should be utilizing:



  • Topic workflow; content offer download.

  • Multiple top of the funnel offers.

  • Sales ready leads  workflow that provides content to push your leads into the sales ready stage.

  • Get inactive leads to re-engage.

  • Event workflow getting people to register or attend.

  • Workflow based on lifecycle, could be welcoming a new customer.

  • An up sell workflow that's based on your customers past purchases.


Implement Lead Scoring


After determining your buyer personas, segmenting your contacts and setting up automated workflows, you now need to start separating the good leads from the bad. And the best way to do that is with lead scoring, don't make your sales team spend countless hours calling leads that aren't sales ready or even sales qualified.


Lead scoring allows you to attach point values to certain behaviors or information in regards to your leads. Once you've determined what the average score of a sales ready lead is, not only will yours sales team be able to spend their time following up and connecting with those contacts and marketing can continue to nurture the other leads.

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