Estimated Reading Time:
The goal of any inbound marketing agency is to figure out how to manage leads and convert them into customers. Lead nurturing campaign optimization is critical for staying on top of your leads in hopes they convert. What an inbound marketing firm first needs to determine are:
- Who makes up the 25% of leads who are “sales-ready” (Gleanster Research suggests that only 25% of leads are “legit” and should advance to sales)
- Who makes up the 50% of leads who are qualified but not yet ready to buy (Another great stat from the same Gleanster Research study)
- Who makes up the 25% of disqualified leads who aren’t worth your time
The top and the bottom stat are easy to handle: if a lead is ready to buy, great. That makes your job easy. If the lead is not going to go anywhere, fine. But what do you do with the other 50%?
Understanding Lead Management
Lead management can be broken down into five different segments:
- Capturing leads
- Nurturing leads who aren’t ready to buy
- Determining which leads are ready for sales
- Giving leads over to sales at the appropriate time
- Evaluate the leads for close loop purposes
We’re going to skip over the “capturing leads” part and jump right into nurturing leads.
Lead Nurturing Campaign Optimization
Before throwing a sales pitch at a lead, you want to nurture them to the point that they’re willing to lay down some money on a product or service you may be offering. You can nurture leads in a number of different ways:
The goal of lead nurturing is to build up a relationship with a lead before pushing a sale onto them. It’s important to note that these leads are still looking into information and doing research. With that in mind, it’s smart to them encourage them to sign up for a newsletter or email marketing campaign that’ll offer things like “how to” tips, current news information on a topic of interest, or statistical information (put it in an infographic and they’re sure to notice!).
Providing useful information won’t only act as a reminder that you’re there for them, but it will also put you in the position of an industry leader and a trusted advisor. Coming up with issues that leads may not even think of themselves and presenting a solution will also help encourage leads into thinking that your company understands them and is capable of solving their problems.
Continue to Gather New Information
As a lead progresses through the sales funnel, continually gather more information on them. Keep track of what offers they’ve responded to, which they’ve ignored, what web pages they’re visiting, and throw in a survey, poll or a form from time to time asking for new information about them. All of these things will tell you more about your lead and allow you to better tailor your sales technique.
Collaborate with your Sales Team
Whether you’re working with an inbound marketing firm, have a sales team or doing it all on your own, it’s important that you work with your sales team or the sales criteria that you’ve created to help “score” a lead. This will help you determine which prospects are ready to buy, or where they are in the sales funnel process. A good way to begin this process is to picture your “perfect lead” and create a persona for that lead (you can create more than one persona, too). Include things like where they live, how they came to be a lead, what sort of web pages they visit, and so on.
TIP: If you’re a small business owner, check out our free download on how to enhance your marketing strategy here.
Once you’ve done that, then you can begin “scoring” your lead to determine whether or not they are ready to move to the next stage. To score your leads, you should:
- Keep track of a prospect’s email clicks
- Monitor what kind of eBooks and white papers they’re downloading
- Their frequency of web page visits, and to what web pages
Your sales team or an inbound marketing firm should be able to tell you where your leads are in the buying process. Before you hand a lead over to your sales team, give them a run down on what sort of offers the lead has responded to, what their web behavior is like, and what you think they’re most likely to buy.
If you want to properly nurture leads and increase your sales, then prospect and lead management is of the utmost importance. Make sure that you and your sales team keep on top of it by:
- Nurturing your leads appropriately at each step of the lead nurturing process
- Continually gather new information about your leads
- Work with your sales team to come up with the best sales strategy with the information at hand
And as always, it’s important that you analyze and measure the success of each effort so you can learn more about who your leads are and how you can improve your sales strategies.
If you're interested in learning more about implementing an effective lead nurturing campaign, contact us today to schedule your free marketing analysis.