There continues to be a dramatic shift in how technology buyers educate themselves on new solutions. Once very dependent on sales professionals for the majority of the education process, buyers are now using search techniques, emails, blogs, videos, webinars, and social media for this process.
Lead nurturing is a cost-effective tool to identify and track where prospects are in the buying cycle and to keep your company’s name and solutions in front of prospects until they are ready to buy. Based upon various industry studies, roughly 5% of qualified leads result in an immediate sale. This means the other 95% of leads are left in the pipeline and may or may not receive any attention from sales.
However, just because a prospect is not ready to buy now doesn’t mean that prospect will never be ready. Given the time, effort, and money you have already invested in your marketing campaigns, it’s essential to keep nurturing those leads to achieve the best ROI possible for your marketing dollars.
How the process is defined and implemented varies greatly from company to company. Some view lead nurturing as an automated process consisting mostly of repeated email contact with potential customers. While marketing automation for lead nurturing is valuable, an equally critical component is the “live” touch — the relationship-build.
Call-centric lead nurturing not only enhances the web-based approach, it also creates opportunities to forge relationships with prospects that go beyond the click-through. Direct, personalized outbound contact with prospects ensures that you can:
- capture the pain points that a prospect is facing
- build a long-term relationship
- identify critical business intelligence that influences buying decisions
- receive regular updates on a prospect’s status.
Prospect nurturing addresses a group of prospects that have, in some fashion, expressed interest in a client product or solution. They may have downloaded a white paper, registered for a webinar, attended a live event, or responded to any other type of marketing initiative implemented by the client. Theses leads can be overwhelming for the sales team to qualify and differentiate between the more immediate opportunities and longer term ones that require nurturing.
Suspect nurturing involves marketing to a list of target accounts where a Client seeks to penetrate a specific market sector, find the “low-hanging fruit,” and nurture and cultivate interest in the Client product or solution over a longer period of time (6 to 12 months). This type of campaign may begin with a traditional demand generation initiative, followed by a closed-loop nurturing methodology to cultivate the target suspects, migrating suspects to leads over the long term.
Founded in 1990, Winn Technology Group is a leading provider of global, multi-channel marketing solutions for the technology industry. For both direct and channel sales, Winn supports demand creation, account-based marketing, channel management, digital marketing, social media, teleprospecting, lead nurturing, event marketing, database services, and inbound response management.