What about the lead? This question is essential in sales. And you probably already know it from the daily business: the CRM system is full of contact data from potential new customers. However, the time is often lacking to fully exploit its potential. After all, day-to-day business with existing customers is already time-intensive enough.
Lead Nurturing: What’s behind all this?
Marketers know, however, that there is no progress without new customers. Lead nurturing is of crucial importance in the marketing process. But what is actually behind the term?
Nurturing means as much as care, development, and promotion. In short, lead nurturing means fully developing the potential of a lead, a potential new customer. For this, it is necessary to communicate to him precisely at the right time with relevant information. In addition, professional lead nurturing also includes “keeping the potential new customers”: he should not forget that he has asked the company a question, in a second step this initial interest is to be manifested.
(source: Hubspot Academy )
“Taking care of the potential customer” – this is the best way to describe lead nurturing. This also demonstrates the importance of this process in the acquisition of new customers. Lead nurturing can be applied at different times in the marketing process: reactivate customer leads and former customers in the generation of new leads, in leads with a sales potential.
The right time decides
Now, how can lead nurturing look in practice – and when is the best time to use it? It is important to identify at which point of the decision-making process the potential customer is. Has he made a first question, so is he to deal with as a generously generated lead? In this case: less is more. Especially B2B contacts are looking for information, without buying intent. This can developing – but is rarely already present at the first request. To use the distribution here is usually too early and the lead can get out of the dust more quickly than you can enter it into your CRM. In addition, the distribution itself receives false signals. The “early lead” will in all likelihood reject a sales offer, so the distribution will probably estimate it with little or no buying potential.
Support the decision-making process
There’s even a better option: And here the actual lead nurturing comes into the game – and this means providing the prospective customer with further information and positioning the company as an expert in its industry. In this way, you are continually pursuing the sales process and leading it step by step to success – always at the right time.
In practice: The lead searches for first information – you deliver it to him, for example in the form of a whitepaper, which you can download; in return, you get the contact details of the prospective buyer. Now it is necessary to arouse further information needs, for example through targeted advertising messages or further information on your products. In the best case, the potential new customer also recognizes that you have more to offer than he or she has recognized during the first information search. His interest continues to rise – without having overwhelmed him with hasty purchase requests. In a second step, for example, you can offer the lead a link to a webinar on the subject. If he accepts the offer, you are already a step further in the information about the interests of your lead. If he is not interested, you can try it with other offers – checklists, guides or blog posts. It is always important that the content is relevant to the lead.
So you can step by step find out the interests of the lead. Nevertheless, you should be careful with the direct query of further information. Here, it is necessary to develop so-called buyer personas: Buyer personas go beyond pure target groups by giving potential customers a CV: salary, career, hobbies, family status, professional function, goals, and preferences – all of which include personas and thus provide a complete image of a user. So you can find out in a structured way whether your lead actually has the potential to lead to a conversion.
The four steps of B2B Lead Nurturing
The process of lead nurturing can basically be divided into four steps:
- The request. The lead searches for general information. You deliver content that meets your needs.
- The problem solution. The potential customer needs further information on the problem solution. Step by step, personal contact is part of the game.
- The positioning. It is up to you to show the lead, which solutions you can offer to him – even those he may not have any clue.
- The conclusion.The lead becomes the conversion and you have won a new customer.
Results: The potential of lead nurturing
„Deutsche Messe Interactive“ highlights the benefits of structured lead nurturing: According to a survey, 73 percent of the generated leads are not yet ready to talk to sales. Companies that take the time to take a cautious marketing process will benefit from a 50 percent increase in revenue at 33 percent less cost. 50 percent of the leads without a concrete interest in purchasing can be won as customers. Overall, the respondents reported about 450 percent more qualified prospects.