Take Your Lead Nurturing to the Next Level

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1 Take Your Lead Nurturing to the Next Level October 10, 2014 Ruth P. Defining what is a lead Lead generation A sales lead A qualified lead Identifying prospective customers and assessing their likelihood to buy, in advance of making a sales call. The name, contact information and background information on a prospective buyer, preferably someone who has expressed interest in your product, service, category or company. A prospect who is ready to see a sales person. 1

2 Badges zapped at a trade show are not qualified leads Lead generation is a process Inquiry generation Response handling Lead qualification Lead nurturing Hand off to sales Sales closure Tracking Continuous improvement 2

3 How many leads do you need? Do the math. Revenue quota per rep $3,000,000 Percent of quota self-generated 40% Quota requiring lead support $1,800,000 ($3M*1-.40) Revenue per order $60,000 Converting leads required ($1.8M/$60K) 30 Conversion rate 20% Qualified leads required per rep (30/.20) 150 What is lead nurturing? When the prospect is not ready to buy, but may be eventually. A series of communications to build awareness and trust, and maintain contact until the prospect is ready to see a salesperson. Also known as Lead Incubation, or Lead Development. 3

4 Some persuasive data points 1. 45% of all business inquiries result in a sale eventually. Don t let your competitor get the business % of sales teams do not call unqualified leads, per SLMA (Sales Lead Management Association) How nurturing can quadruple the productivity of your lead generation campaigns THE BUSINESS CASE FOR LEAD NURTURING 4

5 Buyers need multiple touches Source: Understanding the Industrial Buy Cycle, a white paper by GlobalSpec Best companies understand the value of lead nurturing Best-in-Class companies: Achieved higher revenues, better campaign response rates, lead qualification rates and average order sizes. Experienced nurtured leads resulting in 47% larger average order sizes than non-nurtured leads. 5

6 Why does nurturing pay off? Campaign Responses Responses generated 100 Qualified Leads Immediately qualified 5 5 Unqualified 95 Post-campaign Lead pool 95 Contacts reached (60%) 57 Qualified via outbound communication (20%) Nurturing pool 84 Qualified via nurturing (30%) Cumulative campaign lead total: 41 Case example: Multiple nurturing touches dramatically increase the volume of qualified lead output Touch/Pass es # of Lead s % of Total 'A' Leads Cumulative % of Leads (right axis) % 26.1% % 49.1% % 62.4% % 74.3% % 82.6% % 88.1% % 93.6% % 95.9% % 97.7% % 99.1% % 99.5% % 100.0% Source: Direct Marketing Partners, Inc. 6

7 Changing buying behavior drives the need for nurturing 1. Buyers are online, researching solutions and listening to conversations among their peers. 2. Buyers only want to engage with sales people in the last third of their process. Implications: Companies can engage their prospects earlier in the process than ever. Marketing must keep the relationship moving forward for a longer period, synchronizing their communications throughout the buying process. Business marketers still lag in nurturing Source: The State of B2B Lead Nurturing, Bizo and Oracle Marketing Cloud

8 THE LEAD NURTURING PROCESS What leads require nurturing? 1. Partially qualified inquiries. They are not ready to deliver to sales, according the pre-defined qualification criteria. 2. Leads returned by the sales team. A presumably qualified lead turns out to require further nurturing. The contact changed jobs. The business need changed. 8

9 Step by step nurturing process 1. Qualify sales inquiries via outbound contact, usually or phone. 2. Sort the remaining non-qualified prospect into buckets, based on qualification criteria. 3. Profile the responders, to gain insight into their needs and the business issues that are most relevant to them. 4. Set up a decision-tree process for communicating with the prospects, by segment. 5. Hand the qualified lead off to sales. Profiling inquiries Segment the inquiries by relevant variables: Company size Job function Industry Installed products Add more information to the record, as you gather it through ongoing nurturing. 9

10 Setting up a decision-tree communications process Marketing automation has become essential to lead management Source: The State of B2B Lead Nurturing, Bizo and Oracle Marketing Cloud

11 Nurturing flow: Example Day from Message Medium inquiry 1 Thank you for your inquiry Phone 7 Research report relevant to request at inquiry 30 Case study of success from company in inquirer s industry 45 Seminar invitation Phone 60 Customer testimonial and personalized Mail letter 75 Link to article from trade journal 90 Personal note from sales engineer to schedule online demo 105 White paper and personal cover letter Mail 125 Invitation to breakfast seminar at trade show What lead nurturing is not Not: Sending out an occasional e-newsletter. Not: Blasting your house file with a new white paper. Not: Calling leads every 6 weeks to see if they are ready to buy. Not: Offering content that promotes your company s products, without regard to the needs or interests of the recipient. 11

12 is the top medium for nurturing Source: Aberdeen Group Social media is growing as a lead nurturing channel Objective Medium Application Inquiry generation Add an offer. Drive to landing page. Collect data. Lead qualification Supplement outbound communications with research on networks. Lead nurturing Keep in touch with unqualified prospects via every possible medium. 12

13 Checklist of nurturing tactics newsletter Outbound telephone call Event invitation (seminar, trade show, webinar) New product announcement Press release Online video link Tweets, posts Blogging Catalog mailing Survey or market research questionnaire Podcast White paper Case study Infographic Banner ad retargeting Personal communication (holiday or birthday card) Letter from the CFO or other senior executives Letter from various departments (customer service or relevant area, such as IT or engineering) Letter from territory rep Who should be in charge of the nurturing function? Nurturing belongs in marketing, not sales. Some companies create nurturing teams that report into sales. Nurturing should be managed as a separate function, Staffed by lower-cost resources than your sales professionals. But still professional and well trained. 13

14 A well-planned nurturing program reduced cost per lead by 30%. IBM COGNOS CASE The problem: Low site visitor conversion rates Product: BI and performance management software. Solution: Beefed-up website, plus new nurturing program. Content variety White papers Online demos Events Online communities New website features Organized by product/task Performance management Budgeting and forecasting Measurement and reporting Score-carding Organized by industry Finance Government Retail Manufacturing Healthcare Registration form fields Name Company Industry Department Job title Source: MarketingSherpa 14

15 Statistical modeling helped define the nurturing flow Analysis of 200,000 marketing interactions revealed 3 trends: 1. Online demos convert to leads at the highest rate. 2. Face-to-face events had the largest impact on increasing deal size and close rates. 3. Lead-to-opportunity conversion virtually died 10 days after initial engagement with an offer or piece of content. 15

16 Customized nurturing paths, based on behavioral and firmographic profile Shortened the nurturing touch timing messages based on activity and firmographic profiles 4 hours 24 hours 10 days 16

17 IBM Cognos case: Results Registration rate at website Metric After Prior averages 11% 3% open rates 33.3% 13.2% CTR 15.5%.09% Response rate 17.5%.05% Cost per lead was reduced 30-40% Taking your lead nurturing to the next level LEAD NURTURING BEST PRACTICES 17

18 Best practice 1: Personalize Ask interest/need related questions in your qualification form. Tailor the nurturing stream to key variables in the prospect s profile, like buying role, job description, industry and company size. Create landing pages that speak to the specific interests of your targets. Best practice 2: Deliver real value Nurturing is not selling, or blasting, or chest-thumping. Keep the communications non-salesy. Relevant Unique High perceived value Top materials for nurturing Usage Educational materials (white papers, research, 78% etc.) Webinar invitation 72% Links to customized landing pages 72% Product or service information 67% News and events on the company 44% Source: Aberdeen Group 18

19 Develop a content strategy Map buyers information needs to their stage in the process, and their role in the buying circle.. Assess current content assets. Fill any gaps with appropriate content. White papers Research reports, infographics Case studies ebooks Webinars, videos 37 Segment content by buying stage and role Stage in the specifier s buying process Specifier needs Type of content 38 Early Middle Late Education Specialized information Answers Online demo White paper Case study Webinar Seminar Live demo Technical white paper Technical comparison Case study Price comparison How-to video 19

20 Best practice 3: Generate and track responses Track all responses: Opens Clicks Links Page visits, time spent Downloads Message strategy One clear point. Tailored to profile. An offer. A clear Call to Action. Dedicated landing page. Use response data to craft relevant next outbound messages, and refine the flow over time. * Simple, straightforward copy in short, "bite-sized" paragraphs to increase readability. * Key learning benefits highlighted in bullet form. * Offer (infographic) front and center, starting with the subhead. * "Sell the Offer, Not the Product." * Call to action repeated multiple times. Source: Howard J. Sewell, SpearMarketing 20

21 Thank Visit MaximizingLeadGeneration.com for a free sample chapter. 21

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