High Performance Lead Nurturing and Lead Scoring: The Step-by-Step Guide

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1 High Performance Lead Nurturing and Lead Scoring: The Step-by-Step Guide Most marketing organizations build a lead scoring system based on how the prospect has engaged and the frequency of engagement. Getting to the Sales Ready Lead High performance marketers recognize that getting to the sales ready lead is the ultimate goal. While often viewed as a B2B challenge, B2C marketers that work with sales teams or indirect channels share the same goal sales ready leads that optimize revenue through shortened sales cycles and the right kind of buyer. The sales ready lead has different criteria from one organization to the next, but the best practices of high performance marketers involve driving effective lead nurturing and lead scoring. Throughout this guide, we ll use that terminology whether you are a B2B or B2C marketer. Our assumption though is that your marketing organization produces buying opportunities for a sales channel. As a result, the best practices and principles remain the same. Step 1: Apply Customer Intelligence to Lead Nurturing and Scoring Marketers are increasingly using customer intelligence to generate leads. For example, what attributes define the best prospects? The same best practices you use to create customer intelligence to drive lead generation can also be applied to lead nurturing. For example, what was the message and offer that drove a particular type of prospect to respond? What would be the next stage message and offer to enable that prospect to engage? And what were the results of that engagement with similar prospects in the past? Take it a step further, what are the attributes of your prospects at different stages of the sales cycle, i.e. titles, timeframes, needs, and channels of engagement. 1

2 Lead scoring also becomes very powerful when combined with customer intelligence. Most marketing organizations build a lead scoring system based on how the prospect has engaged and the frequency of engagement. Why not increase the prospect s score based on the attributes that define your best prospects? The setting up of your nurture paths should also be fully aligned with your segmentation. Step 2: Segmenting for Lead Nurturing or Don t Batch and Blast Nurturing Campaigns It s a very common marketing misconception to believe that all of your segmentation work has been done once you ve generated the initial lead. Nothing can be further from the truth. After all, there is a lifecycle to leads once they enter your funnel, and leads take on varying attributes related to how they buy. Successful use of customer intelligence in Step 1, above, becomes the driving force behind applying segmentation to lead nurturing. The setting up of your nurture paths should also be fully aligned with your segmentation. At a basic level, setting up nurture paths based on simple demographic and firmographic information will improve results incrementally, particularly if you apply various testing criteria, and continue to do so. However, to achieve significant improvement in results, set up nurture paths that combine segmentation based on attributes that look like your best customers, and then apply that strategy directly to the channel that you have seen these customers most frequently engage you in during that stage of the customer lifecycle. The response from this kind of campaign should receive an elevated score in your lead scoring system, since they not only fit the firmographic and demographic profile of your target customer, but their engagement behavior is similar as well. 2

3 Most marketers don t make it a discipline to ask the right questions in a systematic way that focuses on previous interaction history that can create new forms of customer intelligence as a basis for further segmentation. Step 3: Combine Progressive Profiling with Customer Intelligence and Segmentation Most marketers understand the concept of progressive profiling continuing to ask your existing prospects for more information to yield a more complete profile. However, most marketers don t make it a discipline to ask the right questions in a systematic way that focuses on previous interaction history that can create new forms of customer intelligence as a basis for further segmentation. Bear in mind that when we say a systematic way, we mean that the nature of your questions will also be tied to the stage of the relationship that you have with the prospect, which is most often exemplified by your lead scoring of that prospect. To do so otherwise introduces risk of jeopardizing the relationship you ve created with the prospect. Here are some examples of progressive profiling questions that tie directly into the customer intelligence you are looking to acquire to drive more sophisticated segmentation for lead nurturing: Which of the following pieces of information are you missing right now that address your most urgent need? Which of the following represents your most critical need? What are you using today as a solution? What additional benefits are you trying to achieve over your existing solution? The answers to these questions provide the marketer with additional intelligence to nurture prospects with much stronger differentiation and have a direct impact on determining the most appropriate offer with the right message at the right time. They also help create a profile which potentially adds an extra dimension to your lead scoring. Wouldn t you elevate the lead score of a prospect who says their biggest need is actually aligned with the strength of your product? 3

4 Step 4: Consider Segmentation when Determining the Type of Campaign Many marketers are not aware of the different types of lead nurturing campaigns, and if they are, they are often confused by which ones they should use. Again, go back to your customer intelligence and segmentation strategy to demystify what type of lead nurturing campaign you should run. Some of the more commonly used lead nurturing campaigns include the following: Dormant re-engage prospects Purchased list engage unqualified leads for telemarketing Drip or trigger multi-stage, multi-touch, multi-channel over specified times Stay in touch keep prospects engaged Dynamic triggered by prospect responses In drip or trigger-based campaigns the information gathered from progressive profiling can drive the necessary triggers that make an offer at the right time in the customer lifecycle. The default for many marketers is drip or trigger-based campaigns, which are very powerful when leveraged with more sophisticated segmentation strategies. One of the advantages of this type of campaign is that it can be used for various levels of prospects in your lead scoring system. Lead scoring in fact makes it very easy to overlook using other lead nurturing types of campaigns. For example, dormant and stay in touch campaigns can still powerfully leverage your segmentation data and eventually move your potentially best prospects, based on their profile, to a marketing qualified lead status or better. 4

5 Passing along sales intelligence is an overlooked benefit of effective lead nurturing and lead scoring. The use of progressive profiling lends itself very well to several types of lead nurturing campaigns. For example, in drip or trigger-based campaigns the information gathered from progressive profiling can drive the necessary triggers that make an offer at the right time in the customer lifecycle. Dynamic campaigns are triggered by prospect response, a perfect way to continually make use of progressive profiling information. Step 5: Map the Content and Offers Your content and offers do not simply apply to lead generation. They re an even more critical component in lead nurturing. At this stage in the customer buying cycle, your segmentation and profiling information provides far more insight into the type of content and offers that are required to move a prospect to the next stage. Use customer intelligence and segmentation information to not only map the content but create message progression, carefully nurturing the prospect to sales ready lead status. And use the responses to certain types of offers to elevate the lead score. Step 6: Sales Intelligence from Lead Nurturing Sales and marketing organizations continue to be challenged by effective integration, and the ultimate implementation of that integration, closed-loop sales and marketing, drives both customer and sales intelligence. Passing along sales intelligence is an overlooked benefit of effective lead nurturing and lead scoring. Capturing customer interaction history, particularly through the right progressive profiling questions, creates a hot bed of sales intelligence information that is tied to the customer buying cycle. Implementing a closedloop sales and marketing system, integrating your marketing automation system, marketing data mart, customer intelligence, and your sales force automation system, ensures the timely passing of sales intelligence that is gleaned from your nurturing programs. 5

6 Step 7: Get there faster with an action plan This guide is an introduction to creating a roadmap toward more sophisticated lead nurturing and lead scoring to drive sales ready leads. Effective lead nurturing, and the use of lead scoring, requires a specific plan toward realizing the use of customer intelligence to drive segmentation strategies that increase revenue performance. Following our guide will create an action plan for the entire marketing organization to begin thinking and behaving as high performance marketers fueled by using customer intelligence and segmentation strategies to drive sales ready leads through lead nurturing. 33 Arch Street, 9th Floor Boston, MA T: F: About QuickPivot QuickPivot is the leader in real-time cross-channel marketing automation and services for B2B and B2C enterprises. QuickPivot delivers insight plus channels plus content in one marketing platform to enable marketers to listen, connect, learn, and adapt to the changing needs of customers. For more information, visit or call , or All content Copyright 2014, QuickPivot, Inc. All trademarks are property of their respective holders. 6

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