The Ultimate Guide to B2B Lead Nurturing

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1 The Ultimate Guide to B2B Lead Nurturing

2 What is Lead Nurturing? Your current database is a goldmine. By focusing on the leads you already have, you have the potential to apply the kind of strategies that will help you stay in front of your prospects and effectively engage with them throughout the entire sales cycle. This is the process of lead nurturing - getting more leads to Sales by employing the kind of techniques that will help you produce more revenue without the need to acquire new contacts. Working to identify what your prospects needs are and engaging with them using the right messages via effective lead nurturing processes, you will see that potential buyers, in turn, become more motivated to become Sales-ready; and this is when you can finally start to deliver more qualified leads to Sales! By developing, deploying, managing and measuring programs that target specific audiences, CMOs achieve revenue growth by developing effective offers and working with the right audiences within the sales funnel to increase closing rates, speeding up sales cycle activities, and increasing retention and brand reputation. Moving Prospects from Inquiries to Sales-ready Leads Marketing s objective is to pass on qualified leads to Sales. This means that marketing is responsible to nurture leads and attend to them until they are ready for the later stages of the pipeline. Leads that inquire about your products and brand need to be properly approached using the most fitting marketing messages. Responding to lead inquiries may include a thought leadership approach, webinars, s and other ingenuities in providing inquiries with the right information. The next stages of the pipeline process (once leads have inquired for more information), is to continue to push them down the pipeline using various content marketing strategies. At these stages, you need to provide only additional information to prospects. Educating them is a crucial process and creating a push can result in a lost opportunity. This is why it becomes essential that definitions and standards are set between marketing and Sales to work within the same parameters by identifying what a Sales-ready lead is. 2

3 The 3 Stages of Content Marketing It is no wonder that prospects spend time conducting research before making a purchase-decision. Deciding to buy means committing to a specific product or brand over the competition, let alone making a commitment to put money on the table for the purchase itself; and so it follows the bigger the purchase the more time it takes to make a purchase-decision. Stage 1: Identifying Need It s important to put out the right message in front of your target audience at the right time - and the first stages of the conversation should demonstrate your understanding of your prospect s needs. You have to prove to your prospects that you understand exactly what they need in order to improve their business processes. In fact, you are helping your prospects better understand their own needs. Not only do you demonstrate that you understand their pain points, but you also demonstrate your expertise and knowledge about their industry. Your ability to connect with your prospects by leading the way into their pain points will enable them to trust you; and this is the first stage of an effective content marketing strategy. Stage 2: Providing Social Proof One of the most credible content pieces you can use to demonstrate to your prospects that you offer the best solution is by demonstrating how you ve helped other companies achieve success. Case studies, testimonials, statistics and charts help to demonstrate that your product reduces costs and solves challenges. The second stage of your content marketing process should provide social proof - this is where we have helped other companies solve their challenging needs, and we can do the same for you. Work to demonstrate how your customers have succeeded by showing your success stories. By demonstrating that you have implemented successful solutions for people in your prospect s industry, you are providing social proof that you offer the right solution. If you have satisfied customers, make sure your prospects hear about them! Stage 3: Product Information After demonstrating that you understand your prospect s pain points and that you have satisfied customers, at the final stage of your content marketing strategy you can finally introduce your product. What is it that you offer? What solutions could be achieved? Where is the differentiating factor between your product and the competition? How does your model differ from the others and how can your product impact the bottom line? At this stage of the content marketing process you have to demonstrate why you are the best. Why it is that your solution should be chosen and why your prospects will be happy. 3

4 Types of Campaigns 1: Incoming lead processing campaign The definition of a Sales-ready lead has to be established between Sales and marketing. This is the first goal and determines which lead goes to Sales and which needs to get more attention and further nurturing. By defining a Sales-ready lead by demographic, BANT (budget, authority, need, timeline), completeness of data profile and lead score, you can determine which campaign to use, and where to send off a lead. Incoming lead processing can also take into account establishing permission for nurturing. Give a prospect the opportunity to opt-in and start a relationship with you while giving them a chance to opt-out at any time. Finally, allow prospects to customize a relationship with you. Ask prospects how often they want to hear from you and the channel of communication they most prefer text, phone call, direct mail, etc. Let them customize nurturing communications by format and interest to establish their preferences on their own terms. 2: Drip campaign dialogues, or drip marketing campaigns, with an automated process allow marketers to better focus on targeting potential customers according to where they are in the buying process. This facilitates the process of dripping your name into your prospects minds so when the time comes to make a purchase decision, they think of you first. Get them thinking about you in the early stages. Provide them with thought leadership pieces and best practices content so your name sticks. At later stages, drip another thought into their minds send them a buyer s guide, for instance. Finally, when they narrow down their options, send them company-specific information to help them reaffirm their selection. 3: Accelerator campaigns Accelerator campaigns are used to accelerate the buying cycle with an effort to create a nudge according to specific prospect behaviours. The most popular method of doing so involves sending out a string of s that are followed by a 14-day free trial sign-up. Prospects are enticed with step-by-step instructional tips such as ways to use the software with the option of making a request to be contacted for a live walk-through if more help is needed. 4: Lead recycling campaigns For prospects that are simply not ready to buy you should still make an effort to stay in touch. By demonstrating that you are a thought leader, you can continue to send helpful content using assets via . Send out your most popular pieces. That way leads can opt-in to various campaigns to ensure that you remain on their radar. 4

5 Real-World Examples Below are real-world examples that will help you implement best practices when it comes to your campaigns. Example 1: Pros Unsubscribe option and account address Strategic use of images and graphics. Clear call-to-action: download this whitepaper Personalized format. Cons While a single CTA is effective for simple, pricebased campaigns, they are not as effective in complex sale B2B campaigns. There should be more offers each with their own CTAs Don t only offer one asset. Add some more into the mix to target different pain points and decision stages. Don t forget to present more information on what the source is about. Example 2: Pros Unsubscribe option and account address Clean, legible design Effective sidebar layout Video as an innovative content offer. Cons No need to mention internal operations such as the introduction of a new CEO High value content should be used instead of company announcements Doesn t describe what the video is about and that it would be worth a read. 5

6 Metrics that Impact ROI Head On Marketing campaign effectiveness is measured by the single most important metric - the conversion rate. The conversion rate itself is measured by the percentage of total leads that convert at each stage of the marketing funnel and sales pipeline. The conversion rate is a key metric because it allows marketing to understand the overall effectiveness of specific campaign efforts while allowing marketing to gather key insights in an effort to pinpoint which sales pipeline stages aren t yielding the kind of results we really want to see. By focusing on the conversion rate, marketers are able to define the buying process for consumers by creating a roadmap that works to get buyers from one pipeline stage to another until they have reached Won business. While prospects are shopping around to select the perfect vendor, marketers, in turn, are focusing on improving performance by measuring conversion rates at each stage of the sales pipeline to pinpoint and strengthen key areas of performance. About Demodia Demodia is a multi-award winning B2B Inbound Marketing agency delivering demand generation and content marketing services to some of the worlds leading B2B organisations. Through our offices in the UK and Switzerland, we provide businesses with the strategies and content they need to deliver innovative marketing programmes that nurture interest and deliver increased revenue. Demodia is more than just a regular online marketing or media production agency, we partner with some of the leading marketing automation and web experience management vendors to enable us to deliver a structured demand generation service built around our inbound marketing framework. uk.linkedin.com/in/sdharvey CH +41 (0) UK +44 (0) Copyright 2014 Demodia. Demodia and Prospecteer are trademarks or registered trademarks of Demodia GmbH. This list is not exhaustive. All other trademarks or registered trademarks are the property of their respective owners. All rights reserved. 6

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