Of course you nurture your leads! Or, do you?
If you ask most communities’ sales and marketing directors, I’m sure they will tell you they nurture their leads. Maybe it’s sending a newsletter, having a call team follow up, or through sales policies that dictate a lead is touched every so often. But, do these activities result in nurtured leads?
Let’s first talk about the general definition of lead nurturing.
Lead Nurturing is the process of tracking leads and developing relationships at every stage in the sales cycle until they are qualified and sales-ready.
Now, let’s break that down just a bit.
Developing relationships — Most large purchases are made with the brands people feel most comfortable with—especially as buyers become more sophisticated and comfortable with the tools readily available to them. Nurturing is about developing those relationships so your buyers feel comfortable not only with the product they are buying, but the brand they are buying.
Qualified and sales-ready — Many sales executives see nurturing as only the qualification part. With thousands of leads, and only a few sales executives, that’s understandable. However, it’s key to nurture leads, both maintaining and improving the relationship to help the buyer develop a sense of the brand, at least until the lead is ready to buy, and ideally, beyond the point of purchase.
But the most important word in this definition is process. Which leads us to…
The Simple Guide to Lead Nurturing
The true goal of lead nurturing is to bring as many possible qualified buyers to the surface at the lowest possible cost of acquisition. The key to achieving this goal is developing a sales process that’s inclusive of lead nurturing.
- Create and communicate sales policies. Then, write them down! Clearly define things like how to distinguish an A lead from a B lead, and how many A leads each sales executive should have at a given time. And, don’t just say it’s your policy. Periodically, audit your database to make sure that the policies are being followed.
- Communication plan. Create a communication calendar. It’s easy and amazingly impactful. Put all of your fixed events on a calendar. Determine how far in advance you want to communicate those events to your segmented prospects and when you will follow up or remind them of the event.
- Fill Gaps. Add additional communication to your calendar where there are gaps. Ensure all communications should have one clear “ask.” “Come visit!” “View properties!” “Choose our community because we offer the greatest value.” No matter what it is you want to say, don’t muddle up the message.
- Automate. Ensure call backs, emails, and print fulfillment are automated wherever possible. It’s the best method of ensuring no one slips through the cracks.
It’s not just a bunch of words. Lead nurturing is supported by statistics that are validated year after year.
- Companies that nurture leads make 50% more sales at a cost that is 33% lower than non-nurtured leads. (Forrester Research)
- Marketers see an average 20% increase in sales opportunities from nurtured vs. non-nurtured leads. (DemandGen Report)
- Approximately 80% of leads never buy because they drop off prior to being qualified, i.e., they weren’t appropriately nurtured. (F3 research data.) Maybe they bought at your competition?
- 68% of B2B organizations have not identified their sales funnel (stages). (MarketingSherpa)