Importance of Lead Nurturing
Lead nurturing one of your most powerful sales tools for closing prospects, after they have converted to leads on your website. This is an important point of the buyer’s journey, as the lead is still interested in what you have to offer, but may not be ready to consider purchasing. Many prospects convert on your website, because they are searching for information. So, the challenge and purpose of lead nurturing is to move them from a newly converted lead to a sales qualified lead by taking them down the pathway of the buyer’s journey.
I have a lead, now what?
Usually, after converting a lead online, you do not want to bombard your prospect with emails and phone calls. As I said before, they are usually looking for information and they are not likely ready to purchase. It is best to simply send a followup email saying, “Hello, this is Tom from CompanyX. I saw that you downloaded our eBook, ‘5 ways to do…’. If you have any questions regarding the material, feel free to reach out!”
This creates an impression on the buyer that you are there to help and that they are not going to regret having given you their email 5 minutes ago. In other words, it begins the process of earning their trust and opening up the lines of communication and consultation. At this point, you only contact them with relevant information related to what they are interested in and being helpful.
Now, before I said you usually do not want to trigger sales to call them right away. While this is true, there are times when it may be best to call. However, this is dependent mostly upon what they have downloaded and where it places them in the buyers journey. If they are downloading materials that suggest they are ready to purchase, then it may be best to follow up immediately. We will get into an example later in this article.
Creating a Natural Lead-Based Pathway
Once you understand the Buyer Persona that you are targeting, you begin to create your content. When doing this, it is important to create various downloads that are geared toward various parts of the buyer’s journey. By targeting various stages, your will begin to create a pathway with your content that leads to the end of the buyer’s journey (where you will be there to happily greet them).
It is important to note that the you will need to create content that answers questions that they naturally already have (or will have) as they move toward a purchasing decision. Therefore, knowing your buyer personas and keeping these personas top-of-mind is crucial to seeing buyers walk down the pathway that you are laying out. If the breadcrumbs you leave are not relevant to their own dilemma, then they will not eat your breadcrumbs.
Understanding When they Are Ready
Understanding when they are ready and having an automated process in place to notify sales is important to not leaving too much time for them to purchase with another company. Imagine that you are a print shop that specializes in corporate accounts. You had someone convert on your website when downloading an eBook titled, “25 Ways a Professional Print Service Makes Your Company Stand Out.” When the prospect found your site, they clicked on something that someone clicks on when considering whether to even hire a professional print service. However, when they download, “25 Keys Indicators to Look for when Selecting a Print Company”, then you know that they are now deciding on a company to purchase from.
Triggering sales to call too early can scare off the prospect, but waiting until they are ready allow for more relevant conversations. So you might call up the lead and say, “I noticed you downloaded ’25 Keys Indicators to Look for when Selecting a Print Company’, what has caused you to start looking for a print company?…oh, you cannot keep up with your increased print needs…”
This conversation is going to go better at this point of the buyer’s journey than it would have when they first converted. So, get the conversions, and then start leading them down the pathway to becoming your customer.
Making it Easier
Often, getting prospects down the road to becoming a customer can be quite a bit of work. It is possible to alleviate much of the work load by automating much of the process, at least of to the point when sales is triggered to contact them manually. You can do this with Marketing Automation.