Every marketer's goal is to successfully feed the company's sales funnel with quality leads. Sometimes, it may seem like you're doing everything right to achieve this, from researchers spotting top-quality contacts and sales personnel converting them into customers to inbound channels attracting
interested leads. Yet, a significant number of leads may be slipping through your fingers. Why and how does this happen?
Notably, it is a long process, and it takes a lot of work to transform contacts from a lead to a customer because some of the leads may not be ready to buy, no matter the funnel stage. The B2B sales cycle encompasses eight stages, making it a significantly longer process, and increasing the amount of work you have to do.
So, how can you make your business stand out from your competitors and land new customers with minimal effort and investment?
The secret is B2B lead nurturing.
1. What is B2B Lead Nurturing?
B2B lead nurturing refers to the process of building a relationship with your B2B leads to convert them into potential customers. The process usually involves listening to your prospects' needs at every sales cycle stage and communicating solutions that aim to establish trust and maintain a lasting connection. So, simply put, lead nurturing is strategy businesses use to build, support, and grow relationships with potential customers.
A classic example of the application of a lead nurturing strategy is being active on social media. Maintaining a strategic multiplatform presence is an excellent way to connect and build a sustainable relationship with new potential customers. For instance, social media allows you to put your content where a vast majority of people spend their time and will enable you to engage your targets easily.
Even though B2B lead nurturing serves the ultimate goal of driving sales, it offers much more. For instance, the strategy introduces prospective customers to your brand, enables your audience to remember you, helps you gain trust among your audience, reduces customer acquisition costs, and strengthens your sales strategy.
2. Practical Steps for B2B Lead Nurturing
Define Your Leads
Different types of leads exist, requiring you to invest in different lead nurturing strategies depending on the audience. you can define and categorize your contacts based on the B2B sales funnel. Analyzing your audience allows you to determine your buyer persona to create an ideal customer profile. In other words, you identify your specific target audience's pain points and needs so you can create and distribute relevant content for them. Common types of leads according to bant.io include:
- Information qualified leads (IQL)
- Marketing qualified leads (MQL)
- Sales ready/accepted leads (SRL)
- Warm vs cold leads
- Sales qualified leads (SQL)
- Member service request leads (MSR)
Pay Attention to Feedback
As established earlier in the article, lead nurturing is a process of listening to your prospects' needs and offering solutions. So, it involves gaining insights into and learning about their issues and expectations. Listening and learning from feedback will help you recognize areas that need particular improvement.
The secret to keeping customers coming back is making them feel positive about products, services, and their interaction with your brand. Paying attention and responding to customer feedback teaches you to constantly improve your offerings and brand to meet or exceed customer expectations.
You can achieve this by creating surveys, one of the best ways to get feedback. Surveys can help you understand what leads are thinking, feeling, and doing at each stage of the buyer’s journey. NPS surveys is a good place to start.
Take Advantage of Email Automation
The email marketing automation strategy is critical in preventing your leads from going cold. The strategy would help you in various ways, including generating emails automatically or updating you for any positive feedback from a lead.
Email automation doesn't replace human interaction since all B2B lead nurturing requires the human element. Email automation comes in keeping your leads fresh and prevents your lead nurturing efforts from going to waste, especially when your sales team becomes overwhelmed.
The market features a diverse range of email automation tools such as Mailchimp, Convertkit, Sendinblue, just to name a few, that can send scheduled blasts to leads based on their brand interaction. These tools are built using data, analytics, and behavior research, helping you customize your email marketing campaigns.
Examples of real-world email automation include welcome emails, sending social proof in the form of customer reviews to potential leads, giving new leads a discount, and product education.
Incorporate Your Social Networks
There's a reason every effective digital marketing strategy includes a sound social media strategy. It would be best if you did not ignore the value social sites like LinkedIn can have on your B2B lead nurturing strategy. Incorporating your social networks allows you to optimize your profiles and customize content to your audiences' liking.
You can leverage social media for your B2B lead nurturing strategy in a variety of ways. Examples include, creating social media quizzes, taking advantage of micro-influencers, launching compelling lead magnet offers, sharing testimonials as social proof, leveraging social media sponsorships, and targeted advertising.
Develop Remarketing Campaigns
Remarketing is a relatively new marketing concept that not many businesses know and understand its value. It is an effective lead nurturing strategy that aims to impact visitors who fail to take action. Remarketing campaign is excellent at approaching users who showed interest in your brand but did not take action for various reasons. A remarketing campaign your can leverage for such an audience is offering content that complements the page they visited to optimize their experience.
3. Grow Your Business with B2B Lead Nurturing
Lead generation is a key component of your B2B marketing strategy. However, it is only a piece of a two-part puzzle. The "more is better" mindset is irrelevant when only a handful of the leads turn into customers. Taking advantage of personalized data and the technology at your disposal is far more essential to nurturing top-quality leads and turning them into paying customers. This is where B2B lead nurturing comes in.
Lead nurturing is the process of growing a relationship with your B2B clients; it is instrumental in helping your clients know your business. Think of it as the dating period where two people get an opportunity to know each other before committing. Nurturing leads is essential to the growth of any business. It helps develop a healthy working relationship with prospects, turning them into long-term business partners.
So, take advantage of the strategies above to create solid relationships through commitment and trust, and expect repeat business from your existing clients and numerous new ones gained through word of mouth in the industries you serve.
It really takes a lot to attract visitors and turn a small percentage of them into bonafide leads. With all the effort that was put into generating those leads, we must realize their value and do everything possible to maximize their potential.
One of the best ways of accomplishing this is Lead Nurturing. To do that, you must have a deep understanding of your customer’s journey and the content they want to consume at each touchpoint. Fortunately, once you have that understanding, there are numerous tools and platforms to help nurture these leads until they blossom into sales.
Whether it’s understanding the journey, providing the content or automating the process, many companies find lead nurturing to be a daunting task. Why not call the Digital Marketing professionals at KeyScouts and see if you qualify for a free Lead Nurturing program evaluation.