Lead Nurturing or drip marketing is the process of building relationships with prospects who are currently not ready to buy and could be ideal customers in the future. It is important to develop a relationship with prospective buyers at every step of their buying journey. If you wish to convert your marketing leads into sales, you ought to be educating and engaging your prospect at every stage of the sales funnel, inform them about your organization and its products and build trust. Leads in the sales funnel need nurturing both in the case of B2B (longer selling cycle) and B2C (shorter selling cycle) in their marketing and sales effort, making it more likely that prospects choose them when it is time to buy.
Here are a few marketing statistics that paint a clearer picture of how important lead nurturing is for businesses.
- Nurtured leads makes 47% larger purchases than non-nurtured leads (The Annuitas Group)
- 74% of companies say converting leads into customers is their top priority (Hubspot)
- Nurtured leads produce, on average, a 20% increase in sales opportunities versus non-nurtured leads. (Hubspot)
- 79% of marketing leads never convert into sales. Lack of lead nurturing is the common cause of this poor performance (Hubspot)
When you know how important lead nurturing is for your business, you should also understand where your lead is in the sales cycle. Your leads may not be ready to commit to you just on a first impression alone. They might be weighing a lot of options and need to understand benefits of your product or service, know that you’re reliable and can continually provide value. So, how do you convince them? Know what they think, learn about their interests and demands, then engage at each stage of the journey. You have to make sure that you are visible throughout the buyer’s journey. Typically, the buyer’s journey is:
Once a lead comes in, it becomes part of the sales funnel where it is typically classified as:
- Top of the Funnel (TOFU) — LEAD
- Middle of the Funnel (MOFU) — PROSPECT
- Bottom of the Funnel (BOFU)
- Close — CUSTOMER
- Delight — Service, loyalty
Nurturing leads has become inevitable in every aspect of business. Be it the real estate industry or IT industry, it is important to get the conversation going with your leads to convert them into customers. Here is an example of a property developer sales process & lead nurturing requirement:
This is what happens when a person enquires about a property? He becomes a lead and he is at the Top of the Funnel (TOFU). This is the stage where lead nurturing starts.
- The sales team gives a phone call; invites him for a site visit and talks about the different benefits of buying a property with them.
- Till the time, the lead is ready for the site visit; the sales team keeps his interest alive by sending him emails. When he comes for the site visit, he reaches middle of the funnel (MOFU).
- After he visits the site and is thinking about buying, but has not yet decided, he is in the bottom of the funnel (BOFU).
- After paying the booking amount, he becomes a customer. In this stage, the lead has turned into a customer as he decides to buy the property. Even after he becomes a customer, it’ s important to keep in touch.
- When a lead is trying to take a decision whether he should buy the property or not, i.e., when he is in a stage of “May be” or “No”, that’s where lead nurturing takes place again. A few well spaced emails focusing on the benefits and offers of the property then add in to the effort of nurturing the leads.
All this while, you must have realized that every lead in the sales funnel needs a little push to come down the sales funnel, which happens with the help of lead nurturing. There are countless ways to stay in touch with leads. Some of them are:
Email Marketing Campaigns
Create a campaign based on where your leads are along the sales funnel. Have an email marketing campaign based on the interests of your lead sending them email with suitable content at regular timed intervals.
Human to human connection still works even in this world where technology is at our fingertips. Just reach out to your prospects with a phone call; that real human voice really works.
Try to connect with your leads on Twitter or LinkedIn. A personal invite on LinkedIn can help in creating the first impression.
Retargeting campaigns also work best when you want to convert your leads to customers.
Mastering a well-designed lead nurturing plan will convert your leads into customers faster than you ever thought possible. Do you have a lead generation plan already in place? If you don’t, then start creating one now – You don’t want to lose your new leads.
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