In B2B sales, prospects and leads don’t convert into clients overnight — they need ads over time as they self-educate and create faith in a brand. According to Hubspot, 74% of companies say converting leads into customers is their top priority. The time gap between when the lead first interacts with you and when he or she is ready to purchase is the most important phase of the sales process. Lead nurturing allows you to keep your prospects engaged with your brand consistently throughout the sales cycle.
In this article, you will learn the top five successful lead nurturing tactics, a deep dive into types of lead nurturing campaigns, and how data is at the heart of the lead nurturing process.
5 Successful Lead Nurturing Tactics
1. Leverage targeted content.
When it comes to nurturing a lead, one size certainly doesn’t fit all. As research shows, strategically nurturing your leads with targeted content can significantly improve results. Targeting users with content relevant to their position along the buying process yields 72% higher conversion rates.
To leverage targeted content, start by working to understand each and every one of your unique buyers. Then, create a set of targeted content designed to nurture each of your people based on their characteristics, such as interest, goals, objectives, and marketing triggers.
You should also have the data insights such as firmographic and technographic data in place to help you identify, segment, and target the content to your unique buyer personas as you scale your strategy.
2. Focus on multiple touches.
Although the buyer’s journey will differ based on the product and service, reaching your prospects through multiple channels will become crucial from the time they become aware of your company until the time they convert into customers.
The most effective lead nurturing techniques deliver content that helps prospects advance through the buyer’s journey by resolving typical problems and concerns. In addition to email strategies, you can use a combination of content formats such as social media, blogs, videos, whitepapers, ROI calculators, or even direct mail to help your prospects.
3. Use lead scoring tactics.
Lead scoring is used to rate your leads and prospects on a scale that measures the relative importance of each lead for your business.
Lead scoring can be implemented by assigning numerical values to leads and prospects based on behavioral signals, response to your marketing initiatives, or even social networking interactions. The best way to start lead scoring is to understand the intent of your prospects, namely whether they are ready to buy or need more nurturing to push down the sales funnel.
The subsequent score is used to assess which leads can be pursued immediately by sales and which leads need to be warmed up more by marketing before sales engages.
4. Use multi-channel lead nurturing techniques.
In the past, common lead nurturing techniques involved setting up simple email drip campaigns targeting a list of prospects.
Today, marketers are looking for new channels and tools that go beyond email nurturing. Smart marketers are now introducing multi-channel lead nurturing techniques.
Successful multi-channel lead nurturing techniques often involve a combination of marketing automation, email marketing, social media, paid retargeting ads, dynamic website content, and warm calling. Because there are so many tactics involved to ensure effective execution,
you really need to validate that your sales and marketing teams are well-aligned and working cohesively.
5. Align your sales and marketing strategies.
As sales and marketing collaborate, lead nurturing techniques are more effective and customer satisfaction rates increase.
For smarketing to help nurture leads and prospects, you need to determine the precise points in the buyer’s journey where targets can be transferred between the teams. To ensure a smooth transition, consider various factors such as lead scoring, workflows, and conversion goals and events.
The shared expectations, responsibilities, and goals for this cross-team collaboration should be outlined in a sales and marketing service level agreement (SLA). Creating an SLA will help the two teams hold each other accountable for converting leads and effectively nurturing them into paying customers.
Given these tactics, you need to have a good understanding of the right lead nurturing campaigns to match intent and timing.
Types of Lead Nurturing Campaign
Developing a successful lead nurturing system can be a challenging task. One of the things you need to be conscientious of is the type of lead nurturing campaign you want to build. There are several ways to choose campaigns, depending on your priorities. Here are the three primary types of lead nurturing campaigns.
1. Engagement Campaigns
An engagement campaign helps to keep your leads and prospects engaged with your brand/offering by providing relevant, clear, and uncomplicated messaging that grabs their attention. There are three types of engagement campaigns based on stages.
The Welcome Campaign communicates your value proposition to leads that you are not acquainted with. These promotions are designed to assist your outbound prospecting activities and to keep communication going with leads who have recently downloaded an eBook or other asset from your website. This type of campaign positions your company in a place where you give value before requesting more information from your prospects in exchange.
General Drip Campaign:
This campaign is used to keep your product or service top of mind for your prospects. If anyone downloads a piece of content from your website, goes through your lead qualification criteria, and is considered qualified, then you are aware of what your prospect is looking for. Your goal should be to keep them engaged using emails or direct dials.
Examples of general drip campaigns include newsletters, blog posts, webinars, whitepapers, or relevant industry news.
Once the prospects have passed through the Welcome Campaign or General Drip Campaign, one of the following will be the next action:
- Case 1: Prospects or leads will enter the sales process.
- Case 2: You might not be able to connect with them for more information.
- Case 3: You will mark the prospect as not ready for your sales process.
- Case 4: You will mark the prospect as disqualified.
In the first three cases, you will want to execute a re-engagement campaign to keep communicating your message consistently, provide more knowledge about the challenges they face and their importance, and ensure that you are there when the opportunity arises. Your database may have leads that have become inactive at some point in time. The re-engagement campaign provides them the opportunity to get actively engaged and encourage further nurturing by your team.
2. Education Campaigns
Education campaigns ask the leads to recognize the value of your product or service and offer valuable input into how they can achieve their business goals or perform their job better and more efficiently.
This is achieved by a Teaching Point-of-View (TPOV) Campaign, a Product-Based Campaign, or a Competitive Drip Program.
Teaching Point-of-View (TPOV) Campaign:
Using strong messaging, the TPOV campaign is designed to stimulate and reframe views, perceptions, and opinions of a prospect regarding their current situation. You can achieve success if you can simulate the thinking of your prospects and create interest. TPOV campaigns focus on showing future opportunities and address your prospects’ issues, not your solution.
The product-focused strategy incorporates specific product details based on what you can offer. As you continue to connect and build the partnership with your prospect, they will want to learn more about additional and precise product details. During this initiative, your message should address the pain points of your prospects, show how you can collaborate with them to define the cause, and then find a solution to the issue. Use consumer testimonials, use cases, and case studies that offer relevant information to offer useful knowledge and also strengthen your business expertise.
Competitive Drip Campaign
A competitive drip strategy is useful when you have sufficient knowledge of your competitive position and you know you are competing with a specific competitor for business.
3. Sales Funnel Campaigns
Sales funnel campaigns are based on leads that have become actively engaged, entered into the buyer’s journey, and have the highest chances of converting into customers. This is when the rubber hits the ground and marketing and sales teams must work in full harmony to get all their efforts coordinated around the ultimate target – the paying client.
Lead Introductory Campaigns
At this point, your leads should be familiar with your brand, have evaluated the competition, and consider you a strong and reputable partner. The purpose of the lead introductory campaign is to persuade them on “Why should we communicate,” not “Why should you buy” and to create a comfortable, more face-to-face partnership with your team.
Marketing Qualified Leads (MQL)
79% of marketing leads never convert into sales. The objective of the MQL campaign is to boost the desire of your prospects to engage with your brand and qualify for a sales conversation. Targeted, personalized communication is most effective, preferably through direct, personal emails or a phone call from the sales department. Your messaging must focus on answering the question “Why change? ” or “Why change now? ” The ultimate goal is to convey the immense value of working with your business.
Sales Qualified Leads (SQL)
Sales Qualified Leads are the highest quality leads. Ones who meet sales buying criteria such as BANT (Budget, Authority, Need, Timing) and are actively engaged with your sales team. These leads are your most promising source of future closed won opportunities and are navigating the lower part of the sales funnel.
Wrapping Up: Data is the Key
Given all of the above, you need to have as much data about your prospects as possible to ensure your lead or prospect nurturing gives you the best results. Along with general information like job title, phone number, and email address, SalesIntel provides additional data such as technographic, firmographic, and buyer intent signals to help you understand your prospects better and push them down the funnel quicker than usual.
Firmographic data includes company size, annual turnover, locations, and more. This data will help you to filter your target prospects from a huge set of audience. You can then focus on a specific audience that will make it easier to strategize your campaigns.
Technographic data gives you data about the hardware and software that your prospects are currently using. This not only helps you to understand the technical stack of your prospects but it also helps you come up with a tailored messaging.
For example, you can focus your message on how your product can help them considering existing infrastructure. You can also check if they are using your competitor’s product and push a comparison blog or a PDF comparing your product with your competitor’s product.
Buyer Intent Data
Buyer Intel Data gives you an opportunity to go a step ahead and identify the prospects that have the best possibilities of buying your product or service immediately and the prospects that need further nurturing.
The more data you have, the better your prospect and lead nurturing efforts will yield results.