Some of the most valuable prospective customers for your business come in the form of qualified sales leads. Once you’ve established a segment of prospects that you know are willing, able, and interested in purchasing your products, you can truly begin to market what makes your company unique and valuable.
However, sometimes even the most qualified of leads won’t immediately make a purchase from you. These situations are where lead nurturing comes into play. Lead nurturing is the practice of keeping your prospective customers informed and aware of your company’s strengths and unique selling points. Regardless of your industry, lead nurturing is one of the very best ways to ensure continued long-term business for your company.
The Intent of Lead Nurturing
Oracle defines lead nurturing as the process of “educating qualified sales leads who are not yet ready to buy”. To this point, effective lead nurturing revolves around explaining, enlightening, and re-affirming the values and benefits of your product or service to your target customer segment.
Although your marketing and sales departments may have their own ideas of what truly “sells” your product, it’s essential to consider what benefits matter to which segment of your audience. Certain segments of your leads may ultimately be concerned with price, whereas others may be focused on ensuring they receive a solution that’s effective and reliable. Efficient lead nurturing means reminding your leads of the ways that your product can meet their needs.
Many organizations choose to nurture leads at the very top of their sales funnels; after all, newer customers are among the most difficult to acquire. However, lead nurturing has applications for customers at every stage of the funnel, from first-time buyers to clients you’ve had for years. Furthermore, lead nurturing can help your company retain more of your customers within your funnel, as the act of lead nurturing, by nature, shows that you are investing time and effort into showcasing your company’s values and strengths.
The Practice of Lead Nurturing
Lead nurturing uses a number of different tactics in order to keep your qualified sales leads aware of your company’s offerings. These tactics largely rely on maintaining constant communication with your prospects and offering them upfront informational value through the use of content marketing.
Content marketing can be an extremely effective method for demonstrating your company’s value to your customers. Generally speaking, content marketing revolves around the idea of sending your customers advice on how to deal with common problems they may face, and ultimately showing them how your product or service can address that problem. This content may come in the form of white papers, infographics, webinars, or instructional videos. Pursuant to lead nurturing, many companies use a series of content pieces in order to keep their leads returning to their various outreach channels.
Constant communication with your leads offers the strongest opportunity to convert prospective clients into paying customers. You’ve undoubtedly been on the receiving end of this practice already, such as with an email from a customer loyalty program, or a message from Amazon notifying you of a sale on a product you’ve looked at in the past. Whether it’s through email, direct mail, or social media, constant and frequent outreach to your qualified leads is a surefire way to make sure that your customers keep your company in mind when it comes time to make their purchase