In many ways, lead nurturing is the unsung hero of effective B2B marketing. While tactics designed to fill your CRM with prospects get all the glory, those leads matter little if you cannot convert them into actual revenue.
A cohesive strategy built on a foundation of nurturing best practices can transform your pipeline of cold prospects into warm leads and new deals. In this guide, we’ll explore not just the basics and importance of the concept, but also key tactics and best practices that help your business qualify and convert leads.
4 Best Practices for More Effective B2B Lead Nurturing
Individual tactics are important. But they can only work when following best practices that apply across every communication occurring with prospects in your funnel. While further optimization is always possible, these four best practices should be at the core of every campaign.
1. Add Urgency to Follow-Ups and Responses
The Five Minute Rule has been quoted frequently in lead generation and inbound marketing discussions. According to research, prospects who are contacted within 5 minutes of becoming a lead are 21 times more likely to becomes sales-qualified than those who have to wait 30 minutes.
That core statistic adds a level of urgency that reverberates across the lead nurturing process. Leads become more likely to close if they are treated as a priority, from the first follow-up to any future requests or questions. Quick answers, especially when they are also relevant and valuable, can be the key to conversion success.
2. Personalize Messages When Possible
Lead nurturing provides an inherent opportunity for personalization. You already have your leads’ information; now, you can use that to send more relevant, customized messaging.
That starts with segmenting your leads into smaller, more homogeneous groups. Now, you can build custom email flows based on variables like company size, geographic region, and even job title. Each variable may lead to different content, different language, and different types of follow-up.
Personalizing the sender is another crucial touch. An email or phone call from an actual sales representative, or perhaps a relevant department head, can go a long way towards both making your leads feel like a priority and establishing a relationship that ultimately results in a sale.
3. Prioritize Your Leads for Optimum ROI
Not all leads are created equal. Some prospects may have been intrigued by a lead magnet on your site, but are nowhere near ready to buy. Others have given clear signals, like signing up for a product demo or visiting your pricing page multiple times, that they’re ready to talk conversion.
Your lead nurturing strategy should account for these differences in behavior. For example, effective lead scoring can help prioritize your leads, assigning values to different actions that signal what type of follow-up is required. Hot leads will likely need a manual, live follow-up relatively quickly, while others may simply be looking for more content for the time being.
4. Create a Lead Nurturing Strategy With Multiple Touches
Finally, we come back to the point made throughout this guide: the need for a comprehensive strategy. A 2019 study by Gartner showed that from inquiry to sales conversion, the average B2B lead requires 24 touches. Not all of them come from marketing, but it’s an important point to keep in mind nonetheless.
B2B sales cycles are complex. Follow-ups through multiple channels that are persistent, but not annoying, adding value instead of pushing sales messages, are crucial to keeping your company top of mind in that process. Rather than giving up or stopping your communication flow if a lead doesn’t convert immediately, a comprehensive strategy can help to keep things moving and ultimately close the deal.
Building a Better B2B Lead Nurturing Strategy
The first touchpoint with a new lead is only the beginning. While lead generation is an undoubtedly crucial part of modern sales, nurturing those leads towards the close is just as vital for a sustainable flow of new customers. A systematic approach to nurturing your lead can maximize the positive effects of your lead nurturing strategy, and support your sales funnel in the process.
That’s not always easy to do. It requires a close understanding of your platforms, along with the implementation of tactics that range from long-form content to social media ads. Once combined with best practices, though, these tactics can lead towards a healthier sales pipeline, supporting new prospects and building relationships that ultimately pay off in revenue. To learn more about how Sapper can help to develop your lead nurturing strategy, click here.