Lead nurturing is the ability to turn friendly dialogue from a prospect into a big sale six months down the road. It is taking a contact that showed initial interest in your product/ service (e.g., downloaded your white paper/catalogue/brochure), qualifying the lead, and going on a journey until the contact becomes a client and crosses the finish line. The process of B2B lead generation is not always lined with immediate results. Like gardening, sometimes prospects need the right long-term treatment to turn them into qualified leads.
The first step of the process is coming up with a clearly defined strategy. Every lead should be evaluated by a kind of scorecard, with the goal of segmenting them into different groups with different levels of interest, various concerns and diverse levels of readiness to buy. These groups are not static, they need constant reevaluation as leads tend to move from lukewarm to hot along the nurturing journey process.
Here are a few questions that you may want to ask in order to define your lead nurturing scorecard:
Once you’ve evaluated all of your contacts from your lead generation efforts, it is time to determine how qualified these leads are. Create a number of groups, and try to categorize each lead into a group based on their ease of sale. Don’t get too attached to each segmentation as your prospects will constantly shift between them as you reevaluate things.
Once you’ve created those segments, you will start to nurture and carry out each group’s unique strategy in a way that is most appropriate for their characteristics. Thus, over time it will be much easier to turn those prospects into qualified leads.
Keep educating them about your company, but don’t focus on selling! Like a mature marriage with a long courtship, B2B lead generation and lead nurturing processes should be a matter of mutual interest. Building that mutual interest is the key.
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