How to nurture leads to close more sales

Andrée DesLauriers

How to nurture leads to close more sales

If your business is active in developing marketing strategies and activities to generate leads, how successful are you at converting those leads into sales?

Are there obstacles that are impacting your results?
Are all your leads being followed up?
Are you letting leads go stale?
Are salespeople nurturing those leads?

We often hear from clients that they have a hard time following up on all the leads captured at a tradeshow…yes, all those business cards on your desk. Are you executing marketing tactics to generate business opportunities while leaving money on the table? Don’t worry, you’re not alone and there are different ways to address this problem.

Before we get into how to improve lead conversion, have a look at these thought-provoking stats about leads:

  • 50% of leads are qualified but not yet ready to buy. (Source: Gleanster Research)
  • 61% of B2B marketers send all leads directly to Sales; but, only 27% of those leads will be qualified.  (Source: Marketing Sherpa)
  • 79% of marketing leads never convert into sales (Source: Marketing Sherpa)
    Lack of lead nurturing was identified as the most common cause of poor performance.

Lead Nurturing Statistics that support best practices

  • Companies that excel at lead nurturing generate 50% more sales ready leads at 33% lower cost. (Source: Forrester Research) 
  • Nurtured leads make 47% larger purchases than non-nurtured leads. (Source: The Annuitas Group) 
  • 46% of marketers with mature lead management processes have sales teams that follow up on more than 75% of marketing-generated leads. (Source: Forrester Research)
  • Companies with mature lead generation and management practices have a 9.3% higher sales quota achievement rate. (Source: CSO Insights)

Develop a lead management process

You might think there a long list of things you need to do to move the needle on leads you gained from various marketing tactics and keep them interested until they are ready to buy. The first step is to ensure you have a lead generation and management process to ensure your leads are followed-up and nurtured in a consistent way. Then, get your marketing and sales team to follow these 3 simple steps.

There are only 3 things you need to do well to get more prospects to buy:

  • Cast a net about problems, attract prospects’ attention
  • Offer prospects some free advice to build trust
  • Get prospects to take action one small step at a time

Cast a net about problems to attract and nurture

People will pay more attention to communications about their problems rather than solutions. Why? Negatives make a bigger impact on our brains. With problems, they experience fear and anxiety, and this will engage them emotionally.

Your business prospects have different types of problems they need to solve. With negative triggers you will capture their attention and be able to offer your solutions more effectively. You can still expect objections, long buyers journeys and social proof validation.

Offer prospects some free advice to build trust

Trying to convert a prospect on the first meeting will scare many off. Yet, many salespeople get all excited to follow up on a lead and expect a quick sale. Just like dating, people want to get to know you and your company before making any kind of commitment to buy. Offer them some advice and focus on building the relationship. You don’t need to give away the store but rather take them on the path to solving their problem.

Offer information about the solution to the problem, either with a case study, white paper, or other marketing content but only if it’s relevant to their circumstances.  You will need to learn more about their pains through discussions.

Observe and track the communications and marketing content they respond to. Did they open an email or links to blogs? Use the stats to get insights about their interests and provide them with pertinent content that will help them get closer to making a decision and readiness to buy.

Get prospects to take action, one small step at a time

Have you ever signed up for a free offer or downloaded some marketing content and get a sales call the next day? Were you ready to buy? Probably not.

Lead scoring is a great way to track prospect interests. Once they hit a certain score, it may well be time to contact them for a follow-up. However, keeping prospects interested takes time and staying in touch to provide them information during their journey is key to finding the right solution. Also keep in mind that the more complex the solution, the longer the sales cycle is likely to be unless there is urgency to solve the problem.

Most prospects want to buy.
They may simply not be ready right now.

Be patient, make sure you follow-up with your leads at the frequency that makes sense for their particular needs and eventually, you will see a higher percentage close rate.

Vision Strategy Marketing develops and executes lead nurturing programs for businesses in IT Solutions, Telecom, Professional Services, Channel and Distribution. We accelerate sales growth by converting more sales leads into customers. Everything we do is focused on achieving tangible results for you.

Contact Nathalie to discuss your needs.

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