Guide: how to accelerate your sales cycle with lead nurturing
The lead nurturing is an inbound marketing technique that tries to create valuable relationships with our leads and accompany them through the buying process.
This strategy gets great results in B2B sales and particularly in industrial marketing, where the sales cycle is much longer than in B2C businesses. According to some studies, applying lead nurturing techniques can accelerate the sales cycle more than a 20%.
Lead nurturing includes techniques like:
- Don’t forget the human touch!
Key steps of the lead nurturing strategy
1. Work with the salesforce
Unify criteria and ease the flow of information between the commercial and marketing departments:
- Listen to the sales calls to better understand the customer’s decision making process.
- Define together the features that make a qualified lead.
- Interview the customers and leads that don’t finally make a purchase in order to understand why.
2. Create buyer personas that describe the characteristics of your ideal customers
Company size, year revenue, location, industry, etc. You can’t apply a lead nurturing strategy without fully understanding your buying personas: What are the common features of our best and worst customers? Which are their favorite contents? What searches do they make? Which social media do they use? Which products do they buy?
3. Make a buyer’s journey map
Find the challenges that each buyer faces through the decision making and buying process.
4. Define the content needs of every buyer persona
- Which is his/her role?
- What interests him/her?
- Which communication channel does he/she prefer?
- What are his/her challenges?
- What influences his/her buying decisions?
- And his/her goals?
- How can we help him/her to meet them?
5. Create a personalized content strategy for every buyer persona and all the steps of their buyer journey
The key points you have to develop are the contact frequency and the type of content you send in every stage of the sales process. It is very important to create personalized and contextualized content according to our goals and the needs of the lead in order to make him advance toward the final purchase.
6. Integrate the lead scoring in the process
The basis for lead nurturing is a good segmentation of the contacts, creating groups of similar characteristics, needs and interests that we’ll feed with contents that will be as personalized as possible. To achieve this, we’ll use lead scoring, which is a methodology that seeks to qualify the different leads according to their proximity to the buyer persona and the point of the buying process where they currently are.
Landing pages, emails and newsletters will allow us to appeal the leads and collect new data from them. We’ll stablish a scoring system where every action of the lead will get a score. For example: 1 poing for the interaction with online content, 5 points for answering an email, or 10 points for requesting more information about a product. According to his total score, we’ll locate our lead in a specific point of the buyer journey and we’ll feed him with the content that satisfies his needs. The higher the lead score, the higher the chances of conversion.
7. Implement an action plan through the lead’s evolution
For instance, if we know that the lead has visited the website three times in the last month, we send him an email with a link to download a case study.
8. Use marketing automation tools
Monitor the leads progression and adapt our messages in order to accelerate their progression through the customer journey. To achieve this it is fundamental having reached a solid comprehension of the sales cycle, the company’s goals, the contents and the buyer persona.
BCM Marketing dessigns your tailored made lead nurturing strategy, always with the goal to create long lasting relationships with your customers.
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