AskCallbox: What Makes an Effective Lead Nurturing Program?

I can drown you with numbers from a dozen sources that prove how important lead nurturing is in the marketing process, but I choose not to. Let me give you a sprinkling of the juicy tidbits, though, as compiled by Ellen Gomez for Convince and Convert:   

  • 79% of marketing leads never convert to sales. Lack of lead nurturing is the common cause for poor performance (MarketingSherpa)
  • Companies that excel at lead nurturing generate 50% more sales ready leads at a 33% lower cost (Marketo)
  • Nurtured leads make 47% larger purchases than non-nurtured leads (The Annuitas Group)

Very clearly, lead nurturing is an effective marketing tool to transform what were merely leads in the ToFu to paying customers in the BoFu. I will let you in on a secret: everybody can use lead nurturing to their advantage, and that includes you.

I know you’re excited, but before you begin any lead nurturing program, you need to clearly define goals so you know what is considered “success”. We all know there’s always that “everything depends on perspective” thing. A 100% increase in converts may spell success for you, but to others, it may mean nothing. See, without clear objectives of what you are trying to accomplish with your lead nurturing campaigns, you will never know if you’re seeing success or not. Now think of a concrete and measurable goal. You can even write it down.

The Four E’s of an Effective Lead Nurturing Program

Now, here’s what we’re going to do to realize those goals.

  • Establish

Build a good list of prospects, (operative word: good) from which you define buyer personas and do progressive profiling. Everything, and I mean everything, starts with a good-to-great prospects list. If you can tell yourself you have a pretty decent list, throw it away. You need at least a good one, or else everything that follows will be exercise in futility.

Related: AskCallbox: Where Do you get the List?

From the list, you have to understand who it is you’re trying to reach. It will provide you with a tremendous marketing and sales advantage. Creating buyer profiles takes time, but once completed, they focus and leverage your efforts. You simply cannot have a consistently effective nurturing program without clearly defined prospect profiles.

Get updated and targeted business list of your target market!

  • Educate

Create awareness, inform them about the product, and teach them how to make better decisions by creating relevant, timely, and useful content. In creating the content, make sure you:

  • Know your audience very well
  • Consider the buyer’s journey
  • Set a conversational tone
  • Keep it simple (or short and sweet)
  • Personalize your content

Related: Customized Content for your Target Audience Like These Payroll Software Companies Did

  • Engage

If you have already mapped out the number of touchpoints you need and determined which channels to use – it could be email or phone or social media or all of them – you’re ready to engage them.

Helpful Stastistics: 5 Social Media Trends for Businesses in 2016

After sending the initial information about the products or services, you can follow up by phone. By now, you should have already been able to determine if the target decision-makers are receptive or not. If they aren’t, you can try and reach out to them via social media. They have to be reachable somewhere; it’s your job to cover all bases and figure out where that is. And remember, the key to engaging your prospects is not just giving them any old marketing bit you have prepared, a brochure, or a link – it has to be relevant to them and their business, and you must give them that information in a timely manner – at a point when they need it and are actively looking for it, not before, not after.

Related: Statistical Proofs Show That You Should Invest In Multi Channel Marketing

  • Earn

Win them over with a final push! Sometimes, all it takes is a little nudge to make the prospect say yes. Apply all the theories in Psychology to get that sweet yes.

  • Try reciprocal concession: If there is an expensive and a cheap model of a product, it’s better to advertise the expensive one first. Selling down works better than selling up. We feel more responsible and satisfied after agreeing to a concession. We think we have brought that change.
  • Use social proof: We view a behavior as more correct in a given situation to the degree that we see others performing it.
    The more number of people doing it, the more the rule works into making us believe that the behavior is correct.
    We use behavior of people (like us), to determine proper behavior for ourselves.

Mention how many people have bought the product in the past 48 hours and the prospect might just give in.

You have to understand that an effective nurturing program actively moves the prospects you’ve created through your marketing and lead generation effortsthrough a complex sales development process to the point where they become paying customers. Yes, anyone can enjoy the benefits of an effective lead nurturing program. You just have to be willing to invest time and resources and patience and ingenuity. The list is quite long, really, but in the end, it’s all worth it.

Here’s what you’ve missed! AskCallbox: Where Do you get the List?

AskCallbox: Where Do you get the List?

Check out! Turning Targets to Sales-Ready Leads with a 50% Shorter Lead Nurturing Cycle

Learn more how to increase leads with our lead nurturing program 

AskCallbox: Where Do You Get the List?

Building a good list is important, but it may take a long while. When you need a torrent of leads at the top of the funnel, buying a list is an easy solution.

There are several very good reasons:

  • You save time when you purchase updated and cleansed lists rather than clean them yourself
  • You know your target prospects better and can be more accurate with your campaign messaging when you buy profiled lists
  • You discover new businesses that you should be marketing to

When there’s a known need, nature will find a way to supply. Naturally enough, there’s an industry that focuses on sales lead generation so you don’t have to. Most of these services let you segment and sort millions of contacts online, revealing the most vital details (name, email, phone) once you purchase the list or sign up with an annual subscription.

Internal Marketing Research

Most companies have their own internal marketing data research, and coupled with advanced online searching, sales lead generators gather, cross-reference, scrutinize, and deliver email, phone, and other pertinent data. These are then supplemented with other data such as employee growth rate, business history, size of market served, and salary information. Besides selecting targets by the number of employees and industry, sometimes,  the targets’ location and proximity are also considered.

Related: 7 Most Effective Market Research Tools for Creating Effective Lead Generation

Third Party Sources

If you think letting internal marketing research do all the dirty work consumes so much and effort, worry not. Whether you are looking to build a target list on the basis of geography, industry, company size, or any other segmentation, there are a number of different sources out there offering business contacts with email addresses and other information. While each of them works on varied models and ranges from a few cents per contact to several dollars a contact, it’s important to understand the underlying value proposition of each source while deciding on which one will work best for you.

Info USA

Best For: Do-it-yourselfers seeking a fully-curated source, especially those targeting consumers.

Overview: InfoUSA divides its sales leads into postal/phone contacts and email contacts. For the latter, InfoUSA helps you create the email message and does the actual emailing (but charges extra for fancier HTML layouts) — in other words, it won’t send you the actual email list. (This probably helps keep others from abusing the list to your benefit.)


Best For: Those seeking a fully-curated source, especially for business contacts. Plans are available for do-it-yourselfers or annual subscribers who prefer dedicated, consultative service.

Overview: With Hoover’s, you can run your own searches, using its Lead Builder tool, or you can subscribe on a monthly or yearly basis and work one-on-one with a representative, to build your lists.


Best For: Do-it-yourselfers seeking a collaborative, potentially lower-cost solution.

Overview: Jigsaw is a collaborative database of contacts. You can buy contacts with money or with credits earned from sharing your contacts or correcting Jigsaw’s list. Data quality depends on the quality of Jigsaw’s collaborators.

Related: The Hidden Gems of the Web: Where Can You Get a Good B2B Lead List?

Find the Best Fit

For most marketers, purchasing lists is still the easiest way to fill a pipeline. Again, remember to carefully evaluate what you’re getting in terms of value from each of the third-party sources mentioned above and select the one that checks all your boxes.

Reference: entrepreneur

Have regular data cleanup to check your database for errors or get a targeted business list for your marketing campaign! Contact us

Check out Callbox Successful Lead Generation Campaigns:

Global Media Runs On Accurate Market Data

Callbox Data Profiling A Major Coup for Exhibition Leader

Quantifying Lead Generation Success for World-Class Data Solutions Provider

AskCallbox: What is a qualified lead?

Sales is a meticulous matchmaking process. You can’t just take all the leads and shove your product or service in their faces. Some prospects are a good match, while others are better off with some other company. Knowing which prospect is the right match for you is paramount. That’s why it’s important to know which leads are sales-qualified and are ready for the next stage in your sales process.

So what is a qualified lead?

I can give you two answers, one short and one long.

Short answer:

A qualified lead is a prospective customer with need, budget, and buying authority, and with a buying timeline that is in accordance with that of your company’s own projections.

You can stop after this sentence. If you want the long version, stay a while. A good match, after all, is worth spending a little more time with.

The long answer:

A sales-qualified lead is not just a name and a contact number. He or she is a prospective customer that has been researched and evaluated and is deemed ready for the next stage in the sales process. He or she has gone past the engagement stage, and by showing intent to buy a company’s products, is now ready to be pursued for conversion into a full-fledged customer.

Related: The 4Ws & 1H of a Qualified Lead

A qualified lead is determined by the company’s lead qualification process. This process analyzes which actions a prospect takes that show intention to purchase. A lead scoring process is employed to categorize prospects from the least likely to buy to the more serious ones. Ideally, sales, marketing, and quality assurance teams collaborate to determine which qualities a prospect must have and the actions he should take in order to move on to the next stage of the sales process.

While the exact definition of a sales-qualified lead may vary according to a company’s criteria in determining what a qualified lead is and what is not, as well as what it is selling and who you’re selling to, the BANT criteria is generally used. BANT is an acronym for Budget, Authority, Need, and Timeframe/Timeline/Time.

The BANT System

  • Budget
    Does the prospect have the budget to buy the product/service?

After all is said and done, it still boils down to money. No, it’s not love that makes the world go round. It’s cash. It doesn’t matter how much interest a prospect has shown in your product/service. If he doesn’t have the money, strike him off the list. And don’t feel guilty for missing out on him. There are others who can afford what you’re selling. Simple as that.

  • Authority
    Does this person have the authority to make a buying decision? Is he capable of getting an approval to buy your product?

Picture this: You’re a real estate broker. In an open-house, a thirty-ish man who says he just got married asks for a tour of a nice Mediterranean-inspired two-story overlooking the Pacific. His jaw doesn’t close throughout the 10-minute tour. He says he can’t wait to move in. You smell a fat commission.

Yes, you have a potential sale. But that’s all that is: potential. He may actually have the resources to acquire the property, but there’s a good chance he won’t be making the decisions alone. Clue: just got married.

In business-to-business sales, sometimes the person you talk to may lead you to believe in a possible sale. But consider the fact that, except for a few companies with unorthodox processes or eccentric bosses or both, corporate acquisitions almost always have to be approved by a panel or a committee or at the very least, a decision-maker other than the one you “theoretically” sold the product to.

So don’t call home to tell the kids to pack for a 3-day mini-vacay yet.

  • Need
    Does the prospect need what you are selling? Or, does the prospect have a need that your product can fulfill? What are the conditions that have to be satisfied before your product or service would be valuable to a potential customer?

It must be clear that we are talking about “need” here, which is a full upgrade from “want”. The rule of thumb is to ask whether or not your solution will offer prospects value. There are lots of reasons why a prospect might not need what you are offering.

For example, if you are selling software and it’s not compatible with your prospect’s system, there’s no point in pushing for a sale. Once you’ve established that there’s a certain NEED that needs to be fulfilled, one foot is in.

  • Time frame
    When is the prospect looking to make a decision (to buy)?

Like in most activities, time is of the essence in sales. In this case, it is important that your prospect’s time frame in buying the product coincides with your own, whether it is a deadline set by your boss or a certain schedule you need to have a sale in order to get that elusive commission.

There are also seasons in sales, and different seasons have different demands from salespeople. And because of this, sometimes it’s not just the right time for some deals to close.

Yes, time and timing matter!

Getting positive answers to the BANT questions isn’t the only deciding factor in classifying a lead as “sales-qualified”, but it is a critical indicator. Armed with this information, the sales rep can then focus on the prospects that are most likely to be converted to customers.

AskCallbox: Why would I work with Callbox or any lead generation company when I have an in-house marketing person and my own CRM?

I understand you are in as tight a spot as any marketing guy can be: it’s either a win-win or a lose-lose situation, there’s no middle ground. This is a legit dilemma.

Indeed, why would you hire some agency to do the marketing for you when you have an in-house team and your own CRM (Customer Relationship Management) platform at your disposal?

Simple: the best way to do lead generation is to not do any of it. Let the experts handle it.

Let me put it in perspective. Yes, you have a car. It is working fine. If your goal is just to get from point A to B, use it. Drive it even. But if you’re traveling cross-country and you want a stress-free ride and enjoy the landscape and not worry about anything else, rent a car. With a chauffeur.

Gain Expertise

You may know your product or service like the back of your hand, but you may not necessarily excel at other functions your product may require of you, such as lead generation. By outsourcing to an established marketing agency, you are putting a team of experienced and expert people at your disposal, giving you the advantage of generating the maximum return on your investment while still retaining control of every project.

Sometimes, in your quest to make all things great, you may find yourself donning several hats—quickly becoming a jack-of-all-trades and master of none. But in the marketing world, you have to be a master, especially when it comes to lead generation. Teaming with an experienced and successful marketing company allows you to lean on the experts when needed so you can focus on what you do best.

Related: Why ERP Vendors should opt in outsourcing their marketing processes?

Save Time & Money

Outsourcing your marketing efforts will save you time and money since a good marketing company can strategize, execute, and deliver your needs. It’s like getting all the perks of having a multimillion-dollar marketing staff at a fraction of the cost, and with no long-term commitment.

See, in-house marketing does not guarantee income. It may have its crest and troughs, but a business still needs to pay its marketing staff their salaries and bonuses depending on performance. Work with a reputable marketing firm and cut overhead marketing costs, as they will be replaced with as-needed costs based on your budget. As the business owner, you could start with a variable marketing budget and later on, as you can feel significant ROI, you can establish a fixed budget and develop a marketing plan. Or better yet, get the services of that same agency again.

Avail of Proven Technology & Efficient System

Most sales and marketing firms are not dependent on one person. They rely on a cohesive team of experts who have mastered every step of whatever process they have in place. Callbox, for example, works on a system of processes that functions like clockwork. We have technology in place for your campaign to run smoothly and successfully. We provide multi-channel lead generation services that are designed to help get you in front of your target prospects at the best time — when they are most interested and ready to listen to what you have to offer. Our SMART (Sales and Marketing At the Right Time) Calling system helps produce high quality sales leads by tracking exact times of lead activity and responding promptly at every opportunity. From emails, SMS, and postal mail sent based on pre-set triggers, follow-up calls made to opens and replies, website visits, and social media connections – Callbox ensures you spend time only on sales-ready leads. A proven technology and an efficient system are two benefits you may not have in your in-house team.

Get Fresh Insight

In-house teams can struggle to execute things they haven’t done before. The learning curve can be pretty steep. Having a seasoned agency handle your lead-generation campaign means avoiding a significant part of the learning curve. Aside from that, a lot of employees are very reluctant when it comes to talking about company sales, marketing strategies and efforts, or anything along those lines. Who would blame them? Most of the time, sharing an opinion that’s different from the one your bosses have can lead to all kinds of troubles. Marketing agency experts, however, will always provide an honest and objective opinion about your business.

Make the Right Choice

Outsourcing your marketing team is a critical decision for any company. Used correctly, it can bring plenty of value by putting your organization in expert hands. The key is knowing and understanding your company and its needs, and then choosing the right marketing agency to outsource for the future growth of your company.