Between the sunny skies that wrap around the success of closing a lead prospect into a sale or a contract, there is a cloud of uncertainty that can sometimes come inevitable in a typical lead generation funnel. When a lead is not “ripe” enough to progress into the next stage, there would be a need for “nurturing”.
The question is: is it really a necessary step?
Slowly but surely
To evaluate its worth, let’s first take a look at the good things it brings to the table. Of course, nurturing gets rid (or at least lessens the possibility) of instances when a lead has been brought to the far end of the funnel only to discover that it’s not qualified. The nurturing process allows the marketer to learn more about the prospect, his needs and his capacity to acquire services.
Nurturing a prospect also gives an impression of service. How often does one encounter a business salesman who would spend considerable time and effort just to get to know a potential customer – one who is not yet committed to anything that the business would benefit from?
This kind of image can help boost a brand in the awareness of the people who would turn out to be the target market. People like it when someone – especially a business – listens to them sincerely.
The faster lane
On the other hand, skipping the nurturing part also has its perks. One is that it makes the lead generation process significantly faster, considering that all leads are practically treated the same way and a big chunk of them would eventually fall into the “unqualified” category. The nature of this approach is that when a lead gives even the slightest hint of interest, he will be given the same kind of attention as if he was truly interested in the product/service.
Sales people would be talking more on the phones, yes, but it also heightens the probability of a good outcome, since the marketing aspect of it already relies on selling skills and not entirely on the definite need of a prospect.
Quality versus quantity
The polarizing debate on quality versus quantity will also resurface when choosing between different marketing approaches. In the end, it’s all about what you as a marketer care about more. If you think your business will prosper when taking time to understand your audience, learn how to nurture them. If your objective is to amass as many leads as possible and qualify them afterwards, then nurturing may not be suitable for you.