It’s the era of engagement. B2B Marketing is no longer about marketing and selling on a business-to-business mind-set; we’re marketing and selling to humans.
On the flipside of this though, B2B prospects themselves are becoming faster and more independent in their research. Up to 90% of the buying journey is complete before you even know who these prospects are…
If your B2B prospects want interaction and engagement, but at the same time, are independently researching through over 90% of the buying process, how are you supposed to build a relationship with them and guide them to purchase?
To break into their research phase and begin building that valued human-to-human relationship, you need a lead nurturing campaign that unites your sales and marketing team.
In part one of this series, we talked about demand generating and lead generation activity to fill up your pipeline. Turbo-charging your lead generation at this stage is all about nurturing your leads with the right information and working collaboratively, both sales and marketing, to ensure you’re driving your prospects in the right direction.
Here’s our pick of the top do’s and don’ts to turbo-charge your middle-of-the-funnel lead nurturing activity:
Match your content strategy with the B2B buyer journey
61% of B2B Buyers agree that to win a sale, you need to deliver a better mix of appropriate content at each decision-making stage – and we don’t just mean that for the marketing team! Your Sales team need to understand the content / buyer journey too.
Understanding when to send your prospects a technical specification vs. a customer testimonial could be the difference between winning and losing that deal. This is especially true when you know that 95% of B2B buyers are seeking relevant content and information to help them make a buying decision.
Map out the modern B2B buyer journey from brand awareness to sale, and their information needs at each stage. By doing this, you’ll understand what content is going to have the most impact. Plan your sales and marketing contact strategy around this research and you’re guaranteed to inform, educate and delight your prospects throughout the whole funnel.
Enable your sales team to deal with prospects from different sources, which may or may not be ready to buy yet
Up to 65% of sales reps say they can’t find content to send to prospects…
But hang on a sec, sources like the Content Marketing Institute say that over 90% of businesses are creating MORE content than ever before – so what’s going on?
Obviously, there’s a connect-the-dots issue between sales and marketing going on here. If you want to turbo-charge your middle-of-the-funnel activity, it can’t just be left to marketing. The whole team needs to be on board with lead nurturing, and your sales team are a vital part at this stage of the sales funnel.
Enable your sales team by regularly briefing them on marketing and content activity so they can fully support the value proposition, and make use of strong supporting content when nurturing leads through the funnel.
Leave lead follow-up to the last minute
A recent study from Velocify found that in many cases, companies had a 391% better chance of conversion if they called a lead within 60 seconds, but that most companies will leave their lead follow-ups for up to 48 hours.
It’s not just up to marketing to nurture those leads through the funnel. Adding a human-touch to your lead nurturing campaign could help generate 50% more sales-ready leads. Giving your sales team real-time insight like Lead Forensics means they can see when nurtured prospects are visiting your website, and can follow-up with a call in real-time.
Seeing a nurtured prospect visiting your website repeatedly is a clear indicator their business is seriously researching your company as a potential solution, and could be ready to open up the conversation about their needs and research to your sales team.
Expect your leads to skip along a straight stepping stone path
Lead nurturing is essentially building a relationship with your prospects that should help them make right purchasing decision. Your prospects don’t skip along a straight path to purchase, so neither should your lead nurturing activity.
According to Baseone, B2B buyers will use an average of 2.4 information sources when undertaking middle-of-the-funnel research. Some of the top information sources include ‘direct to supplier website’, ‘search engines’, ‘advice from colleagues’ and ‘industry-specific online communities’.
The result of using many different sources is an erratic buyer behaviour in which leads enter, ‘hang around’ and leave the funnel at different touch points. By tracking your prospects buying journey end-to-end, you’ll be able to follow and optimise your lead nurturing activity according to what sources your prospects are actively using the most.
Good lead-nurturing campaigns can generate 50% more sales-ready leads, with the same budget. Leaving your leads in a stagnant email nurture list is a quick way to lose your prospects to competitors (and a bit lazy too, we’re looking at you – Marketers!).
Lead nurturing activity is most effective when you combine different technologies with a human element (that’s your sales team); to make sure it doesn’t end up feeling too automated. By actively measuring and mapping your B2B buyer journeys, you can create an innovative lead nurturing campaign that unites sales and marketing for the greater good – more leads!
Ready to boost your lead nurturing?
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