Beyond the initial response, most sales reps fall short on lead nurturing.
With an average estimate of 5 follow ups before closing most B2B deals, lead nurturing is a crucial part of sales.
79% of marketing leads don’t convert to a sale (Hubspot), and ineffective follow up after the first touch is a huge factor.
Good lead nurturing solves this dilemma and helps capture more opportunities. When done right, lead nurturing maximizes the value of your leads by ensuring that your salespeople make the most out of all opportunities coming through the door.
Here are 7 reasons why lead nurturing is a valuable and important part of B2B sales, and why you should be nurturing leads.
1) Most Leads Aren’t Ready to Buy
Only 2% of sales occur during the first meeting (Marketing Donut). The remaining 98% are not ready to buy, and require additional follow ups and nurture efforts.
Many companies see objections as unqualified opportunities, tossing them aside for the smaller lot of prospects ready to buy.
Imagine the deals to be made with the 98% of leads many companies ignore!
Especially for B2B sales, most leads will need to be in the right place at the right time in order to move further down the pipeline. Lead nurturing gives you the power to establish a relationship and lay the foundation for a future deal.
2) Keeps You Top of Mind
Nurturing leads that aren’t yet ready to buy gives you the opportunity to add value, give industry insights, and be on their mind when they prepare to move forward on a solution related to your product/service.
When the timing is right, will a prospect remember a cold conversation that ended months ago?
A big advantage of lead nurturing is the ability to keep your company connected to a lead when they transition into a potential buyer. Your company should be the first option on the list when the prospect finally decides that a solution is needed.
With the right lead nurturing process in place, your salespeople have the opportunity to build rapport and express industry expertise that could become the key piece to a scheduled meeting and a closed deal.
3) Builds Authentic Relationships and Rapport
Selling is more than simply pitching a product or service. Following up and maintaining a conversation with prospects builds trust and a relationship that can be leveraged into a future deal.
The purpose of lead nurturing is to grow a positive relationship with leads, keeping the rapport proactive, interesting, and valuable. Continuing an ongoing conversation with prospects opens more opportunity for you to ask questions, build trust, and create a connection.
4) Establishes Thought Leadership
One simple component to warming a prospect is through building authority and industry leadership. With companies receiving several sales-related calls and emails per week, adding value and insight breaks through the fog of solicitations and establishes your company as a leader in the space.
It’s likely many leads say no on the first touch simply because of their unfamiliarity with your company, your solution, and the problems you solve. By maintaining rapport and providing value with every touch, your salespeople become the trusted source that educates prospects about solutions to their problems or potential opportunities.. Lead nurturing gives your company a foot in the door as a leader in the industry.
5) Competitors Probably Don’t Nurture Well
A systemic problem exists within sales departments all over the world. The philosophy of “Always Be Closing” distorts the value of leads that don’t immediately want to buy. Effective lead nurturing wins deals and immediately puts you ahead of the competitors that don’t do it well or at all.
Marketo found that 65% of businesses in the B2B space don’t have an adequate lead nurturing process. Putting one in place gives you a leg up on over half of your market. While leads are allowed to go cold in the CRM of your competition, lead nurturing keeps them involved and interacting with your salespeople until they are ready to buy.
6) Lead Nurturing Doesn’t Take Much Time
While lead nurturing sounds like a daunting task, it really is quite simple. 2-5 minutes of your day per lead can be spent following up and checking on a lead still not ready to buy. Authentic conversation, a willingness to add value, and a little patience can go a long way in converting sales objections into profitable sales opportunities.
Adding lead nurturing tasks into the daily routine of your salespeople increases the value of the lead generation process, especially if your team is focused on selling activities. A CRM platform makes the workflow easy to implement and offers great insight on how to improve your salespeople’s lead nurturing abilities.
7) Gets More Deals in the Long-Term
To add a capstone to the previous 6 reasons, here is an obvious one: more deals, more revenue, and less lead generation costs. Deals from B2B lead generation can take months to come to fruition, and many companies miss this when they hunt for a deal.
When you build an effective lead nurturing system to grow and invest in the leads that enter your CRM, you are minimizing wasted leads, opening more opportunity for deals, and increasing revenue. Lead nurturing maintains communication and grows deals from all of the qualified marketing leads that enter your CRM.
A proactive lead nurturing strategy ultimately produces more sales with prospects that have proven themselves to convert despite not being ready to by on the first interaction. The stronger sales performance from implementing lead nurturing is a great incentive for salespeople to add it as a part of their sales strategy. In addition, it helps move leads through the sales pipeline and increases the ROI of your lead generation efforts. Whether it be one or twenty additional sales in your next quarter, the possibilities created by good lead nurturing are endless.