Nurturing a Lead Through The Sales Funnel

Lead nurturing is one of the most important aspects of sales prospecting. The process to nurture a lead is building relationships with potential customers through targeted and personalized content delivered at the right time.

By providing relevant content to prospects at each stage of the buying process, lead nurturing helps lead generation efforts and produces more qualified leads, close more sales, and ultimately increase the ROI of sales and marketing teams.

Outbound prospecting results in more losses than wins, but a loss right now isn’t always a loss forever, sometimes it’s just not the right time. 

Successful outbound prospecting happens when you connect with the right person, with the right message at the right time. When one or more of these three things do not align, a sales opportunity typically will not advance to the next stage in the sales process. 

Most companies do not properly invest into lead nurturing strategies or campaigns as a way to create sales ready leads. For these particular opportunities, lead nurturing is a huge area of opportunity to increase sales pipeline conversions playing the long game.

Nurturing Leads Through Campaigns

A lead nurturing campaigns is a type of sales strategy that consists of a series of activities such as creating content, sending lead nurturing emails with a call to action landing page as well as running social media campaigns. These activities are designed to help sales teams nurture leads through the sales cycle and convert them into customers. Content such as blog posts, videos, and eBooks are often used by sales reps to educate leads and build trust. Email campaigns are used by the sales team to communicate with prospective customers and provide them with useful information that encourages them to take action. Finally, social media campaigns run by the marketing team are used to support the sales team and create engagement and drive leads to take action.

Let’s break down each scenario and talk about a lead nurturing strategy for each.

Wrong person: After the first meeting the person you connected with was not engaged with your offering or for some reason just did not connect with your sales rep, product or service. If you know that there is an active pain point, priority or project that your offering will bring value to their organization and this is just the wrong person then you need to nurture the opportunity more than the individual person.

What this means is to find other stakeholders at the company and prospect them individually to find another path into the organization. In this scenario you also want to monitor the person who you originally met with to watch for any change in employment or role at the company. If this person changes jobs internally or leaves the company all together this is a sales prospecting trigger to reengage with others at this company to understand what other changes are being made in the company and revisit the opportunity again with the new stakeholders.

Wrong message: Maybe the messaging used during the initial discovery call and product demo wasn’t dialed in yet, and you just didn’t communicate the value in a way the prospect could connect with. If this happens, it is important to really evaluate the messaging you used in the sales process and understand where it failed to communicate in a way the prospect was able to easily connect with.

In this scenario you want to nurture them with value added content to stay in front of them and top of mind. Think of adding them to a monthly newsletter from your organization. One of my favorite things to share are case studies and customer stories of how others are getting value from your product or service. In my experience telling someone else’s story of success is going to resonate much more with a potential prospect than product marketing material.

Wrong time: According to Sticky Branding’s 3% rule, 97% of your total addressable market (TAM) is not actively shopping for your product or service. That means only 3% of the companies and people in your TAM that you are prospecting into each day actually have a known need and are actively shopping for vendors. They want to make a purchase within the next 90 days.

For the other 97%, they need to be followed up with via a lead nurturing process. The way to nurture the 97% is by establishing and building relationships with the stakeholders. The goal of this specific lead nurturing program is to establish a relationship with a personal connection where they know you, like you and trust you. 

When your prospects know you, like you, and trust you, they will call you first. And that’s the best place to be in the buying cycle. Investing in relationships like this can also be incredibly valuable if that person happens to change jobs and moves to a new company. If the new company they begin to work at has a more pressing need for your product or service than you will be the first call they make to help them solve it. 

Lead Nurturing Efforts Pay Dividends

Creating an effective lead nurturing strategy for all the first meeting appointments that did not make it to stage two in the opportunity pipeline can ultimately increase your sales pipeline conversion 30% or more throughout the year. Take some time to classify the stage one opportunities that did not advance into one of these three buckets to nurture these leads for future conversions. 

If you are investing into a lead nurturing program and establishing personal relationships with prospects then you should also consider tracking job changes automatically. Key Contacts can monitor your most important connections and alert you as soon there is a change detected in their employment. 

Want hot leads that convert 3X better than traditional prospecting? Check out Key Contacts and get started receiving alerts when your current customers change jobs. As much as 30% of your existing contacts in your CRM are going to change jobs every year. Our system watches them and alerts you real time when that happens.

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