Lead nurturing: More power for your B2B lead generation

KashyapDave By KashyapDave, 18th Jul 2018 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/v5a413xb/
Posted in Wikinut>Business>Sales & Marketing

You know this: There are likely to be a lot of contact data in your CRM system. But have you really exploited their potential? No question, the daily business with existing business customers already costs a lot of energy and time.

Lead nurturing

The basic idea is to keep your prospects or leads warm at first, so that they do not forget that they have shown interest in your company or offer. Furthermore, this interest should be further consolidated. At the same time you present yourself as a competent contact person in your area of ​​expertise. But how exactly can this be done? First, there are two basic choices to make:

Decision 1: Green vs. yellow bananas ...

One of the premise of lead management is that a newly created lead often does not initially want to talk to sales or engage in a concrete offer. Lead management coach Norbert Schuster speaks of the "green banana effect": If you bite into a green banana, this does not taste nearly as good as a ripe, so yellow banana. Important: It is not the banana, but the one who bites too early.

... is by no means a matter of taste

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Similar to unripe bananas, it deals with leads that are confronted too soon with a sales offer. Above all, B2B users are looking for trade or industry information. Accordingly, the specific purchase intent of this target group develops later. In the B2B environment, users often do not even know what their needs are and what they are looking for. This can cause him to feel annoyed by an early call from sales. In the worst case, he jumps off and looks at the competition for a solution. On the other hand, because of his low current willingness to buy, the sales employee may consider him unusable with regard to the sales target. So if you are looking for immediate contact with newly gained leads, you may be giving away a lot of potential.

Decision 2: Mailing vs. Nurtures ...

Do you also prefer the yellow bananas to the green ones? Then in the next step, you should consider how exactly you want to proceed. Unlike bananas, which you can simply leave lying until they are ripe, it is important to always provide the leads with useful and attractive information. There are two options: email marketing or lead nurturing.

... means email marketing ...

E-mail marketing lets you send the same e-mail messages to all the contacts in your data pool, regardless of whether your recipients open them, read their content, or click on the links they contain. For example, so-called Automailer campaigns are suitable for this: Their email marketing software sends automatically prepared, successive emails with informative content on a specific topic. An example: Anyone who has downloaded an e-book on a particular topic receives regular tips about this particular topic over a certain period of time.

... or lead nurturing ...

Lead nurturing, on the other hand, is a dumb dialogue: every e-mail you send to your prospects returns information to you. On the basis of these you can adapt the respective lead profile. This is how you determine the ideal time for direct contact. On the other hand, you make your acquisition process increasingly efficient. Because you only contact qualified leads - so only those interested in investing. In particular, if you have generated a lot of leads, it helps to filter out the contacts that are interesting in terms of your sales target. Here lead nurturing is much better than email marketing. However, a little more effort is needed for that.

... depending on the objective

Define in advance what exactly you want to achieve: filter and develop your prospects, or just keep them on the hook, keeping the name of their company in mind. Keep in mind that blending both approaches not only complicates your entire communication, but also complicates your new customer business and subsequent sales efforts. However, you can test both variants in separate campaigns with different themes and triggers to find the way that suits you best. If you choose a true lead nurturing campaign, the following four tips will tell you how best to plan it and what to look for:

Tip 1: Design purposefully ...

You have chosen lead nurturing as a concrete strategy for B2B lead generation? Then you will accompany your prospects step by step until the investment decision. Campaign planning is therefore a bit trickier. From a conceptual point of view, such a campaign is thought through relatively quickly. A practical example: You are offering the download of a white paper on the topic "Industrial leak testing methods". You offer your prospective customers useful information. They help him with his selection process and in exchange he leaves you his data.

After completing the download form, he receives a double-opt-in-mail, which he confirms. Then he gets the download link. When he downloads the whitepaper, he receives a mailing invitation to a webinar a week later. In this you explain which test methods are suitable for which application scenarios in which industries. If he does not download the white paper, he will first receive a reminder email. If he does not react, it is advisable to offer him alternative content. For z. For example, a checklist of the most common sources of error in industrial leak testing.

... but also technically easy to implement.

From a technical point of view, setting up a lead nurturing campaign is a bit more complicated. As beautiful and personalized as a campaign on paper may be, the more complex the need for programming, the more error prone the automated campaign will be. Although you can record in your lead data who downloaded the white paper. In the second nurture stage, however, it may make sense not to address this in the speech. This means that in the mailing for the checklist you do not refer to the first offer, the white paper, as the second nurture content.

From a sales perspective, of course, the individual reference and linking of the Nurture levels is an advantage. Here it is recommended to set the benefit in relation to the effort. Note that in a multi-level campaign, each email must match each lead. An assignment error and the wrong address - "You downloaded the XY whitepaper" - are embarrassing. But they can also cause the lead to exit the process.

Tip 2: Think holistically.

When designing a nurturing campaign to further qualify the lead, holistic thinking is crucial to success: the conceptualist who designs the campaign and the programmer, the IT specialist with the necessary technical know-how, must work together closely. The aim should be to avoid unnecessary complexity of the campaign and to avoid the "sea of ​​a thousand possibilities".

A collaborative flowchart can help keep track of things and streamline the various campaign strands across each level of nurture. It is important that the project team carefully documents all development steps in campaign planning. This is more a step backwards to adapt the further communication processes to new requirements.

Tip 3: Avoid the butterfly effect.

Flexibility is important in all communication projects, including lead nurturing. The stability of your campaign construct should not be sacrificed. A well-functioning structure forms the basis for successful communication across the various nurture levels. Weigh in advance how flexible or scalable your construct must be. In particular, if you make changes to the baseline conditions, this can have a kind of butterfly effect and confuse the campaign structure. For example, another step into your nurturing campaign.

Better: think in advance how many entrances your campaign might contain. First, insert some blind strands that you are not using for the time being. In this way, you can ensure the stability of your campaign with all the interconnections and possible nurture runs of your leads. At the same time you remain flexible enough for changes without much effort.

Tip 4: Collect data sparingly ...

The big advantage: In contrast to email marketing, the focus in lead nurturing is not just on distributing specialist information. Data is also obtained that specifies the profile of the individual lead. This will make future communication measures even more accurate. When asking for data, you should be sensitive. First, think about what you really need to know about a lead, depending on the level of nurture or phase of the decision making process.

At the beginning, it usually suffices to have the e-mail address and the consent that you can contact the lead by e-mail in the future. Also in the further course of the campaign you should demand data rather sparingly. Otherwise, your lead feels quickly interrogated. Of course, at some point you would like to know which decision-making authority your lead has, whether it can approve the investment on its own or what its decision-making horizon is. Nevertheless, it is important not to ask these questions too soon.

... and unobtrusive.

Alternatively - or in addition - to directly query such information during the download process, you can also analyze the behavior of a lead. Through specific content you will learn more about him and the situation in his company. Specifically, this means: In your Nurture Mail, for example, you can offer a white paper with "Tips for introducing CRM software" and a checklist "When a change of provider pays off for your CRM system".

If the lead clicks on the checklist instead of requesting the white paper, you can assume that it already has a CRM system in use. The advantage of this procedure: The user has to release a little information about himself. But you still get a meaningful picture of him. Especially important: Regardless of how you collect, store and evaluate data about your leads, you should absolutely do so in accordance with the law.

Conclusion: Especially in the B2B environment lead nurturing is an exciting and important topic. It is precisely here that the search for information on the Internet is an elementary component on the way to a purchase decision. There is a lot to be said for picking up these prospects right there. After all, B2B users first of all search for technical information. A nurturing campaign can optimally provide you with the information you need. At best, this increases the interest to make a purchase.

Tags

Leads, Marketing, Marketing And Advertising, Marketing Management, Sales, Sales And Marketing

Meet the author

author avatar KashyapDave
Hi, I’m Kashyap Dave
I am a Digital Marketing Manager & passionate designer.

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