There is a lot of room for error, clutter and leaks within the business-to-business sales cycle, common problems that sometimes lead to other even bigger challenges. Even if your latest campaign generated a lead, that doesn’t mean it will necessarily close when passed to the sales department. Do too many of your leads stall in the middle of the funnel and never make it to that engagement with sales?
If so, then question is this: Now what?
It’s estimated that 80 percent of what are considered “bad leads” move on to buy from someone else within the next 24 months. It could be the problem is in trying to convert too soon, or perhaps the engagement with sales is lacking. Either way, how do you keep that lead within your organization, and not let it leak to that “someone else?”
Determine, then target audience. Review your customer base to find out who your best customers are, and who might be worth the investment of nurturing. Align your content, assets, and value-added resources that are unique to the target audience to determine which messaging can be used.
Nurture those leads. Find out how your sales team engages leads through the funnel, and creates campaigns within that context. Adjust the communications with the leads, offering value at each step, and make the process responsive to the buyer.
Create a positive, active dialogue. Use all of your channels – social media, emails, website, phone calls, promotions and even research studies – to actively interact with leads and encourage them to engage. Be positive and responsive to complaints while you build and validate your brand and be ready when they’re ready to talk sales.
Don’t rush the sales cycle. Each lead has its own cycle, so remember it’s not about you. Talk to your sales team to build the nurture flow and determine the best timing and voice of touches needed to close the sale. Be patient with the cycle.
The reward of patience. If you consider about 75 percent of companies drop leads that aren’t in position to purchase immediately, you will see that it is a waste of leads. Companies that excel at nurturing leads generate far more sales-ready leads, and at a lower cost.