Although nurturing leads is an important activity for increasing sales, it can become a costly undertaking. Therefore, it pays for your lead nurturing program to be both efficient and effective. If you budget is tight, you might like to concentrate on mining the maximum value out of your pre-existing lead database. That resource may be worth more than you think: a quarter-million lead database at a $20 cost per lead represents a $5 million investment. It’s therefore important to create a strategy for exploiting this database to the hilt. That means you can’t get by with random acts like the occasional email – you need an efficient plan.
Lead-nurturing efficiency can be measured by return on investment (ROI). Here are some compelling research statistics regarding companies that are proficient at nurturing leads:
- They have 50 percent more leads who are ready for Sales Department contact, at a cost that is 33 percent lower per lead.
- They shrink the percent of marketing leads that are not exploited by Sales, from 80 percent down to 25 percent in one case study.
- Efficient companies increase sales traceable to marketing leads by seven percent while lowering the number of customers stuck in “no decision” limbo by six percent.
- They increase the efficiency of sales reps: those who made quota increased by nine percent, and the training time for new reps fell by ten percent.
It seems that when prospects are nurtured, they tend to increase purchases, demand fewer discounts, and buy more frequently.
If you’re now convinced that lead nurturing is worth the time and effort, your next concern is how to get started. Whether you are starting fresh or already have some experience in this area, you will want to follow best practices to receive the maximum return on your initiatives. You must first understand the two types of lead-nurturing campaigns that are required:
1) Campaigns for processing incoming leads: your chance to make a good first impression. You do so by fostering trust and respect, listening to your contacts, and offering interesting and valuable material. If you blow this, you might not get a second chance to establish a sound foundation with a potential customer.
2) Campaigns to stay in contact with existing leads: if your prospect is not yet ready to speak with a sales rep, you can nudge them along by maintaining contact and dribbling out additional valuable content over time. In this way, you educate the prospect and build your credibility. By reminding the lead about your offering, he or she will be more likely to think of you when ready to make a purchase.
In our next post, we’ll explore incoming lead processing campaigns in more detail.