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Genius is patience

~ Isaac Newton

 

When it comes to lead nurturing everyone wants to know the magic formula. How many emails do I send before I call the prospect? What is the minimum number of times the prospect needs to touch the website before they are ready to buy? At what point in the sales funnel is the prospect sales ready? How many lead scoring points does the lead need before we can give them a hard sales pitch? These are just a few questions asked when looking to take prospects and nurture them into sales ready leads. Because of these questions and more I wanted to look deeper into the good, the bad and the ugly of lead nurturing.

 

The Good

Companies that excel at lead nurturing generate 50% more sales ready leads at 33% lower cost.

~ Forrester Research

 

Nurtured leads make 47% larger purchases than non-nurtured leads.

~ The Annuitas Group

 

I'm a data guy and the data doesn't lie. If lead nurturing didn't work the numbers would show it. Not only are leads that are nurtured more likely to buy but they make larger purchases. I love using the comparison of lead nurturing to popcorn. If you take the popcorn out of the microwave before its ready you might get a few pieces but if you let it stay in longer and take it out at just the right time you can get a bag full of delicious popcorn. Lead nurturing also builds trust with the prospect. If you (the company) only try to sell to the prospect it may lead the prospect thinking they are only a dollar sign and not a valued customer.

 

The Bad

79% of marketing leads never convert into sales. Lack of lead nurturing is the common cause of this poor performance.

~ MarketingSherpa

 

Just 56% of B2B organizations verify valid business leads before they are passed to Sales.

~ MarketingSherpa

 

Lead nurturing has been proven to be successful not just once but on multiple occasions. Through experience and case studies the hardest parts of lead nurturing sometimes have nothing to do with the prospects. Sometimes it has to do with getting sales and marketing on the same page. This is not uncommon because integrating sales and marketing has been an issue for many businesses. I went on Amazon and looked up sales and marketing books and got back over 105,000 results, so don't get frustrated if you run into this. The lead nurturing campaign needs to satisfy both parties. It needs to get the prospects ready for sales but at the same time it needs to get the leads ready in a acceptable amount of time. The timing may vary depending on the product or service that is being sold. Getting your company to buy into the idea of lead nurturing and buying into the idea that lead nurturing is not selling are two of the toughest parts of lead nurturing.

 

The Ugly

61% of B2B marketers send all leads directly to Sales; however, only 27% of those leads will be qualified.

~ MarketingSherpa

 

50% of leads are qualified but not yet ready to buy.

~ Gleanster Research

 

65% of B2B marketers have not established lead nurturing.

~ MarketingSherpa

 

The great thing about lead nurturing is you don't need marketing automation in order to accomplish it. The ugly part is not a lot of companies realize this and think without a marketing automation tool lead nurturing is not possible. If done right all you need for lead nurturing is a clear understanding of the audience and content that will match their needs. Lead nurturing could even be done with just a Gmail account.

 

Conclusion

The basic foundation of lead nurturing starts with knowing the audience and knowing what they want. Lead nurturing can't be accomplished if you don't know who you are talking to. This is another reason why it is near impossible to lead nurture to a purchased list (never purchase lists, never). Being able to take prospects from just browsing to a valued customer is a thing of beauty. I do want to point out that lead nurturing is far from easy. You will fail. Things you do will not work and will need to improved. Do not go into lead nurturing thinking the first assets and flows put together will be it and won't need any adjusting. Lead nurturing works, its tough but it works.