For the new year, I’m sharing 15 ideas on how to make your lead management more effective. There is so much to share, I’m splitting this post into three parts (you can read Part 1 with tips 1-5 here), and today is Part 2, featuring tips 6-10.
This post isn’t just about generating more leads; it’s about generating better and higher quality of leads. These 15 tips (across all three blog posts) will help make your lead management more effective.
So, without further ado, here is Part 2 of the three part series, featuring tips 6-10:
6. Define lead nurturing — and which leads you should nurture
Lead nurturing is a relevant and consistent dialog with viable potential customers, regardless of their timing to buy. The people to be nurtured are generally those with whom you’ve had a direct meaningful interaction via phone or email and who are in companies that fit your preferred profile. The point is to build a relationship with them over time without trying to qualify them during each interaction.
7. Filter content by role and by the stage of the buying process
Executives get too much undifferentiated content. However, if you can demonstrate that you’ve done some filtering on their behalf, you can get through to them.
We found that readership went up significantly by sending one targeted piece to leads rather than a generic newsletter targeted to everyone.
Begin by asking your sales team:
- What questions do your customers ask most often?
- What do they care about?
- What issues are they facing?
- What content have you shared that has helped the most with conversion?
In addition, ask your sales team about the prospects involved in the buying process and what challenges they all have in common. Try to get Sales to articulate the problem they are trying to solve. Then, you can deliver the content and help Sales find what its looking for at each stage of the lead nurturing process.
Find content — such as articles, blogs and white papers — that addresses these issues. Pass this content by your sales team, and ask them whether their customers would value it. As much as you can, repurpose content. For instance, white papers can be transformed into articles, and articles can be transformed into blog posts.
A job title can give you clues about a prospect’s role in the buying process, but it’s best to determine their role through a phone conversation and a series of questions. Once you’ve determined who they are, you need to support a continuing conversation.
For example, if you have a webinar, send them a follow-up email with more information. Afterwards, call to ask, “Did you find that webinar helpful? Did it bring up other questions?”
8. Touch leads frequently
To remain relevant during the nurturing process, you have to be consistent. My threshold for consistency is to reach out to leads at least once a month. Different marketers have different thresholds, but I would say that quarterly isn’t enough to be remembered — there is just too much noise over that timeframe.
9. Don’t sell; educate and help
Most case studies and whitepapers have a sales edge to them. That won’t work for lead nurturing. The content must be educational and helpful. One MECLABS research partner worked with an outside publisher to develop educational webinars and brought in some editorial support to help them develop some thought leadership pieces that didn’t focus on products or sales.
10. Use third parties to add credibility
Most marketers try to generate all the content they send to leads themselves. However, third parties can do that work for you and, more importantly, validate what you are doing in the marketplace. For example, one partner started partnering with analysts covering their industry. They paid a fee to repurpose the research and shared it with their target audience.
Meanwhile, linking to third-party media articles costs you nothing. You don’t need to get permission to send hyperlinks to articles that you think are relevant. It helps to personalize the emails. For example, you could write something along the lines of, “I saw this article in IndustryWeek that I thought you might find relevant based on our last conversation.” Having clear profiles of the different leads means that you can somewhat automate that process.
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