Archive | Sales Funnel

AIDA, Next Step, Qualify, Close, Deliver etc.

Nurture leads into sales ready opportunities

Lead nurture activity is an increasingly important stage in the B2B sales cycle. Lead nurture itself isn’t new, and many activities in the traditional B2B sales cycle contribute to moving the sale along. What is new are the tools and techniques available to even small and mid-sized companies, to respond to the changes in buyer behaviour and the information explosion.

Lead nurture is also referred to as drip-marketing, lead follow-up, precision marketing, marketing automation and similar terms.

Multi-pack lead nurture

To use a super-market phrase, you may be aware that we’re moving into a multi-touch, multi-media and multi-channel nurture environment.

  • Multi-touch – maybe your prospects need to hear from you 7, 17, 27 or even more times before it’s ‘right for them’ to be ready to invest time and commit to a purchase, especially if they have to align things internally.
  • Multi-media – do your prospects tune into and relate better to text, diagrams, detailed reports, audio, video, webinars and so on.
  • Multi-channel – do they may prefer to hear from you via email, social media, telephone, mobile phone, post, online, face to face or a mixture.

What is clear is that potential buyers will hear about potential solutions and benefits through multiple communications channels, and they have a huge choice.

Lead nurture benefits the prospect

Your prospect or potential buyer benefits by receiving timely and relevant information from you since, as a lead, they have an interest in what you offer.  However, at this stage in the buying cycle, the prospect is more interested in solving a problem or developing an opportunity, and how you can help, rather than your specific products and services  If it’s a complex, occasional and significant investment, on a personal, professional or company level, the prospect benefits from the experience of how to go about purchasing, rather than what the purchase actually is.

Lead nurture benefits the vendor

As a vendor this creates an opportunity to educate the prospect or lead in such a way that you develop leads into sales ready opportunities that are more pre-disposed to you as a potential supplier. There is also the potential to do this in a more timely, lower cost and more measurable way than previously.

B2B lead qualification

By tracking, recording and consolidating the responses of your prospects to your contact and communication with them you are able to build us a much more sophisticated profile of their interests and purchase intentions. This is an opportunity to qualify out as much as it is an opportunity to develop leads until they become sales-ready.

Building on qualification at lead capture stage, a good lead nurture program will enable you to identify more accurately those leads that are ready to ‘buy now’, to nurture those that will ‘buy sometime’, and to avoid wasting time on those who will ‘never buy’.

By developing and executing an appropriate lead nurture program it helps you as the vendor to allocate resources where you are more likely to gain a positive return and ultimately some additional business or a new customer.

Tips to develop a Lead nurture program

To be effective,lead nurture needs to become integral to your business, so consider:

1. People – think about both potential buyers and you and your team. How will buyers respond to a more advanced lead nurture campaign. And what attitude, training, skills and buy-in will you and your team need to have for success.

2. Process – what is your current nurture process, how many touch-points are there, what works, what doesn’t, what could improve, and where is there potential to automate based on rules. Consider also the lead capture and selling steps too, and how they inter-relate, for example when someone doesn’t buy how you recycle that contact into nurture.

3. Technology – with the explosion of cloud-based and hosted applications for marketing and sales there is now an enormous choice of lead nurture and marketing automation solutions at a variety of price-points.

To find out more about drip marketing and lead nurture sign up to ‘Wurlwind Wand’ on the right and we’ll send through what we hope is timely, informative and entertaining hints and tips to you. And do give us feedback too.

Attract new leads and customers

Being able to attract people who have a problem, issue or need that you can solve is a very effective way to feed your sales funnel.

There are literally dozens of new options available, which makes it confusing, complex and costly, (especially in terms of your time), to make choices. And then implementation takes time. And results can be disappointing. Increasing traffic to your website, and to other points of engagement, can take a concerted and sustained effort. Meanwhile there are still targets to hit, and you’d like some time at evenings and weekends for other activities.

How marketing and sales is changing

Attraction marketing and inbound marketing are terms that mean roughly the same. Sales 2.0 takes these concepts and extends them further through the sales funnel, through to sales-ready leads and beyond.

New applications made possible by the Internet and World Wide Web, particularly Search and Social Media, mean that people now go online to do their research when they have a question, problem or needs and they want to find information, advice, products and solutions. And since you’re reading this you are doing the same.

Traditional marketing and lead generation is based on Interruption, where the vendor puts their message infront of someone whether they want it or not. This is becoming less effective, and turns many people off, and they put up physical and mental barriers to protect themselves, and their time. We block out time to do what’s essential and important to achieving our goals, and find ways to batch-up communications and handle them all at the same time, because it’s also more effective. Picking up and responding to voice-mail messages and email between meetings is just one form this takes.

Attraction marketing is about being Found when someone is looking for information on a topic related to what you offer.

Three steps to attraction marketing:

To be successful this means that the vendor really needs to understand, and take action based on, three things about the buyer.

1. What the buyer looks for before they find the solution that the vendor is offering.

2. Where the buyer would go to look.

3. What would persuade the potential buyer to give up their contact details, ie. email address, in order that the vendor can follow-up with additional information, which is the next topic, about engagement and gaining permission.

Content marketing

Content Marketing is a powerful way to be found. Creating and publishing content which displays your knowledge in a way that helps the reader understand a topic better or outlines a way to solve a problem is the first step. The content could be in the form of articles, videos, slidecasts and many more.

Inbound marketing

Where you don’t yet know the name of the business or person you are communicating with is referred to by some as Inbound Marketing. Publishing your content in many places where the prospects you want will find it means you need to understand where those readers will find it, visit or hang out.

This might be through search engines, so your content needs to rank well and appear high up on the page listings, it might be through forums and discussions, or on social media, or several other places online. Offline may also be part of the equation for your market, such as trade publications.

Next Steps:

There are some basic questions that need to be addresses, or reviewed and reconsidered

• Can you define who your potential customers are?

• Do you know where your potential customers hang-out these days?

• Are you present and actively participating in those places, channels and communities?

Where you don’t yet know the name of the business or person you are communicating with is referred to by some as Inbound Marketing.

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