If you’re one of those marketing or sales managers in despair because your company has been left so far behind the pack of lead generating and nurturing dynamos that you’ll never be able to join this century, stop worrying and look around you. You are not alone.
If you’re reading the big marketing sites and following the webinars offered on lead generation, marketing automation and nurturing technologies or even if you’re just following discussions on Linked In on these topics, its easy to feel that yours is the only company still living in the stone age, but that’s a long way from the truth.
65% of B2B companies don’t have a nurturing program in place (MarketingSherpa)
61% of all B2B Marketers (according to MarketingSherpa) send every lead, qualified or not, directly to sales. (Are you feeling better yet?)
And as far as the latest and greatest automation software is concerned only about 5% of marketers are actually using those multi-bell-and-whistle programs (Forrester Research). As is usually the case, it’s a very small number of companies who deploy the full featured programs than can automate the nurturing process and naturally enough, mostly the vendors of those programs who are making it seem like yours is the only organization that hasn’t found a place on the bandwagon. It would be terrific to have, but just not in the cards at the moment.
What that means for most of us who do our best to nurture leads is that anything beyond an ongoing series of semi segmented emails is still largely a manual process. It takes a lot of time and attention and while we might not be able to fully automate it, we are still always on the lookout for simple ideas that will allow us to do it more easily. I could talk about nurturing leads more effectively, but I’m of the opinion that for a majority of companies, just getting the monthly or quarterly program out the door is just about everything they can manage.
But it’s worth the effort. Allow me to repeat that – Lead Nurturing is worth every bit of effort that it takes. Companies that do a great job at nurturing their leads convert half again as many raw leads into sales ready opportunities and do it for only two thirds of the cost of companies who don’t do it well. But the sale from the average nurtured lead is 47% higher than a sale from a lead that wasn’t nurtured.
I think the most telling stat in support of nurturing leads is that almost 80% of marketing leads never turn into sales yet on average, half of them are qualified and could buy, but they’re just not ready. So of the qualified leads that marketing departments generate – all with a potential to turn into sales and all having come at a cost, 60% are dropped and forgotten because there is no process in place to hang in, stay visible and start creating trust until they’re ready to buy.
The best reason to bite the bullet and commit to a lead nurturing programs is simply that your competitors will love you if you don’t.