Create a Relationship to Nurture a Lead

Anyone who has ever been in B2B sales has been here many times.  Your marketing team just handed over a new lead. You called, connected and conversed, but for now – you are not able to move this lead forward in the sales process.

Used to be that leads like this would have either been dropped or filed for another kick at the can in a few months. By this time, hopefully, the person you talked with will be dealing with different circumstances,  will have been replaced or maybe will have forgotten that they ever talked with you.  But lacking any other support system, the sales rep would not have the ability to do a whole lot more.

That has changed with the adoption of lead nurturing programs, but not for everyone. According to the BtoB magazine: Lead Generation Research, November 2012- 51% of organizations they talked to still do not nurture their leads.  For many companies its an issue of resource (now THERE’S and understatement) time, staff and money.

For companies who are still struggling to get a nurturing program off the ground, there are two key mindset objectives that will help.

1- You are nurturing a relationship – not just a lead. When you’re trying to figure out communication objectives, messaging choices, timing, list management and stay on top of the necessary next steps to actually get your lead generation program off the ground, it’s really easy to lose sight of the fact that you’re not just “nurturing a lead” your actually trying to create and nurture a relationship with a real person.

2 – What is the first concept that person must “buy into” before they will buy from you?   It’s all a matter of baby steps and if you or your sales rep only had a long enough conversation to get the brush off, then you’re probably better off not assuming that any of those baby steps should be skipped.  So ask yourself the question- what is the first thing this person needs to buy into and then create a 3 step mini nurturing series to “sell” that point.

I can give you an example that would be relevant for Boxpilot.  In order for someone to purchase our guided voicemail service, the first thing they must have bought into, is that the phone is an effective way to reach their contacts.  So a relatively straightforward nurturing series should leverage content that includes some creative examples of what to say on the phone for better messages,  a small case study that demonstrates positive results another company achieved using the phone, maybe a testimonial or even a FAQ summary about phone effectiveness…etc.

So, here’s a start. Pick your content to “sell” the first building block and craft your messaging with a person and a future relationship in mind versus simply a nameless, faceless “lead”to be moved through the funnel.

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