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The secret to #LeadGenerationMarketing is nurturing #leads. #SprintMarketing

Nurturing Leads: The Secret to Effective Lead Generation Marketing

Did you know that lead generation marketing remains the most significant challenge facing companies today? A recent report indicates that more than 78 percent of organizations have engaged in lead generation campaigns in the last year, but only about 17 percent of these businesses are actually meeting their lead generation goals.1

In the lead generation marketing definition a lead is a person who has shown an interest in your business’s products or services. Leads are generated through information collection. Potential leads can indicate their interest in a variety of ways: A person filling out a form for the chance to win an all-inclusive trip, a job seeker filling in an application for a job, a shopper signing up for email newsletters in exchange for a coupon. You’ve already done the work of attracting an audience; now it’s time to convert those visitors into leads for your sales team.

But many consumers today don’t jump at a chance to fill in a form with their email information. In this age of sales overload, would-be customers have gotten more circumspect about giving out their personal information to just anyone.

When developing a business to business lead generation marketing plan, the first step is to get your prospect interested in the content you provide. The next step is convincing them to build a relationship with you.

How do you do this? There are steps you can take to make your marketing lead generation efforts more effective.

Developing Web Leads

  1. Expertise — First, establish yourself as an expert in your field. Don’t be shy about showing off that award you won for customer service or highlighting your business’s 30 years of experience. This gives your business credibility that not only helps you stand out from the crowd, but also gives your offers legitimacy in the eyes of your prospects—making them more likely to develop into leads.
  1. Communication — The way you communicate with your prospects is a key element in your lead generation marketing strategy. It can determine whether they develop a future relationship with your company. Communications include everything from the emails you send to the social media you post to the way your website is structured—is it easy to find that “Contact Us” button? You can also use your marketing platforms to prove your value to your customers.

Allowing the prospect to make the first step in the relationship makes them more likely to want to buy from your business down the line, translating to increased sales.

  1. Web Presence — This is an off-shoot of communication. Basically, it’s the way you capture your prospect’s attention. Use lead generation marketing strategies like SEO keywords, social media, email marketing, and other digital marketing efforts to get your name and your product or services out in front of prospective customers. According to Forrester, buyers might be anywhere from 66 percent to 90 percent of the way through their buying process before even reaching the prospective dealer.2 It’s important to have a solid web presence to capture that sale.

With web leads strategies, make your business stand out from the crowd by highlighting what sets you apart from others—whether your company has been recognized for its growth or you donate 5 percent of your profits to a worthy cause, use it as the differentiating factor. Cultivate your prospects by showing why you are different from other offerings.

Nurture Your Leads

So you’ve generated a big stack of web leads. Now what do you do? No matter how many web leads you acquire, most will not develop into sales without proper leads analysis, lead response, and management. This step is essential to your lead generation marketing plan. You’re warming up potential customers to your business and setting them on the path to buying what you’re offering.

Studies show that sales team follow-up rates on leads nearly quadruple (from 10 percent to 39 percent) when a structured lead management plan is put in place.3 That’s where lead management comes in to guide leads into a sales funnel. It’s providing consistent and meaningful communication with viable prospects regardless of their timing to buy.

Studies have also shown 53 percent of top companies don’t respond to their web leads, a surprising figure when we know how hard most companies work to attract new clients online. That’s because most companies don’t utilize proper response time to leads. Take a look at these statistics:

  • Out of 159 companies examined for their lead response strategies, 55.3 percent didn’t respond to two different sales inquiries.
  • The odds of contacting a lead increase 100 times if an attempt is made within five minutes versus 30.
  • The odds of qualifying the lead increase 21 times if an attempt is made within five minutes versus 30.

The moral of the story? Respond promptly to web leads. It dramatically increases your chances of converting the lead into a future client and increasing your web lead ROI in the process. It is also important to provide the lead with realistic expectations upfront. When the prospect is in the process of filling in a form on your landing page, or receives an automated thank you for requesting more information about your product, tell them to expect a specific (and realistic) response time—perhaps within 24 hours of submission. That way, they’ll be even more amiable when you respond within minutes.

Setting personalized auto-responses customized to the recipient makes this process easier. Here are three more lead management tips to smoothly transition a lead to an eventual sale:

  1. Do Your Research. Get to know your web lead when they fill out a form by asking them simple information like when they like to be contacted and whether they prefer a phone or email response. This way you can focus your follow up to a time and avenue that will be convenient for them.
  2. Be Persistent, but not annoying. There is a fine line between the two. Listen to your web leads and use the information they provide to conduct a thoughtful and focused response.
  3. Look to the Future. Just because a web lead isn’t ready to purchase your product or service now doesn’t mean they won’t be ready to in the future. A basic function of lead nurturing is maintaining contact with the lead and enticing them down the sales funnel for the future by offering useful and interesting content.

So, whether you’re a large corporation or a small business, lead generation is just the beginning of the sales process. If this seems like a lot of work for your company, consider hiring a lead generation marketing agency that specializes in b2b lead generation to develop lead generation strategies and handle management for you.

Sprint Marketing Can Help

If you are considering enlisting the help of a lead generation marketing company, Sprint Marketing specializes in marketing campaigns that include launching SEO, social media, and other web campaigns to drive quality leads to your website, into your lead funnel, and to your sales team.Contact us today at www.sprintmarketing.com for a free leads analysis.

 

Resources:

  1. http://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/beginner-inbound-lead-generation-guide-ht
  2. http://www.marketo.com/marketing-topics/lead-generation-marketing
  3. http://www.gtms-inc.com/Your-Guide-to-Effective-Lead-Generation-Planning_ep_83.html
  4. http://sprintmarketing.com/web-leads/