What is lead nurturing and why is it costing me?

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You’ve spent time and effort creating leads and generating interest in your solution, but so few seem to be making it through to a sale. Is it because of impatience, or perhaps due in some part to neglect?

83% of prospects who request info don’t buy for 3–12 months.

That’s a high number. 83% have shown interest in your solution or service but won’t actually buy for another 3 to 12 months. What happens if you don’t keep in contact in one form or another during that time?

The reality: they still buy, just not with you.

What is lead nurturing?

Lead nurturing is the process of guiding potential buyers through the sales funnel, understanding their needs, providing relevant information and developing a relationship that ultimately leads to a sale. When the prospect is ready to buy, all you need to do is be the company they think of first when they are. And that is the value of lead nurturing.

Let’s be real, at the time of information gathering the potential customer is not ready to take any further steps with you, nor anyone else for that matter.

Your buyers are savvy. 74% of B2B buyers do half their research (or more!) online before they buy.
(Forrester Research)

Each stage of the buying process for your prospect is relevant for them. Whether they are ready to discuss solutions with potential suppliers or they are simply gathering information. No matter the stage, every lead is worth nurturing.

It is important to remember that each stage can take some time before a change happens.
Typically we find leads holding at these 3 places.

1. Pure curiosity or interest

This is where it starts, from this point on you will have to build the relationship further.

2. Ongoing contracts with other suppliers

All contracts expire at some point. It is crucial that you are engaging until then, even at a minimal level.

3. The right employees and decision makers are not on board yet

Stay on top of things. As soon as they are, the sales process can still be started.

Unfortunately, lead nurturing during these times is still often neglected within the sales journey of many B2B companies. Follow up with the account manager is limited to phone contact and leaves the benefits that lead nurturing offers untapped. A great pity, since an effective lead nurturing strategy not only leads to more customers, but according to research also to 47% more turnover.

Deals that closed on nurtured leads received a 47% higher order value than deals that closed on non-nurtured leads

Three clear reasons why lead nurturing is indispensable in B2B sales processes

1. Keeps you engaged during long sales processes

Most propositions within B2B, ICT and business services are complex. This often means a long sales process. A period of 6-9 months before a customer finally signs the contract is no exception. In these situations lead nurturing is essential and to keep informing the prospect about your proposition until the moment he is ready to make that final decision.

2. Maintains interest and increases trust

A complex proposition requires that your prospect understands what it entails, what the benefits are and why it is right for their organization. Lead nurturing naturally ensures that enough trust is built in your company and that the potential customer knows that you have the knowledge and experience to help them.

3. Saves time and reduces cost

An effective lead nurturing program can save considerable time and money. It ensures that account managers and business developers can use their time more efficiently for both potential and existing clients. After all, the phone is only picked up again when the prospect moves further down the sales funnel. Sales are increased and costs are reduced on balance.

Grow your business with lead nurturing

A good lead nurturing program increases the chances of successfully completing long sales processes and thus ensures more growth for your business. In short, it is an essential part of the acquisition activities of any B2B organization.

Pipeline Factory has built significant ROI around the value of quality prospecting, lead nurturing and appointment setting for organizations with lengthy sales cycles looking to expand internationally.

We understand and want to help companies better their pre-sales strategies so much so we want to share what we have learned with you. If and when you see the true value of doing this well, you may then see the value of outsourcing this part of your process to us.

Until then, please help yourself to more of our informative blogs and supporting material.