Lead nurturing keeps your prospects engaged by providing relevant content to help them solve their problems. Many small businesses are starting to realize they need a better way to attract and cultivate leads before attempting to close them. Sales and marketing has to adapt to keep up with the way customers buy. Today, buyers research potential solutions to their problems and generally delay conversations with salespeople until they are further along in the buying process which makes selling more difficult for companies that do not have a system in place to capture and nurture leads. When a prospective buyer indicates an interest in learning more about your product or service but is not prepared to pull the sales trigger, this isn’t the time to let them slip through the cracks. According to Marketing Sherpa, only 20% of leads are sales-ready when they come in. 79% of the remaining leads never convert into sales, often due to lack of nurture and follow up. Now, imagine if you could turn even a portion of the remaining 79% into customers.

Lead nurturing engages prospects early in the buying cycle to help them solve their business challenges. With an effective nurture strategy you can turn more of these leads into potential customers and have a relevant sales conversation when the time is right. But don’t try to have a conversation too early in the buyer’s journey.

How Does Lead Nurturing Work?

  • Buyers indicate an interest in learning more about your product or service.
  • Your company becomes a possible option to meet their needs.
  • Prospective buyers receive the right content at the right time in the buying cycle.
  • Leads move from considering your product or service to purchasing.
lead nurturing

Lead nurturing is like watering your plants and watching your garden grow. In the same way, prospects develop from “just looking” to “interested” to “ready to buy”.

Marketing Sherpa indicates organizations that nurture leads experience a 45% increase in lead generation ROI over organizations that do not. By focusing on actionable leads you create an opportunity for continued conversations and a potential future sale.

5 Key Benefits of an Effective Lead Nurturing Campaign

  1. Develop brand awareness and show your knowledge authority
  2. Increase sales and revenues
  3. Develop higher quality leads
  4. Reduce cost per lead
  5. Eliminate sales and marketing inefficiencies

How do you create a lead nurture strategy to convert leads from possibilities into paying customers?

5 Steps to an Effective Lead Nurturing Campaign 

  1. Define goals and objectives. What is the goal of your lead nurturing campaign? What do you want your nurture program to accomplish? What steps will the prospective buyer need to take in their buying journey?
  2. Lead generation. Lead generation attracts potential new customers. In order to nurture, you first need to make sure your funnel is full of qualified prospects that will have a chance of becoming a customer. Remember, when attracting leads, quality is more important than quantity. You want the right prospects that are a good fit for your business.
  3. Follow-up. How you will communicate with your new leads? How frequently? At what point in the nurture process will they be contacted? What will you offer them in exchange for more information?
  4. Content. Developing relevant content is key to your success. Research what your ideal prospect needs to solve their challenges.and provide solutions in the form of helpful articles, Q&A, how-to guides, white papers and case studies.
  5. Marketing Automation. Use an automated system to capture and track leads, website page visits and content downloads. Marketing automation allows for enhanced segmentation and engagement based on interest.

Help your leads get the information they need to move through the sales funnel so a “not right now” has time to develop into “maybe,” and a “maybe” can convert into a sale.

Shelly Pereira is a Fractional Sales Manager, Sales Coach and Certified Hatchbuck Partner with Verance Consulting.