Friday, February 3, 2017

Improve Your Lead Nurturing Strategy - Part I

    The key to designing an effective lead nurture program is taking stock of your current lead management processes.  By asking the right questions, you will not only uncover opportunities for improvement, but the information will also play a critical role in defining issues of workflow.  Invite sales into the process for this initial discovery process.  Giving sales a voice ensures that you have a holistic view of your leads.  Here are five questions to ask about your current lead management process.

How many leads do you generate each month and what is the source of those leads?  Understanding the scale and source of leads helps to determine the scale of your lead nurturing program.  The number of leads you generate has an impact on how many segments you create and the frequency of communication since you may well need to speak to different audiences at different times. 

What are the key audience groups that comprise your inbound leads?
How different are your leads from one another in terms of industry, company size, product interest, buying interest, and so on?  To what extent do these groups require different messaging?  The higher the number of distinct groups, the better, in order for your campaigns to be relevant and effective. 

How are leads responded to, distributed, and managed today? 
How often does a lead hear from your company over time?  Knowing how you follow-up with, and prioritize leads currently can help steer your lead nurturing program in a direction where its most likely to have the most impact on ROI.  When taking stock of ongoing communication, don't just consider formal marketing programs (i.e. email, etc.).  Determine too how often sales reaches out to these same leads.

What percentage of your leads are considered sales ready when they enter your database?
Knowing where each lead is in their "buying cycle" is critical to determining how to set up your lead nurture program and how to measure your ROI.  Additionally, knowing your average days to sales opportunities and conversion can help you benchmark how lead nurturing accelerates your leads.

What is the range of products that you offer?
Some companies market very homogenous product lines, others market a multitude of products.  The diversity of your offerings plays a large role in determining the number of tracks in your program, in addition to the messaging and offer strategy to each group of leads.

Source: Marketo

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To share common sense lessons learned with 40-plus years experience in marketing, sales and as a B2B publisher.