Many people think, ‘Hey, I have visitors, customers and some income to make ends meet, so why should I even bother? My AdWords ads are running, newsletters are going, I have a steady customer flow, why do I need more tools to increase the number of customers?
And why should I nurture them at all? The sales team will deal with them, that’s what they do anyway.’ Or is it?
Sadly, not. These days it’s not enough to leave it up to ads and the sales team to increase your sales.
The world is changing, consumers are getting smarter and more conscious, therefore, the customer life cycle has greatly extended. Traditional hard sales techniques just won’t do any more: they simply scare off customers and make them turn away from you. This is why you need soft sales techniques, which will enable you to gradually earn the trust of your customers.
Based on surveys conducted by MarketingSherpa, 79% of leads never convert, i.e. they do not turn into customers.
This is a huge number and a huge loss of business. I suppose I don’t need to elaborate on that.
The real question is, how could you reverse this ratio? How can you get to a stage where 79% of leads become customers and only 21% drop out?
The answer to that question lies in lead nurturing.
Technically, lead nurturing is turning your visitors into sales qualified leads, i.e. maintaining contact with your them until they make a purchase.
This is backed up by a survey conducted by DemandGen, which claims that nurtured leads increase sales by 20% on average, compared to leads you did not attend to. Figures don’t lie, and this is exactly why you need lead nurturing.
How does one nurture leads?
It’s very simple, you just need to use your existing marketing tools slightly differently. You’ll need to apply the most effective method of inbound marketing, i.e. content.
If you run a blog, regularly generate content that is relevant and valuable for your target group.
Then, use this content as many times as you can. Create an e-book, a white paper or even an infographic. Use them as a bait and enable download only after entering an e-mail address. Thus, you’ve already done the first step of lead nurturing. You’ve created the bait that makes visitors subscribe and share their e-mail with you, which you can now use to build the relationship.
Round two is when you take this previous blog post and write a longer e-book to send them a couple of weeks later via email, or organize a webinar and invite these people.
Then, once you’ve followed this through, offer them a free trial version, a discount or a personal consultation session.
The point is taking the customer by the hand right from the start and letting it go only when they’ve finished shopping.
It’s not rocket science, is it?
You may say, OK, it’s not difficult, but it must be costly. I will disappoint you.
All you need to do is quickly write a blog post I mentioned above (which is absolutely free) and a bit of creativity to use it in multiple ways.
Also, if you want to make a difference in your lead management practices, you’ll need to automate your lead nurturing processes. There are plenty of marketing automation software out there to automate your whole process at no cost.