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Lead Nurturing: What Can It Do For You? [Slide Show]

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Slide 1 of
110715-01. Lead Nurturing: What Can It Do For You?

In a typical B2B sales cycle, most of the demand you generate today will not be sales-ready for several months or maybe even years—depending on the nature of your business. Marketing automation allows you to constantly evaluate buyer stage as well as intent, and trigger the right communication for the situation—whether sending a specific email, alerting a sales rep, triggering a direct mail or SMS message, or simply creating a task in the customer relationship management (CRM) system.

Lead nurturing, in its most basic form, is the process of cultivating prospects who are not yet ready to buy. Marketing automation facilitates real-time, one-to-one conversations with your prospects based on their actions—something that manual marketing processes simply cannot do.

But technology alone is no panacea for the neglected latent demand that might be lingering in your database.

Here are four important elements you need to tackle before you automate.

110715-02. 1. Know your buyer

1. Know your buyer

Developing your ideal customer profile and creating personas will ensure that your nurturing communications reflect buyer needs and interests and that they are relevant for each buyer role.

Resources:

Online Seminar: Cure for the Common Website: Using Personas to Boost Site Performance

Online Seminar: Personas 1: Breakthrough Customer Insight for Product, Website Design and More

How-To Article: Using Personas as a Sales-Enablement Tool

How-To Article: Four Parts to Valuable Personas

Blog post: 10 Questions to Ask When Creating a Persona

110715-03. 2. Map your content to the buying stages

2. Map your content to the buying stages

Sending the right content—whether it's a whitepaper, video, guide, or product demo—at the right time can be the stimulus that moves a buyer to the next stage.

To develop the relationship, you need to understand the interests of your buyers at each stage of the purchase process. Relevance = conversion = revenue.

Resources:

Online Seminar: Content Marketing & Lead Nurturing: The One-Two Punch for Attracting and Cultivating Demand

How-To Article: 12 B2B Content-Marketing Practices to Ensure Success

Short Article: Target Your Marketing Content to Each Stage of the B2B Buying Cycle

Short Article: Four Triggers That Show a Shift in Prospect Interest

110715-04. 3. Whiteboard your workflow

3. Whiteboard your workflow

Before you lean on technology to automate your nurturing process, start by whiteboarding the ideal scenario. Figure out how prospects will enter your nurturing flow, what rules will trigger a change in the process or cause someone to be dropped from a nurturing program, and how to map out different nurtures for different roles or industries.

Framing out your lead-nurturing program—as opposed to just blasting out communications and hoping for the best—will help create an organized flow that'll guide your prospect to the eventual sale.

Resources:

How-To Article: Three Ways to Improve Your Lead-Nurturing Strategy

How-To Article: Five Quick Tips for Creating Conversations Salespeople Will Use

Short Article: Four Timely Steps to Nurturing a B2B Relationship

110715-05. 4. Establish clear and measurable program objectives

4. Establish clear and measurable program objectives

If you want to have a successful lead-nurturing program, you need to have a clear definition of what success means and how you intend to measure it.

If, for example, your goal is to accelerate your sales pipeline, you will need to be able to measure the average time from initial interest to close, and design your nurture program accordingly.

Having clear goals and benchmarks to measure against allows Marketing to stay focused on the objectives and makes it easy to optimize the program over time.

(For more information on lead nurturing, check out Eloqua's Grande Guide to Lead Nurturing.)

Resources:

How-To Article: How to Demonstrate and Deliver Lead-Nurturing ROI

Online Seminar: Shift Your B2B Marketing into High Gear: Lead Management, Social Media & Integration (FREE)

Slide 1 of 5
Elle Woulfe is senior marketing programs manager at Eloqua, a provider of a marketing automation and revenue performance management platform.

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  • by Jeff Ogden Fri Jul 15, 2011 via web

    Great slide presentation that uses terrific images to sum up the key elements of lead nurturing.

    Jeff Ogden, Find New Customers
    http://www.findnewcustomers.com/leadnurturing

  • by Rachel Agheyisi Fri Jul 15, 2011 via web

    I agree with Jeff -- really cool and aptly selected images. This post is a great example of "best practices" of Powerpoint presentation.
    I will share it!

    Rachel Agheyisi
    Report Content Writer
    http://www.reportcontentwriter.com

  • by Jeff Ogden Fri Jul 15, 2011 via web

    It's funny, but in a client meeting last week, our points almost exactly match this great presentation. It makes me feel good when MarketingProfs agrees with me.

    Jeff Ogden, Find New Customers
    http://ww.findnewcustomers.com/leadnurturing

  • by Paul Audette Sun Jul 17, 2011 via web

    I wish I would have had access to material with this level of detail when I was working in front-line mortgage sales! It'll be a valuable reference for future marketing and project responsibilities in my remaining MBA coursework and beyond.

    Paul Audette
    MBA Candidate, 2012
    Schulich School of Business, York University

  • by Jason Ciment Tue Jul 19, 2011 via web

    Do you have suggestions of places to get good public domain images for this type of slideshow. this is a good presentation

  • by Vahe, MarketingProfs Wed Jul 20, 2011 via web

    HI, Jason. We used istockphoto.com for the presentation.

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