Monthly Archives: November 2014

Nicola Peaty

Top tips for how to manage the lead nurturing process for your business.

By Nicola Peaty

Lead nurturing is all about how you build a relationship between your business and your prospect. There will of course be certain business cases where it is applicable to make a quick sale to a new or existing lead. Maybe there is little decision making involved and the reason to purchase is simple and instant.

not ready to buy

 

However, most of us live in the business world where we need to spend more time in convincing our target market about the features and benefits of our products/services, but moreover, about why they should choose our company over the competition.

This is where lead nurturing plays a crucial role.

Here are our top tips in the lead nurturing process:

1. Build and analyse your leads. This goes beyond the basic demographics. Data collection from leads who have expressed an initial interest will be critical in deciding how you target and nurture them. Some leads may have arrived at your website with little or no knowledge about your business, while others may know a lot more but still need advice. Some leads may have several enquiries but are much ‘warmer’ as a lead in order to convert to a sale. Your job is to capture as much detail as possible, through progressive information gathering. Using these data you can then build different profiles and personas, and segment them accordingly, so that you can optimise your various nurture communications.

2. Be information ready. This means that as your lead generation campaign starts building new prospects, as well as including your existing leads, you need to have the answers in place to deal with any enquiries. Leads will go on a fact finding mission until they are satisfied they are ready to purchase. So ensure all touch points are equipped to deal with their requirements and respond as soon as possible. That means online, in print, via text, by email, on the phone and in person. An audit check across all information points is great way to ensure that no prospects are lost because they could not find your product details they were looking for.

3. Build the relationship. The word nurture means to promote, develop, encourage and support. All these are totally in line with how you should be treating your prospects so that they feel a sense of trust and confidence with your brand. What you tell them is important. How you tell them is just as important. Whether interaction occurs on the phone or online, be mindful that you are representing the brand and consider this as an opportunity to progress the prospect towards the sales ready status. Ask yourself following any interaction, whether your customer is totally satisfied with the response you have provided.

4. Multimedia content. Leads will go in search of what they need via all types of media so you have to have all the possibilities covered. Content is king as we all know, so make sure yours stands out among all the other ‘noise’ fighting for attention. Think of original ways to promote and convey your message. Use social media as appropriate for your brand, be creative with video if applicable and be authoritative with blogs and articles. Content should deliver unique, valuable information as well as reflect on the brand position of your company. Make your prospects believe that you are the right choice for them because you have communicated in the right way to them.

5. Monitor and target. To be totally effective and use your resources efficiently, stay close to how your prospects are responding to the nurture process. You will then be able to identify those who are reacting well and spend time focusing efforts on encouraging those who seem most likely to become ‘sales ready’. This will mean keeping your prospect database or CRM system up-to-date at all times and knowing when to make contact, with the appropriate message to the selected type of prospect. Marketing automation is a great way of sending a series of messages which can trigger different responses and help you funnel and filter your leads. However, you choose to ‘progress’ your leads, make sure your sales team are primed and ready when the final time comes to convert to a sale.

lead nurture

 

Nicola Peaty

What is demand generation and why does it matter?

By Nicola Peaty

leads to prospectsHow can we create a genuine demand for our products/services? This is the all important question most companies ask their marketing department. This is where demand generation plays a key role. It’s much more that raising general brand awareness and goes into more strategic, longer term aspirations for building customer relationships.

Demand generation engages and nurtures quality leads that can be passed onto the sales department to convert to actual purchases. Campaigns have to be thought through and focused on a target audience with a specific product/service. The process and communications must be based on an understanding of what the buyer needs and how your product/service matches their requirements.

The first stage is to build a knowledge of the target market for your particular product/service. This can be based on research or an analysis of customer trends, and should give you a clear picture of what these customers are looking for. This way, you can focus your messaging and personalise your communications as much as possible.

Data management throughout the marketing process, will allow you to track your target contacts from initial selection through to how they respond to content and nurturing and assess whether you are ‘connecting’ in a positive way in order to move them closer to the final buying stage. All intelligence gained throughout the campaign should be captured for both positive and negative outcomes as a learning for your chosen target market. If unsure of potential offers or outcomes, you can always test reactions by splitting lists with different offers and analysing the results for future reference.

Content marketing comes into its own when strategically planning demand generation. Messaging will be specific to the goal in mind, whether that be promoting a new product, re-engaging lapsed customers or upselling to loyal customers. Together with the knowledge acquired about your target prospects, content should play to their interests and inform and excite them about what you have to offer them. This is where quality content delivered using the appropriate channels will reap far better rewards than generic mass marketing via blanket emails or advertising.

Another crucial part of demand generation is nurturing the prospects. This means keeping a close eye on them and tracking their responses, engaging with them through conversation and interaction and responding when necessary. Reports, ebooks, blogs and webinars are great tactics at delivering key information and encouraging a response and questions, which will help to build an understanding of both what they need and your relationship with them. All the while through this process you are aiming to personalise more content, time the right sort of communications and determine when the prospects are qualifying to become ‘sales ready’.

A critical success factor in demand generation also relies on the way in which marketing and sales work together. In order for marketing to pass on qualified leads to sales, there must be a certain ‘status’ which has been reached by the lead and agreed by both departments at the start of the process. According to the campaign objective, the prospect should meet the agreed criteria by which they were first selected, and have responded with actions and behaviour throughout the campaign according to the predetermined goals.

The measurement of success will rely on how well you manage your data, set out your success criteria, engage the right messages with the right prospects and pass to sales at the optimum point at which the lead is ready to purchase. A full analysis of the campaign will identify areas for improvement, points which reaped great response and potential messages/offers which generated the least reaction. This learning can obviously then feed into future campaigns, where you can possibly short cut the process or indeed spend more time on nurturing a lead.

The ‘obvious’ return on investment can be measured by the amount spent on marketing the campaign versus the sales generated at the end. However, this should factor in previous experience of this type of campaign and with the chosen target market. Budgeting and forecasts should become more accurate following more campaigns and a deeper understanding of the market and trends.
Below is a chosen infographic which helps demonstrate the main stages in the demand generation process:

demandgenprogram
Please refer to associated blogs:
Content for your audience: http://www.vgandassociates.com/how-to-write-content-for-your-audience/
Sales and marketing: http://www.vgandassociates.com/top-tips-how-to-build-a-more-productive-marketing-sales-relationship/

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