Once you have spent time and resources finding new leads for your company, you want to turn them into customers. The intermediate step between lead generation and customer service is lead nurturing — and a huge step it is. Lead nurturing encompasses all the ways you get to know your leads, educate them on what you have to offer, and encourage them to buy. It is a process of gradually getting better acquainted, building interest, and establishing trust that ends with a completed sale and a happy customer. Here are some ways that lead nurturing can help you achieve your sales goals.
- Lead nurturing increases needed contacts. In a perfect world, leads would be so impressed by your company’s products and services that they would be eager to buy the very first time you contact them. In some cases, this does occur, but it is more common that it takes several “touches” between company and lead to bring about a sale. Standard wisdom is that it takes seven contacts before a lead converts to a customer. By its very nature, the technique of lead nurturing is the perfect way to make these necessary contacts. Each time you send a follow-up email, or make a phone inquiry, or grab the lead’s attention with a physical piece of direct mail, you’re practicing lead nurturing. Better yet, you’re also chipping away at that goal of seven contacts.
- Lead nurturing improves conversion. Statistics show that the majority of leads do not become customers. Without a program of lead nurturing, a company that converts 20 percent of its leads into sales can be considered to be working at the limits of success. However, with an organized lead nurturing strategy in place, that 20 percent conversion rate can be increased significantly. It makes sense. Lead nurturing ensures that your leads are well educated on what your company’s products and services can do for them. It reassures them that you’ll be there to help them if needed. And, it improves the relationship and increases trust.
- Lead nurturing creates more sales at less cost. Lead nurturing is an investment in customer acquisition. It requires the dedication of resources, but the ROI makes it worthwhile. Lead nurturing, effectively done, can generate substantially more sales-ready leads — around 50 percent more, according to some sources. The cost of acquiring these leads, in turn, is decreased by about a third.
- Lead nurturing weeds out the uninterested. As you move through the steps of the lead nurturing process, you’ll likely find that some leads drop out and become unavailable. This should not necessarily be a cause for concern. Lead generation is designed to appeal to those who need your offerings and to weed out those who are not interested, not authorized to make a purchase, or otherwise unlikely to become customers. When these sources are eliminated, you’re free to spend more time and effort on the leads that are better positioned to become customers.
- Lead nurturing encourages customers to buy more. Customers who have grown to like and trust a company through lead generation practices are not only more likely to buy, they are also likely to make larger purchases. They may want to reward you for the concern you’ve shown during the lead nurturing process, or they may simply be convinced that your company has exactly what they need.
Nurturing and cultivating leads can mean the difference between high sales numbers and lackluster revenue performance. Contact us at Invenio for more information on using lead nurturing to drive your company to success and for details on our professional lead nurturing services.