As a marketing leader, you realize the way your buyers—regardless of B2B or B2C or products or services—make buying decisions has changed. Due to the Internet, your buyer now has vast quantities of information readily available during the early stages of their buying process—long before they even consider speaking with a salesperson. If you don’t have the right information in place, your potential buyers could pass you by.
According to a 2016 Hubspot survey, 62% of buyers use search at the onset of their buying journey, with the business’s website a close second. Do you have the right systems in place to follow up with these potential customers? Or are these leads slipping through the cracks?
Is making sales more difficult?
The reality is simple, but painful: Your potential customer is now driving the sales process. Due to technology, they are now smarter and calling the shots when it comes to what they want and how they want it during the sales process. Often, they don’t want to talk with a salesperson; they want to consume online content and increase their knowledge before they ever engage in a sales conversation.
Have your sales process and strategy changed?
If the buyer has changed, have you changed how you support their buyer’s journey? A recent SBI study revealed that 78% of businesses are using the wrong sales strategy. This indicates that your sales process and strategy doesn’t match your buyer’s preferences. When that happens, you lose leads and revenue.
Selecting the optimal automated lead-nurturing platform, implementing and managing a lead-nurturing system, and developing an inbound digital marketing strategy can close the gap on losing valuable leads.
When set up correctly, the workflow delivers personalized emails containing additional offers over a specified period of time. The lead always has the option to accept or reject the offers, which then leads them down different paths within the workflow. The goal is to continually move the lead down the sales funnel until they become a Sales Qualified Lead ready to speak with sales.
Are the results of automated lead nurturing worth it?
Most companies that have implemented automated lead nurturing find it increases leads, conversion rates, and return on investment (ROI).
“70% of top-performing companies indicate their investment in marketing automation generated a positive ROI after the first year of use.” —Gleanster
“B2C marketers who take advantage of marketing automation have seen conversion rates as high as 50%. —eMarketer
80% of marketing automation users saw their number of leads increase, and 77% saw the number of conversions increase. —VB Insight “Marketing Automation, how to make the right buying decision” (2015)
15 Signs You’re NOT Ready for Automated Lead Nurturing
Before you even think about implementing a lead-nurturing system, answering these simple questions should help you determine if you have the critical foundation to be successful.
- Have SMART Goals have been defined?
- Have you established how your organization will determine the evaluation, selection and implementation process for an automated lead-nurturing system?
- Have you outlined specifications for the automated marketing platform?
- What other systems, such as your customer relationship management (CRM), does the automated marketing system need to integrate with?
- If the automated marketing system doesn’t integrate with your CRM, what is your data conversion path plan?
- What data sources and quality of data exist, such as those for leads, customers, etc.? Where will this information be stored moving forward?
- What is the ROI of your current marketing and sales lead-generating and -nurturing activities? How will an automated marketing system affect it?
- Do you have personas? Have you mapped out the appropriate campaigns and workflows for each persona’s stage in the buying journey?
- What are your current lead-scoring attributes?
- How will you manage and monitor the ongoing changes required on the website (and other channels) to ensure lead calls-to-action and associated landing pages, thank you emails and download content are current and converting?
- Who will develop the content to use in lead-nurturing workflows?
- What in-house resources exist to manage the strategic application of a lead-nurturing program?
- What training do you have in place to manage digital leads correctly?
- What will your conversion optimization plan be?
- What outside vendor partner support might you require?
If your answers are no, you’re not ready to implement an automated lead-nurturing system.
Isn’t it time to implement an automated lead-nurturing system?
Your customer is now driving the buying process. To keep them from looking elsewhere, automated lead nurturing attracts them with personalized content while saving you time and work. Can you afford to lose lead opportunities?
Marketing and sales strategies, along with tactics, must connect and align with the critical steps in the buyer journey. They should engage and nurture leads and contribute to revenue goals. Implementing an automated lead-nurturing system isn’t an option; it’s essential to capturing lost leads and revenue opportunities.
Explore how implementing an automated lead-nurturing program as part of your inbound digital strategy can lead to increasing Sales Qualified Leads for your sales team. For a personalized, 30-minute consultation on how best to position your business for marketing success, contact Patty Cisco by phone at 419.629.0080, email or website.