In the previous post about lead scoring and nurturing, we talked about what lead scoring is, why businesses need to do it, and how to set up a scoring system. What do you do once you've scored a lead? This post will cover that. According to DemandGen Report, on average, nurtured leads produce a 20 percent increase in sales opportunities versus non-nurtured leads. Once you have a scoring system in place, you can use it to nurture leads through the purchasing process. Here's how you can get started nurturing leads based off your scoring system:
Sales-Ready or Near-Ready
Lead scoring provides insights into who the most sales-ready leads are. Sales-ready and near-ready leads need to be distinguished from one another. You will want to review your scores to make sure that those you would want to send to sales actually meet the minimum score to be sales-qualified. If the lead just misses the mark, they're near ready and need to be nurtured. Sales-ready leads are a no-brainer and need to be passed to your sales team right away. It's the near-ready ones you want to nurture as they get closer to making a purchase. Between calls and your more sales pitch oriented emails, you can promote the rich content your company offers that this lead will find valuable. There are a few ways you can nurture near-ready leads:
- Ask: Ask these near-ready leads for more information as to what they're waiting on. Is it pricing or something else? A call to touch base could give your greater insight into how close this customer is and what further information they will find valuable.
- Email: Email out special offers and highlight benefits the customer can expect if they chose to do business with you. A discount or new insight could be the added push a prospect needs.
- Get Personal: Business buyers have expressed that the relevance of individualized content is missing from sites they visit. Provide this for customers can you could see an increase in conversions.
These are your leads that received a B/C grade, were rated as warm, or fall in the middle tier of your scoring system. Often times, these "almost ready" leads are those that are somewhere in the comparison phase of the buying cycle where they are comparing vendors. When a lead is almost ready to make a purchase, often they need a bit of encouragement or a bit more information. Nurture almost ready leads with:
- Email: Send out special offers, invitations for free trials or demos, and relevant information such as case studies and your company media kit..
- On-Site: On your website, offer buyer's guides and analyst reports that are industry-oriented. Tie your on-site content into personal emails you send out. Reference one or two places on your site that the lead could find valuable.
- Ask: Again, you can always ask a lead how they want to be contacted and with what information. This could open the gates of better communication between you and the customer.
Nowhere Near Ready
Maybe they filled out a form for more research information or to download a whitepaper, but this lead is not ready to make a purchase. These are the leads that fall in your D/E grade score, cold qualification or received a bottom score in your lead scoring system. These "nowhere near ready" leads are just beginning the research phase. They haven't identified which companies are offering the best features and prices; they might not even know what features of a product or service could benefit their business the most. Nurture these leads with:
- Email: Send emails to these leads with links to download whitepapers and e-Books. If they've just begun the research phase, this is the information they're likely to find valuable.
- Educate: These leads are looking for educational information, not a sales pitch or how you plan to win their business. Earn their business by building a relationship based on sharing educational information and best practices.
- Call: Introduce yourself and let the lead know you are there to answer questions they have and provide them with the resources they need to make an informed decision. Start building your working relationship right away with an introduction call to touch base.
Every now and then, take a look at your scoring system to see if needs to be modified so that sales staff are receiving only the leads who are truly sales-ready. Talk with your sales and marketing teams to make sure the lead scoring system satisfies both their needs. Make sure any nurturing emails you send out comply with the CAN-SPAM Act and are relevant to the potential customer. Once you've gathered a lead's information, nurture them until they are sales-ready. You can generate more sales-ready leads at a lower cost-per-lead.
Does your business score and nurture leads? Have you seen success in doing so?