You were not dreaming when the prospect at the event told you they loved your solution, that they were looking for exactly this functionality and they had budget to purchase this quarter. Your note for follow-up indicates that this is a good lead – no, a HOT LEAD. However, after they chatted with you they met your competition, had engaging conversations with their peers, enjoyed a night out and then returned to work with more on their plates than when they left. They forgot about you and your solution.
How could they forget? They loved you and all you had to offer to help solve their problem. Where is the disconnect? Why did they love you at the show and forget you now that the event is over? You sent them an awesome post-show follow-up that recalled all the great things you spoke about and you reminded them—they want and need to buy your solution. But do they really want to buy? Where did that good lead go?
Those trade show leads or once-hot-leads are not gone, they just need to be nurtured a bit until they are really ready to purchase. Why nurture? There are many excellent reasons to nurture leads, but here are the top four:
Lead nurturing is all about gaining permission to have an ongoing conversation with your buyer. You do this by delivering relevant and helpful information and advice to your prospect throughout the buyer’s journey. Becoming a trusted advisor is what establishes credibility and trust – setting the stage for a relationship, not just a sales transaction.
Once you have built trust with your buyer and have permission to continue a conversation, they welcome your communication and even look forward to receiving it. Seth Godin once said, “Strive to be missed.” This speaks directly to content consumption– when buyers find value in your content and what you have to share, they are more engaged, and readily consume and even share your content. They may even read your emails and eventually, pick up the phone when they are ready.
The Eloqua Grande Guide to Lead Nurturing is a great resource for lead nurturing advice. The guide highlights a Taleo case study citing increased suspect-to-MQL conversion rate from 8 to 11 percent on net new leads entering the system as a result of lead nurturing. Three percentage points can quickly equate to big revenue. Do the math for your organization – lead nurturing pays off.
Higher purchase price:
In a blog post entitle Lead Nurturing -Ripening the Right Bananas Brian Carroll, CEO and founder of InTouch and author of Lead Generation for the Complex Sale, writes that clients engaged in lead nurturing of prospects eventually purchased from 100% to 250% more than those that were not nurtured. Imagine if that only happened with a few deals in your pipeline…that means real revenue for your organization.
The bottom line is that all the good leads aren’t gone…they are just in need of a little nurturing before they are ready to talk to you, and buy from you. Marketers need to put in place, at the very least, a simple lead nurturing program to ensure that the time and money spend finding these “leads” is put to good use. Remember, today’s sophisticated B2B buyer does 70-80% of their research before ever speaking with a sales representative.
Build essential trust and gain permission to have an ongoing dialogue via nurturing of your buyer and you will see better results, faster conversions and a higher price of sale. Not to mention – you establish yourself as a trusted advisor and develop a potential advocate for your solution for the next sales opportunity. The good leads aren’t gone, they just need nurturing.