A Post About Lead Nurturing That I Enjoyed Writing

Have I mentioned that we are hosting a lead nurturing webinar on December 4 at 10AM pacific with Mary Firme from Reachforce and Justin Gray from LeadMD? With lead nurturing, we are well past the “why” and are all ready for the “how”…join us to learn: 7 Steps to Put your Lead Nurturing on Steroids.

No, but really. I love when I go bonkers on a topic for a couple weeks. It lets my sink my teeth into it. We have recently had a couple great posts on the topic:

I have been dwelling on the topic and I need a break from other content so I am live streaming the things in my head. But first an image. I wanted something related to point #5 below, and found this image from Tom Henrich.

Sales nurturing, lead management

Let the stream of consciousness begin:

1. Content marketing is lead nurturing and lead nurturing is content marketing — Sure there is more to lead nurturing like tracking and conversion, but net-net, you can’t be good at lead nurturing if you aren’t good at content marketing. Content is what brings them back for more.

2.  Remember when we used to call down on rented lists? — Man, how crazy is that. Call down and see what you can get…how far we have come.

3. Speaking of which, lead nurturing was a great idea 20 years ago too — Everyone tells me that lead nurturing is the by-product of the changing buyer…but I just don’t think so. I think marketing automation made lead nurturing a reality. I swear had you told me about lead nurturing back then, we would have done it.

4. My mom used to get coupon books in the mail — Then again, maybe companies back then were lead nurturing. My mom used to get coupons sent to her on a regular basis. They knew she was a housewife and they just came coming and coming. She opened it, looked for what she wanted, and they got sales. I think that was called “marketing” back then.

5. “Call me back in three months” — This one used to hurt.(Still does) I remember when I was consulting years ago and would explain to the unthinking sales person that “call me back in X months” really meant “I have no idea what you are talking about” or “no interest”. Then they would set their “tickler” to call them back in 3 months to see if things had changed. That never worked. The smart sales people knew this. Lead nurturing helps with this. I love that we now get to watch them and make our moves with the people who are engaged.

6.  Buyers prefer to work digitally — Well they do. Don’t fight it, go with it.

7. But don’t forget to call — Stop. I didn’t contradict myself. What I am saying is: don’t leave it on the poor sales person to “check back in”. Coordinate your channels. We have found that if you combine channels like email and voice in your campaigns, you will increase overall conversion. What we need to avoid is haphazard calling without offering value.

8. Your blog is part of your nurturing strategy — The smart companies are ungating as much as they can these days. (To Gate: To put a registration form in front of your content). Buyers want to educate anonymously. Let them. If you build trust, they will be there when they need you. I know, it’s hard to let go. Trust me, I have a picture of Ozzy on my blog post.

9. Sales lead nurturing is the new black — One of the most crucial roadblocks in the sales process is the “dead period” where the sales person doesn’t hear anything from the buyer. Buyers today don’t call back to update you. They don’t even call to say “no”. The problem is, when they don’t call, they may not mean “no”. Confusing? It kinda sucks. What I have found works is to help sales nurture their sales opportunities. Right now, marketing sets everything up to deliver content on a regular basis from a marketing perspective. What about after the first call? When the dude goes dark for three months. Sales guy is checking in like crazy. No clue. Set sales up with content designed for that point in the buying cycle. Help create nurture patterns for them. Track it. Live it, love it.

10. A sales person’s LinkedIn connections are often more targeted and relevant than your marketing list — I remember working with a marketing department who was targeted VPs and C-suite types. Their highest converting channel was sales. They read everything about nurturing…they had their data, etc. It didn’t work. Imagine them scratching their heads now. Here is the deal: If sales is playing the LinkedIN game right, they are creating one-to-one relationships with the right people. They are your fastest path to conversion to those prospects. See next point

11. The LinkedIn Feed is nurturing — You gotta get sales to deliver content on a regular basis in their LinkedIn feed. PS in case you didn’t notice, LinkedIn tells you when people view your profile or like/share content ala marketing automation. It’s a powerful channel. When I started delivering content to LinkedIN 10X a day, my profile views jumped by 300%. Hi, how are you.

12. Data is the reason your lead nurturing is failing — Data quality and segmentation is hurting your nurturing efforts. I don’t know you and I haven’t looked at your database, but I already know this to be true.

13. Successful buyers and their buying processes are the key to lead nurturing — Read a great post today on this topic. Bottom line, figure out who you’re buyers are, what they care about, and how they buy. Segment your database by buyer and deliver relevance. You win. (Guess what? So do the buyer)

14. Definitive content converts into real buyers — I still love the content marketing success story from Ardath Albee about how one of her clients finally turned a hard to reach executive into a deal. He read a piece of content, called the rep, asked for a meeting, and at the meeting, said: “I want to talk about this” while pointing to the content. At TOPO, our definitive pieces drive real sales opportunities. Exhibit A: The Sales Development Team: A Proven Framework for Success. Once posted, we got lots of emails from people saying: “I need to do this”. The “10 reasons to Eat Lunch with a Spoon” will get more conversions, but the definitive piece will drive more deals.

15. If you do lead nurturing right, you build trust even if you don’t get downloads — I hate to tell you that, but its true. If you help instead of sell, then lead nurturing will help you build a trusted brand. If you sell instead of help, the opposite occurs.

See you Wednesday at 10 AM Pacific. Take in an end of the year lead nurturing webinar with Mary Firme from Reachforce and Justin Gray from LeadMD? Click here is you love lead nurturing:  7 Steps to Put your Lead Nurturing on Steroids.

My name is Craig Rosenberg and endorse this message. Back to work.
Craig Rosenberg is the Funnelholic and a co-founder of Topo. He loves sales, marketing, and things that drive revenue. Follow him on Google+ or Twitter