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B2B Lead Nurturing: Learn How To Close More Deals

10 Min Read

As a marketer, you are supposed to feed the top of the sales funnel of your company with leads.

But do you think those leads would push themselves down the sales funnel on their own? Well, that rarely happens. 

You must understand and realize that your leads need a little push in the form of effective follow-ups, which is the most challenging part for many marketers and salespeople. And that is precisely where the need for lead nurturing comes into play. 

Before we jump into strategizing lead nurturing for your business, which focuses on the middle of the sales funnel, let’s first understand what does a lead essentially means.   

What is a Lead?

Any organization or individual who has an interest in your business is your lead. These leads are your potential customers if they engage with your brand across different stages of the sales funnel.

If your brand looks promising and appealing to them, they will not hesitate to share their personal information such as name, contact details, or even social media handles and hence become your potential sales-ready lead.

illustration to explain what is a visitor funnel in B2B industry
Image Source[1]

What is Lead Nurturing?

Lead nurturing is the process of helping your leads generated from the top of the sales funnel in buying decisions.

Before landing on your website, your prospects have already gone through every informative presentation available online. They have kept their guards up well for self-prevention so that they do not get scammed by any content that wastes their time. 

You must keep reminding yourself that your prospects are smart, who are looking for substance. They need assurance that their best interests are kept in mind, and also of your brand’s reliability, trustworthiness, and proficiency in effectively addressing their pain points and needs in the long haul.

You need to nurture that relationship with them.

What is Lead Qualification?

Lead qualification is the process of determining whether a prospect fits your ideal customer profile. It has a high chance of becoming a customer and, most importantly, has a high probability of being a successful long-term customer.

an illustration to explain what is lead qualification process
Image Source[2]

What is Lead Scoring?

Lead scoring is assigning a point value to your leads, basis the information they have provided. Typically, it is a score that compiles behavioral as well as demographic data that qualifies it as a significant lead.

For instance, a non-business email ID could be one of the demographic data points where you could assign a score lower than those who have signed up with their professional business IDs. Similarly, communication over a call or an email could also become a behavioral data point to assign a score, basis the nature of your business.

Learn more about lead scoring in this video:

What are Lead Nurturing Campaigns?

Lead Nurturing campaigns are the baseline elements to strategize the sales funnel content for your prospects, ensuring sales and conversion.

Through lead nurturing campaigns, marketers understand different personas in order to engage with the prospects personally.

Types of Lead Nurturing Campaigns

  1. Educational: This type of campaigns are best for non-sales ready prospects as the content aims to only educate and inform them.
  2. Product/Service: These campaigns focus on the typical aspects of the products or services in which the prospect has explicitly shown interest to gain more knowledge.
  3. Promotional: Promotional campaigns facilitate the push you want your leads to get to reach the bottom of the sales funnel, such as discounts, special pricing.
  4. Event engagement: This type of campaign focuses on the engagement around pre and post registration done by your prospects. These may include webinars as well as in-person events.
  5. Re-engagement: These campaigns are similar to the  wake-up calls to the leads that go silent during the sales cycle. Email marketing is a powerful marketing practice to re-engage with such sleeping prospects.
  6. Authority perception campaigns: Prospects need a final assurance before investing their money in your product or service. Authority perceptions emails should include the press releases, high-ranking industry reports around your business, and links to your high-traffic content pieces to ensure that your prospects are making the right decision.
  7. Welcome campaign: The real purpose of sending welcome emails is to move new customers through your onboarding process. Make sure your welcome emails are informative, clear, and actionable.

Core Elements of B2B Lead Nurturing Campaign

1. Understand buyer personas:

What do they want to accomplish at work? 
That is a question you should ask your imaginary ideal prospects, which contribute to your buyer persona based on the current customer base that you have.

2. Personalize:

For any lead nurturing strategy, personalization can do unimaginable wonders. Writing personalized informal emails, addressing your prospects by name, and communicating in a conversational tone makes them feel more connected to you.

3. Educate your prospects:
an illustration on the buyer's journey in the B2B industry

Image Source[3]

One of the most critical steps in closing the sales cycle is to educate your prospects on the current state of their buyer journey, which can be categorized into the following phases:

  • Awareness phase: Do include blog posts related to your leads, their interests. Educate your prospects with the latest trends in their industry.
  • Consideration phase: Do invite your leads to events such as webinars about your product, or a demo.
  • Decision phase: As a final step, do share success stories of your customers, testimonials, and product reviews.

If you are unsure what content you should be sending out to your prospects, understand what resources they have already engaged with. You must know with what pages on your website are they interacting the most, and also their opinions that they share on social media sites.

Chase their pain points that you can provide a solution to. Formulate a hypothesis on the basis of your previous prospects and test it.

4. Don’t spam:

Sending emails on a daily basis would not only irritate your prospects but show you as sales hungry. As a result, they might end up unsubscribing and would never spend a dime on you. 

Here is a list of spam trigger words[1] that you should avoid in the subject line of your email campaigns.

You should keep experimenting until zeroing on an appropriate time interval for following up with your prospects, basis what works best for your business.

Segmenting and grouping your contacts by more defining traits would help you ensure you are sending out relevant information to your prospects which is more likely to earn their attention. The traits can be, for instance:

  • Job Title
  • Age
  • Location
  • Interests

As a Product Marketing Manager at HubSpot, Jeffrey Russo explains, that at HubSpot, they segment their audience on the basis of marketing persona and lifecycle stage. There are three main personas that HubSpot uses to create useful content to nurture leads:

PersonaPositionResponsibilitiesTypical Campaign Content
Enterprise ErinErin oversees marketing at a larger enterprise organization.Erin likely manages a departmentalized marketing team with mature processes and sophisticated technology in place. Erin is often judged on lead volumes or revenue targets.
 
 
Campaign typically feature content that covers marketing thought leadership and advanced topics.
Marketing MaryMary heads marketing at a mid-sized organization.
 
Mary manages a small team of marketers and is often stretched for time. She is often judged on lead volume and is always looking for new ways to increase lead quantities.
 
Content is framed around lead generation or other marketing strategies she has expressed interest in.
Owner OllieOllie is a small business owner who is a real ‘jack of all trades.’Ollie does not have a background in marketing but he needs to figure out a way to generate marketing results to keep his business alive.Features shorter, introductory-level content designed to introduce someone who might be new to marketing to some basic yet important topics.

HubSpot combines these personas with the prospects’ lifecycle stage, that is, where they are in the buying cycle. Here is an example of how they nurture leads for the Marketing Mary persona after they know this type of prospect is considering a purchase.

Content OfferCall to Action (CTA)
Step 1 Learn How to Prove the Value of Your Marketing EffortsSign up for a free assessment
Step 2eBook offer: Generation More Leads with Your WebsiteDownload the eBook
Step 3Watch a Quick Video Demo of HubSpot’s Marketing SoftwareWatch the video
Step 4Deep Dive: Email Marketing with HubSpotRequest a demo
5. Re-engagement, if required

Email marketing is a powerful tool when it comes to engagement and also re-engagement.

By asking your customers about their feedback, giving them an incentive, and creating a sense of urgency, you can win your customer. Besides, you can also re-engage the prospects by using dynamic calls-to-actions on your website.

For instance, HubSpot re-engage their leads by prompting them to sign up for a newsletter they’re already subscribed to, or they would invite a current user to learn more about their software.

HubSpot does this by setting up visitor rules that will create a CTA based on where a prospect is in their buying decision.

6. Start now!

Do not wait for your prospect to express purchase intent to start the lead nurturing. You can start nurturing leads as soon as they engage with you in any form, with any part of your business, even if that means engaging with your blog content.

7. Use content marketing to address the prospect’s pain points

Today, buyers are more empowered than marketers. They discard anything that smells like an ad or a promotional campaign. That is where content marketing comes in, which is about being thoughtful of your prospects’ pain points and generating content that solves those pain points. 

Content marketing enables you to win your prospects’ trust, who are likely to become your potential customers and simultaneously facilitates your establishment as thought leaders in the industry.

How Should You Effectively Nurture Leads

You have an amazing lead nurturing campaign but there is something missing that is not enabling it to become a success. It could be as basic as the quality of your leads, which are not sales-ready. You can do so by determining the quality leads through lead enrichment tools that are more likely to push down in the sales funnel and close the deals.

Lead Enrichment Services

Would it not be fantastic if you get every detail of your lead just by using their email address? 

That is precisely what Lead Enrichment services do!

Below is a list of popular tools that are used extensively for lead enrichment:

A Few Popular Enrichment Tools

ServicesPricingSearch MethodDomain SupportRating
Clearbit[2]$99/MonthOnly EmailsAll
4.3/5.0
 
BeenVerified[3]$26.89/MonthEmail, Phone, Address, People SearchAll2.7/5.0
FullContact[4]$8.33/MonthEmail, Phone & NameGmail4/5.0
Pipl[5]$99/MonthEmail & AddressYahoo, Bing & Gmail4.1/5.0

  Table Source[6]

Behavior-Based Marketing Automation

You can nurture your leads by using behavior-based marketing automation at the right time during your prospects’ buying cycle.

Sending wrong information too fast will show desperation, and if you’re too late, you may lose your prospects to your competitors.

Spread the Word About Your Campaign

  1. Using your lead magnet as the offer in a Paid Ad
  2. Offering your lead magnet to prospects on social media such as LinkedIn who match your persona and fit your ideal client profile
  3. Including links to your lead magnet in relevant blogs
  4. Creating videos for LinkedIn or YouTube that provide inherent value, but also include a call to action to access your lead magnet.
  5. Sharing your lead magnet on your company social media accounts.
  6. Sending a blast email to your database promoting your lead magnet.

It is crucial to feed the top of your funnel continually, so all the hard work you have done crafting your campaign does not go in vain.

To Sum Up

Lead nurturing is time-consuming, complicated, and tedious, but worth the hard work if you intend to close deals on a massive scale.

With few tweaks to your content, lead scoring, and lead qualification, and other details, you can slowly but steadily be able to achieve your desired conversion rates

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Shanaz Khan from VWO

Hi, I am Shanaz from the VWO Research Desk.

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