The importance of lead nurturing in relationship based sales
The buyer’s journey is much in focus as a concept of marketing in today’s times. Rightly so, since there is so much that the customer already knows before you approach him or he approaches you as there is a barrage of data available online. Customers read reviews and recommendations and this plays an important role in their decision making process too.
The journey of the buyer thus becomes extremely important for the marketer. The buyer’s journey typically consists of three stages:
- The Awareness Stage: This stage is the time when the customer seeks out for the right products since to address his pain points.
- The Consideration Stage: This is the stage of deliberation when he will look for solutions online and do his research based on the feedback from existing users and other research available to him.
- The Decision Stage: Needless to say, it is the most important stage when the customer arrives at a decision on what is best for him.
As a marketer, at the first stage, you need to focus on converting your website visitors to leads. The same can be done through social media interactions too. Once contact is established over a period of time, you may offer them a free webinar to attend or a subscription to enable to get their contact details. This is what lead nurturing is all about. It about identifing the leads in the buyer journey. This process is termed as lead scoring.
Here is how you can do lead scoring effectively:
- Check for fitment: You need to see your customer profile to understand if he qualifies to be your ideal customer. Check for parameters like need of the customer, the size of the customer depending on the services you provide and the geographical area of the business.
- Check for interest level: Depending on their search criteria and subsequently on your interactions, you need to gauge the level of interest of the customer. If the customer asks you about a price or a quote, this may be an indication of his interest in your services.
- Check for indicators: The rate of opening emails, click through rates, participation in discussions on social media, download of ebooks etc. are all indicators that the customer is on a lookout for a solution.
As you master the art of finding out where your customers lie on the buyer’s journey, you must also focus on conversion of these leads. Here are some points that will help you in achieving these:
Make the perfect pitch: Emailing can be used effectively to communicate with leads. Ensure that your emails are informative at all times and have the same underlying objective or strategy. Consistency is the key when it comes to lead nurturing. The point at which your customer opts-in to your list of emailing, you must choose to provide him with a unique experience and customized solutions. ‘One size fits all’ does not apply here. Also, service levels must be really high in case of customer queries.
Marketing qualified leads: Qualified leads are those which are ready for closure and a discount or an offer can lead to a purchase. They qualify as the outcome of the lead nurturing process.
A mistake that many marketers make after the lead gets converted to sales is that they seek no feedback or the interacting closes abruptly at that point. Feedback, asking for referrals, reviews and recommendations are all a part of the lead nurturing process. You can take it a step further by seeking marketing surveys, sending thank you mails or sending intimation about latest offers. This will ensure you make a long and lasting impact on your customer.