Much to the chagrin of Carole and Jess, I am a huge New Kids on the Block fan. Because I love to make NKOTB references as often as possible, I was thrilled when I realized they have a great song that explains exactly how lead nurturing works.
Lead Nurturing - Step By Step
- Step 1 - We can have lots of fun! Like in dating, the first stage of a business relationship is about keeping each other interested. So the first phase of a lead nurturing campaign is about capturing the attention of the people who've just entered your pipeline. Help them see the possibilities with you - what do you offer that really grabs people? That's useful and interesting? That makes a great icebreaker?
- Step 2 - There's so much we can do! Expanding the blossoming relationship is the next step in lead nurturing. In dating, this is the dinner date after the coffee date went well. So someone was interested in downloading a whitepaper? Maybe now they'd be interested in registering for an on-demand webinar.
- Step 3 - It's just you and me! Just like women compare their dates to all their previous boyfriends (hang tough, guys), your lead is going to compare you with your competitors. Your job is to stand out with your unique value proposition. A piece about the niche you fill - personalized service, comprehensive solutions, exclusivity, etc. - would be a great addition to your lead nurturing campaign.
- Step 4 - I can give you more! Some people date because they like to meet lots of people, but other people date because they want to find "The One." As a business, you're looking for long-term relationships with customers, so you need to show them what you bring to the table. Prove your value as a trusted advisor (not just a vendor) by offering leads a tool that lets them see how your services will affect their bottom lines. For example, you could offer an ROI calculator or cost/benefit analysis.
- Step 5 - Don't you know that the time is right! Finally, it's time to ask your lead if they want to go steady. This isn't a marriage proposal - remember, they haven't even talked to a sales person yet. But it is an opportunity to start a live conversation. The last email in a lead nurturing campaign should give leads the option to ask for a demo or a phone consultation.
Once someone raises their hand for that, the lead is ready to hand over to sales.
Smarketing and Lead Nurturing
The best lead nurturing campaigns take into account not only the customer's buying cycle, but your sales process as well. This is smarketing - sales and marketing alignment. Once you're done watching the video (you know you wanna!), learn more about what smarketing can do for your business.