For most B2B marketers, lead generation plays a major role in their marketing strategy. But once leads are acquired, they typically are turned over to the sales department, hopefully for follow-up and conversion. Marketers tend to view their roles as lead producers. It’s someone else’s job to qualify prospects and transform them into sales. But today’s Web-based technologies empower marketers to go beyond lead generation to lead nurturing – and become actively engaged in the sales conversion process.
Lead nurturing involves a structured program of continual contact with the prospect. It’s focused on offering your company’s technical and scientific content in a form that solves problems and enhances a customer’s business. This content might include white papers, management briefs, application notes, Webinars, case studies, podcasts, and videos.
Through the use of a CRM database, such as Salesforce.com or TW Solution’s low-cost LeadManager, and an email campaign management solution, a marketer can target this content to a lead’s personal areas of interest, enhancing relevancy and effectiveness. The analytics in these tools measure prospect response, enabling the calculation of a true ROI.
Lead nurturing’s benefits include better qualification, stronger prospect relationships, enhanced company positioning as a thought leader, and a much greater opportunity for sales conversion. Our firm is managing lead nurturing programs for clients who understand that continual engagement with the lead around beneficial content will dramatically increase their opportunity to close sales.