Lead nurturing: the process of engaging sales leads with content on a timely basis to accelerate their velocity through the pipeline and convert them to sales.
Lead nurturing has been an important ingredient in many best-practice B2B demand generation programs. While the strategy has produced irrefutable benefits when implemented effectively, it has failed to gain traction at most firms. A recent study found that over half of the respondents (55%) characterized their lead nurturing efforts as poor/inadequate or needing improvement.* More than 80% said their programs had become challenging or very challenging over the past 12 to 18 months.
While most B2B marketers appear to be struggling with their lead nurturing campaigns, the study reinforced the premise that the strategy builds value and generates higher ROI. Respondents reported their nurturing efforts have created warmer sales-ready leads, achieved better response to campaigns, and accelerated sales lead pipeline velocity.
Participants also indicated that Webinars (48%) and thought-leadership articles (41%) were their most effective nurturing content. As for the adoption of new approaches, the respondents cited “the use of content engagement data” (49%) and “doing targeted account-based nurtures” (44%) as successful new wrinkles employed in their campaigns.
Lead nurturing programs frequently take a back seat to more glamorous B2B marketing tactics. They require knowledge of marketing automation segmentation and functionality, large quantities of high-value content, and the discipline for timely performance measurement. But marketers’ demand-generation programs typically fail because they don’t produce enough sales-acceptable leads. An effective nurturing program attacks this issue by accelerating pipeline velocity and greater lead conversion to revenue.
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* Source: Lead Nurturing & Acceleration Benchmark Survey, DemandGen, September 2021.