Industrial marketing strategies need to be built around your customers. Lead nurturing strategies can help B2B businesses be truly customer centric, with the end goal of converting more leads into sales.
What is lead nurturing and why do it?
According to Propeller CRM only 5-15% of B2B leads are sales ready when they first give out their contact details.
With a breadth of information available online, customers can easily find out who is the best company to buy from.
Instead of being sold products, customers want to be listened to and valued.
To reach them, you need to tailor your messages to outline how your products and services will help them to fulfil their specific requirements. Your aim should be to create a personalised experience through building a trusting relationship.
As we all know, good relationships take time, effort, and commitment from both parties. However, once you have earned your customers’ trust, you can expect to build a dedicated network of loyal return visitors – many of whom may act as enthusiastic advocates of your company!
Lead nurturing is a process which helps you to build effective relationships with potential customers throughout their buying journey, until they are ready to make a purchase.
Once you have captured a customer’s details, you must resist the urge to follow up immediately with sales enquiries. Instead, you should create targeted, strategically thought out, and measurable communications with them throughout the sales cycle, and after.
The customer centric focus of your content means that your communications are no longer intrusive – they are welcome.
How to put a lead nurturing strategy in place
The first step to any industrial marketing strategy should always be to set goals. Goals will vary depending on your business. A good starting point is to ask yourself the right questions:
- How many leads does your company generate on a monthly basis, and how are these leads usually generated?
- What different groups form your audience? What different messages can be sent to these groups?
- What is your current strategy? How often do leads get contacted and how? What could be improved for a more personalised experience?
- Upon first contact, how long does a lead generally take to convert into a sale? Knowing this is a great starting point to being able to measure how effective your lead nurturing campaign is proving.
Once you have identified the goals to your lead nurturing campaign, these are the steps that you need to take to make it effective:
Segment your leads and use the data that they have given you wisely: don’t send generic emails to all of your prospective customers in bulk. Instead, identify different groups of customer enquiries and respond to each one to keep it relevant. For this, it may be useful to look into your potential clients’ personae.
Keep your communication with your customers consistent. This means that you need to create a continuous conversation with them, showing your brand’s personality in all of your efforts.
For a good example of this, look to Westermans International, a supplier of used and refurbished welding and cutting equipment. They used Facebook to draw attention to some artwork that their customer had made using their equipment:
Share useful information with your customers in order to build credibility and trust. People are much more likely to purchase from companies they feel they can trust.
For example, Guttridge are a bulk materials handling equipment manufacturer. They have created customer focussed videos to demonstrate the function of their products, and the unique benefits they offer:
Radleys have also gone down this route, creating videos demonstrating all of their products. Through helping their customers to understand how their products work, they can also help them to decide which product is best for them:
Engage your audience with great, relevant content. Are you being helpful and answering their queries? If they are genuinely interested in buying a product, they will need more information from you.
We’ve all been there: You’re interested in a product, so you call a company. Their sales advisor asks you a question, but ignores your answer, and instead gives you an unrelated, scripted sales spiel about why you should buy their products.
You wanted information, but you got a sales pitch. Was their pitch successful? Probably not.
Nobody wants this approach. Instead, take these steps:
- Send the right content (answer to a query)
- To the right person (someone who has asked or whose behaviour has shown what they wanted to know)
- At the right time (whenever they have asked, never before, and never when it’s too late)
Multi-channel lead nurturing is the key. Spread your great content equally across all available channels – your website, your social media profiles, your email newsletters, your reviews etc. – and make sure that your brand identity and voice are consistent. You need to fire on all cylinders – you don’t want to lose a potential customer solely because of a poorly optimised LinkedIn profile.
Don’t forget mobile. With 88% of searchers using mobile to search for local companies, it is no longer possible to ignore it. Lead nurturing needs to address every single way that a potential buyer might choose to engage with you.
How to measure your lead nurturing campaign
The effectiveness of your lead nurturing efforts can be measured through monitoring the levels of engagement across your various profiles.
Google Analytics helps you to measure engagement with your website with the use of Events, Goals, and Ecommerce Goals. How many PDFs have been downloaded? How many videos have been watched? How many visitors went to your basket/checkout sections? How many of these visitors became customers?
You can also measure social engagement. How many times has your customer focussed content been shared? Has this brought customers to your website? Have they then visited your enquiries page? Did they convert into a paying customer?
How many visitors did your email campaign send to your website? Did they become a paying customer?
Has the average time between first contact and a sale diminished? If converting a lead into a sale is taking too long, you may want to consider switching tactics. Time is money, after all.
Pay attention to your customer feedback. How many prospective clients turned into paying customers thanks to your campaign? Don’t be afraid to ask why a customer why they chose you over your competitors.
Are these customers now lifetime customers? If the answer is yes, then your lead nurturing strategy is working. So keep it up!
For more information about lead nurturing, or to find out how we can help you to transform your leads into lifelong customers, get in touch! Call us on 0800 622 6100, or use our online contact form.