B2B ABM: Seven Sales & Marketing Tips for 2017 - Tip #6: Nurturing Triples Marketing’s Return

Posted by Dan McDade

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on Dec 27, 2016 9:58:45 AM

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Sales & Marketing Tips for 2017

Lead nurturing triples marketing's ROI, but only if done properly.

I propose that nurturing is the most underutilized marketing activity at a marketer’s disposal. A new era of accountability starts in 2017 and nurturing (additional contact using multiple touches and multiple media—including phone, voicemail and email—across multiple cycles) is well worth the time and modest increase in expense. Nurturing programs increase the overall program leads rate significantly:

  • Standard B2B lead-generation programs produce an average 5% lead rate.
  • Advanced lead-generation programs (which include nurturing) produce an average 15% lead rate—three times higher.

Note that there are three groups of prospects that benefit from nurturing:

1. Marketing Pipeline. These are prospects with a specific planned next step to be taken within a reasonable timeframe.

2. True Nurture Opportunities. These are fully qualified prospects who are not immediately interested or ready for a conversation with sales.

3. No Response. These are contacts past the point of diminishing return on a given touch cycle.

Standard Lead Nurturing Example

Nurturing is about talking to your prospective clients at every stage in the sales cycle

Per Julie Schwartz, senior vice president, research and thought leadership at marketing research, consulting and training firm ITSMA: “It’s widely believed that 60% to 70% of the buying process is over before prospects want to engage with a salesperson. The premise is that there is so much information available online that salespeople are thought to be unnecessary in the early stages. ITSMA’s data says that for high consideration technology solutions, this is a myth. In fact, we believe just the opposite: 70% of B2B technology solution buyers want to engage with sales reps before they identify their short list. In fact, buyers perceive value in interacting with sales at every stage of the buying process—even the early stages.

In the epiphany stage they want education and unique perspectives; in the awareness stage they want product information and subject matter experts (SMEs); and in the interest stage they want benchmarks and best practices. See more …”

You should be speaking to prospects from the top of the funnel to the bottom of the funnel. Prospects will move up and down in the funnel. And, unlike what you have been conditioned to do by pundits selling black box solutions, there are no silver bullets regarding content that should be consumed by prospects at various stages in the sales cycle—every prospect and situation is different. Hence the growing popularity of Account-Based Marketing—the marketing approach that treats each account uniquely, addressing specific needs with specific information in a consultative way to help prospects progress toward the right solution for them.

Want help with nurturing? I can help. Email me at dan.mcdade@pointclear.com.



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Topics: Lead Nurturing

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