A Review of Lead Nurturing Basics

Lead nurturing is the process by which leads are tracked and developed into sales-qualified leads. Sales-qualified, or “sales-ready”, means that they are leads worthy of a salespersons time. It is necessary to establish the term sales-ready with your sales team so they completely understand the process and what it means.

Below is the basic process you will follow with all lead nurturing campaigns, whether you are using phone calls, direct mail, text messaging or emails to nurture.

Lead Nurturing Phone Calls & Fundamentals

  • Target Personas – Create your content and messaging based on your “typical buyer” who will use your product.
  • Trigger Events – Develop your sales pipeline with the different stages your lead needs to enter before being truly sales-ready.
  • Lead Scoring – Rank your prospects with a scale that represents the perceived value of each lead to your particular organization. The resulting score will help your company determine which leads should receive attention, and when.
  • Content Strategy – Outline what your offerings are going to be, and the content you want to include. Keep your content relevant to your “typical buyer” persona and to the point. Your content should invoke a response and develop a trusted dialog.
  • List Segmentation – If required, you need to decide how to segment your lists. Do you want to segment by geographic location, industry, job title or even budget? Decide on your segmentation needs and then customize outbound communication based on those needs.
  • Website & landing page Optimization – Keep in mind that the landing pages will be crucial to your lead generating success. You want to offer a clear message, keep your page design simple, and create a clear call to action that leads to an optimized conversion or request form.
  • Marketing Automation Setup – Advances in technology and CRM software make it easy to automate much of the lead nurturing process. Find one that works for your company and one that is highly customizable.
  • >Results & Tracking – After you have developed a strategy, you will want to implement a tracking program to see if you have met your goals, or how far you have to go to meet them. Again, marketing automation software can significantly streamline this process for you.

Know the Right Time to Call Your Lead

Implementing a strategy for lead nurturing phone calls is not a stand-alone solution. Not all leads will be responsive to a phone call. It also matters when that phone call is made. A series of emails and/or text messages may need to be a lead in for your phone call. This can only be determined by you and your team and is something you will discover and develop in the beginning stages of creating your lead nurturing campaigns.

Timing is everything. In addition to the time of each of the above outgoing communications, the time of day you call your lead or prospect is very important. Your sales team will need to be staggered to help cover the different time zones. Below is a recommended schedule for contacting your leads for the best conversion rate:

  • Target East Coast: 8 am – 10 am
  • Target West Coast: 11 am – 1 pm
  • Target East Coast: 4 pm -6 pm
  • Target West Coast: 6 pm – 8 pm

Knowing What to Say for Each Call

“If you have an important point to make, don’t try to be subtle or clever. Use a pile driver. Hit the point once. Then come back and hit it again. Then hit it a third time-a tremendous whack.”
Winston Churchill

Ok, so you shouldn’t actually do as the above quote states, but you do need to make a point and stick to the basics for each call. As far as knowing what to say in general, you and your sales team will need to develop a common script or common material for each communication attempt. If each team member is on the same page, it will ensure consistency and an overall connection with your leads.

During the developmental stages of your phone lead nurturing campaign you will develop a content and timing outline. Each sales person will need to follow this outline as they begin and work through the lead nurturing process. The type of lead and product will help determine the overall flow and content of each conversation.

The outline created will help avoid these common pitfalls of phone communication:

  • Not knowing what to say.
  • Not actually answering the questions your lead or prospect desires.
  • Noting having the right information in front of you.
  • Talking in circles or too fast for the lead to understand you.
  • Giving information that doesn’t align with other sales people or the overall campaign.

Implementing Your Phone Lead Nurturing Campaign

After taking the above information into consideration, and also reading from my previous lead nurturing posts on text messaging, email, and fundamental principles, you should have the skills needed to implement phone calls into your current or new lead nurturing campaign. To begin, keep it simple and follow these basic steps:

  • 1. Define – This stage ensures that you clearly define and understand each member of your organization and their role with each campaign. Second, it requires you to define your audience, content, framework and overall hierarchy of your phone lead nurturing strategy.
  • 2. Create a Clear Objective – Include your organization and team members in this stage as well as your prospects. The goal here is to ready your sales team and your prospects for the purchasing stage.
  • 3. Establish an Approach –Keep it simple, focused and easy to understand for all involved. Content will be optimized as long as it is relevant, measurable and meaningful; aligning with your buyer personas.

Are You Reaching Your Goals?

A well-executed lead nurturing program goes a long way towards generating a good rapport for a company. Buyers enjoy and appreciate receiving information in a timely fashion, which of course adds value and gives them a feeling of being in control during the overall purchasing process.

After you believe you have successfully implemented a successful lead nurturing program; you will need to track your results to see if you are meeting the outlined goals. Questions to ask yourself and your team:

  • Are your leads converting to sales?
  • Is the sales department receiving an acceptable number of qualified leads?
  • Is management happy? Do they believe the leads are valuable?

If your program isn’t delivering in these key areas, you will need to adjust your definition of a sales-ready lead and how the overall campaign aligns with that definition.

Remember, a successful lead nurturing campaign creates a dialog with your prospects by way of frequent and consistent content. Your content should resonate with your audience and move them towards a desired action.