Welcome!

Blog Feed Post

Lead Nurturing: A Phone Call Isn’t Your Only Weapon

So you’ve managed to create a marketing program that is generating leads.  Real, ready-to-be-qualified, hopefully big budget leads.  Fantastic.  What do you do next?

If you’re structured like a lot of organizations, that lead is entered into a CRM system, perhaps assigned to a sales or marketing representative, and the dance begins.  A small percentage of those leads will become hot, sales-ready, take-the-next-step type leads.   A larger percentage of those leads will become qualified but not ready to fully engage type leads.  An even larger percentage of those leads will not be ready to engage with anyone at all.  That could indicate a host of different things, but never assume that means the lead is unqualified.

All three categories - the hot lead, the warm lead, and the cold lead - require lead nurturing at this point, yet the average organization fails to nurture leads effectively.  Why?  Too many organizations still assume that their primary lead nurturing weapons are a salesperson and a phone call.

Let’s take a look at a 4-step lead nurturing plan, and briefly describe why each step is important and how you can begin to address each one.

1. Understand why lead nurturing is important.

It’s no secret that the average B2B buyer prefers to work with someone they perceive as a trusted advisor, as opposed to just a sales representative.  So how can your sales representative become that trusted advisor?  The trusted advisor is able to prove the following over time:

  • That the advisor - and the company in general - is an expert in the field being considered.
  • That the advisor - and the company in general - understands the problem or issue facing your company, and can help solve it.
  • That the advisor - and the company in general - will be easy to work with.

You think all three of those things can be established in a single phone call?  No chance.  Those three components are generally proven out over time.  Sure, referral business may move quicker through this process, but they still need to check off all three stages.

2. Identify the tactics you can use for lead nurturing.

This is typically the area where sales/marketing organizations sell themselves short, and ultimately revert back to using phone calls and email as their primary lead nurturing tactics.  If you’ve read this blog previously, you know that content is king in marketing.  Here’s a partial list of all the different forms of content that can be used to nurture leads:

  • Case studies
  • Press releases
  • Free trials
  • Whitepapers
  • Webinars
  • E-Newsletters
  • Printed newsletters
  • Events
  • Third-party articles
  • Phone calls
  • Emails
  • Research reports
  • Blog posts

The list could go on and on.  Make your own list.  You likely have some of these materials already, and some you’ll want to develop.  Next comes the easy part - use them, and use them without abandon.  If your content is well-developed, most prospects will appreciate you sending it.

3. Schedule your lead nurturing activity.

You understand why lead nurturing is important, and you’ve now identified the materials you have at your disposal.  What now?  Make a schedule for when and how you will touch each lead.  This doesn’t have to be complicated.  It may be as simple as the following:

Week 1: Make phone call introduction.

Week 2: Invite to the next webinar.

Week 4: Deliver the monthly e-newsletter.

Week 6: Offer free trial of a new software offering.

Week 8: Send new research report.

Week 10: Personal follow up with phone call and/or email.

For many organizations, it’s phone call-phone call-email-phone call-email-phone call-give up.  That’s not effective lead nurturing.

4.  Track your lead nurturing activity.

That of course brings us to tracking.  If you’re going to invest all this time (and potentially money) into lead nurturing, you need to track the activity right? 

For certain organizations, I’d recommend using some combination of CRM and marketing automation software.  Software like Salesforce (CRM) and Eloqua (Marketing Automation) are popular offerings, but there are literally hundreds of options in these categories.  Look around.  Demo the products.  Talk to other customers.  Then make a selection, but recognize that your use of this software will only be as good as the people and resources who help you implement it within your organization.

Not everyone has the budget or staffing resources to use these types of tracking solutions.  Or maybe you’re dealing with a limited number of leads, like 20-30 each month.  That’s fine.  Come up with your own simple tracking solution.  Track it in a simple spreadsheet if you have to. 

Lead nurturing does not have to be hard.  As a matter of fact, you’re probably already doing it today, but perhaps in a disorganized fashion.  Spend the time to build your lead nurturing plan and secure buy-in from the appropriate people in your organization, and within 3-6 months you can create a lead nurturing machine. 

About the Author: Mike Sweeney is Managing Partner of Right Source Marketing.  Don’t hesitate to drop Mike a comment on this post.  Follow Mike on Twitter for more marketing commentary.

More Stories By Will Davis

Right Source Marketing helps organizations build their marketing strategy, organize the structure to accommodate that strategy, and deliver the specific services to execute that strategy. We do this through a unique model that provides senior level strategic consulting as well as specific services that cover every area of an organization’s marketing plan.

Latest Stories
DX World EXPO, LLC, a Lighthouse Point, Florida-based startup trade show producer and the creator of "DXWorldEXPO® - Digital Transformation Conference & Expo" has announced its executive management team. The team is headed by Levent Selamoglu, who has been named CEO. "Now is the time for a truly global DX event, to bring together the leading minds from the technology world in a conversation about Digital Transformation," he said in making the announcement.
"Space Monkey by Vivent Smart Home is a product that is a distributed cloud-based edge storage network. Vivent Smart Home, our parent company, is a smart home provider that places a lot of hard drives across homes in North America," explained JT Olds, Director of Engineering, and Brandon Crowfeather, Product Manager, at Vivint Smart Home, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Conference Guru has been named “Media Sponsor” of the 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. A valuable conference experience generates new contacts, sales leads, potential strategic partners and potential investors; helps gather competitive intelligence and even provides inspiration for new products and services. Conference Guru works with conference organizers to pass great deals to gre...
DevOps is under attack because developers don’t want to mess with infrastructure. They will happily own their code into production, but want to use platforms instead of raw automation. That’s changing the landscape that we understand as DevOps with both architecture concepts (CloudNative) and process redefinition (SRE). Rob Hirschfeld’s recent work in Kubernetes operations has led to the conclusion that containers and related platforms have changed the way we should be thinking about DevOps and...
The Internet of Things will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, demonstrated how to move beyond today's coding paradigm and shared the must-have mindsets for removing complexity from the develop...
In his Opening Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, John Considine, General Manager of IBM Cloud Infrastructure, led attendees through the exciting evolution of the cloud. He looked at this major disruption from the perspective of technology, business models, and what this means for enterprises of all sizes. John Considine is General Manager of Cloud Infrastructure Services at IBM. In that role he is responsible for leading IBM’s public cloud infrastructure including strategy, development, and offering m...
The next XaaS is CICDaaS. Why? Because CICD saves developers a huge amount of time. CD is an especially great option for projects that require multiple and frequent contributions to be integrated. But… securing CICD best practices is an emerging, essential, yet little understood practice for DevOps teams and their Cloud Service Providers. The only way to get CICD to work in a highly secure environment takes collaboration, patience and persistence. Building CICD in the cloud requires rigorous ar...
Companies are harnessing data in ways we once associated with science fiction. Analysts have access to a plethora of visualization and reporting tools, but considering the vast amount of data businesses collect and limitations of CPUs, end users are forced to design their structures and systems with limitations. Until now. As the cloud toolkit to analyze data has evolved, GPUs have stepped in to massively parallel SQL, visualization and machine learning.
"Evatronix provides design services to companies that need to integrate the IoT technology in their products but they don't necessarily have the expertise, knowledge and design team to do so," explained Adam Morawiec, VP of Business Development at Evatronix, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
To get the most out of their data, successful companies are not focusing on queries and data lakes, they are actively integrating analytics into their operations with a data-first application development approach. Real-time adjustments to improve revenues, reduce costs, or mitigate risk rely on applications that minimize latency on a variety of data sources. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Jack Norris, Senior Vice President, Data and Applications at MapR Technologies, reviewed best practices to ...
Widespread fragmentation is stalling the growth of the IIoT and making it difficult for partners to work together. The number of software platforms, apps, hardware and connectivity standards is creating paralysis among businesses that are afraid of being locked into a solution. EdgeX Foundry is unifying the community around a common IoT edge framework and an ecosystem of interoperable components.
"ZeroStack is a startup in Silicon Valley. We're solving a very interesting problem around bringing public cloud convenience with private cloud control for enterprises and mid-size companies," explained Kamesh Pemmaraju, VP of Product Management at ZeroStack, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Large industrial manufacturing organizations are adopting the agile principles of cloud software companies. The industrial manufacturing development process has not scaled over time. Now that design CAD teams are geographically distributed, centralizing their work is key. With large multi-gigabyte projects, outdated tools have stifled industrial team agility, time-to-market milestones, and impacted P&L stakeholders.
"Akvelon is a software development company and we also provide consultancy services to folks who are looking to scale or accelerate their engineering roadmaps," explained Jeremiah Mothersell, Marketing Manager at Akvelon, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Enterprises are adopting Kubernetes to accelerate the development and the delivery of cloud-native applications. However, sharing a Kubernetes cluster between members of the same team can be challenging. And, sharing clusters across multiple teams is even harder. Kubernetes offers several constructs to help implement segmentation and isolation. However, these primitives can be complex to understand and apply. As a result, it’s becoming common for enterprises to end up with several clusters. Thi...