SalesNexus is Online CRM and Email Marketing for organizations from sales teams. They focus on helping small and medium sized businesses grow by increasing their direct marketing efforts, maximizing marketing ROI and improving the effectiveness and efficiency of their sales operations.
The sales process is experiencing a paradigm shift away from the tradition of updating strategy and changing every quarter or every month. When sales managers tabulated all of the results of the team’s effort in the past few weeks, the numbers may result in some positive recognition or telling certain team members to step it up, but in reality, it was too late to make any kind of change. Rarely could such an aggregate number truly motivate a change in strategy unless the negative results were extremely clear.
Now, with the advent of sales CRM software that contains a Sales Dashboard, the strategy of sales teams must shift to accommodate the new available information. Rather than having to spend hours tabulating the figures for every sales team member, analytics are available instantaneously about who is having the most successful qualified leads turn into prospects and the most opportunities to sell turn into customers. Not only are these numbers available for frequent pivots to new strategies, the only number is not the final products sold. Instead, the Sales Dashboard can show where the sales team is losing leads and help the sales manager refocus the team on the most drastic missed opportunities.
Reaching 2018 Sales Goals
Rather than fretting about the pace of your team’s success, the Sales Dashboard gives you real-time updates on how you are doing. Yes, the Sales Dashboard may have some seriously high numbers for you to aim for, but the truth is that having the information at your fingertips makes each next step a clear and important one. By evaluating the individual reports, team reports, and company-wide reports, you can get a picture of how changes within your team will have an impact on the business-wide bottom line.
Create Concrete and Reachable Quotas
As the Sales Dashboard calculates the percentages of leads that result in sales, you’ll be able to give your team some very clear numbers. Recording every contact and prospect in the sales CRM allows you to ensure that you can give your team direction as to how many phone calls need to be made each week, and help them pinpoint who to call next. It can also make sure you are on track with the number of demos and proposals you are making each week, realizing that a certain amount of these tend to result in revenue. While some of these trackable statistics are available out of the box, customizing and working with your CRM vendor will make your Sales Dashboard show your most useful metrics first.
Employ Resources Wisely
The Sales Dashboard also helps you know where not to spend your efforts. By segmenting your markets and your leads, your sales CRM makes it possible to save the least likely prospects for leftover downtime rather than giving every lead equal time and attention. Sales teams waste time when they work immediately with a lead that is likely going nowhere, especially if a qualified lead is at the moment considering a competitor’s product while waiting for you to make contact.
Note Shifts in the Dashboard Whenever You Step in
A sales manager may have a hard time seeing the results of great leadership at times, especially before CRM software. With the Sales Dashboard, it is possible to note the day and time when a course correction is made, say, speaking to a particular sales team member about their choice of leads and their time spent on phone calls. After this, you can see how their productivity changes over time. By noting times of leadership intervention, you can also improve as a manager by continuing to replicate the kinds of comments that seem to generate results, and avoiding the kind of correction that demoralizes the staff or undercuts their personal style.
All sales CRM software is not created equal, and some Sales Dashboards will be more effective for your particular company. SalesNexus deliberately chooses how to make the Sales Dashboard work for your team so that your sales results increase and revenue goes up.
There are plenty of old-school techniques for training your sales team that rely on outdated methods of reaching the customer. In a technologically connected era, sales teams must combine the strengths of in-person sales (if such sales even happen in your industry) with the essential skills of managing client relationships online.
Management of businesses need methods for both creating strong sales team trainings and for monitoring the progress of a new sales team, since every minute working with a new sales representative is money spent by the company. All of those minutes should be investments in getting the best possible sales force you can.
CRM Software for Monitoring Progress
Customer Relationship Management, or CRM, has become the most comprehensive way to make sure that a customer is treated well throughout the marketing and sales process.
While you can teach all the sales techniques and standards of your company, without CRM it can be impossible to see what kind of progress your fledgling team is making. With your access to the interactions they are having with customers through the sales training and CRM, you have the opportunity to target your comments to each salesperson based on the interactions you’ve observed in their work.
Tracking Prospects in CRM
The new sales representatives may have a hard time with gathering their first leads through networking, referrals, and prospecting. Representatives who are slow with prospecting can have a hard time generating results for the company. By tracking all prospects and leads, you can identify quickly which team members may need extra training to get their first successful clients in.
At the same time, Sales Training and CRM will allow you to see the big picture: someone who has a smaller funnel of leads but who is generating great conversion rates may actually be a better salesperson than other new hires. Having this bigger picture view allows you to avoid negative feedback when a sales representative is taking an unconventional but successful approach.
Evaluating Consultative Selling
In many cases, consultative selling requires a delicate balance. A sales agent must both listen carefully, respond thoughtfully, and also accurately diagnose the problem that the client wants to solve. At the same time, this consultation is always geared toward an eventual purchase of your company’s product. Potential customers can tell if someone is too eager for the sale, and management wants to know if their consultative selling is really just problem diagnosis that never leads to a sale.
Using sales training and CRM, you can make sure that your representatives in the sales team are paying the most attention to the prospects with the most relevant problems, and you can note how well they listen and respond. You can target further sales training based on your CRM software output, because sales representatives who are great listeners need more training on making the shift to the sale, while aggressive sales teams may need more training with active listening.
Make Pipeline Management Easier for Sales Teams
New sales teams, or even veteran teams dealing with new challenges, need incredible organization to make sure that no prospects, leads, and repeat customers slip through the cracks. CRM software provides the organization for them, making pipeline management much easier.
Training your sales people on how to evaluate their next logical move in the CRM can be helpful to making sure that long-term contact is sustained with loyal customers and potential customers alike; having a wide net of prospects can also encourage sales people to refer internally when a lead seems perfect for another area of sales expertise. CRM software also allows your marketing team to make sure they are attuned to the process by which marketing leads become sales.
Like any tool, half of the job is figuring out how to best employ those tools. The impact of social media, video, mobile devices and other technology empowered platforms and mediums have changed the landscape of marketing. That doesn’t mean that businesses change the tools they use – they simply change the way they use their tools.
Email Lead Nurturing as a Tool
The world of marketing is all about the “customer experience” today. Enhanced by a myriad of options, from tweeting this to blogging that and various customer engagement tactics businesses are now generating leads like never before. That is the good news.
The bad news is, that with so many new and advanced lead generation options there will inevitably be more leads that go “cold.” Unlike those “warm” leads that we discussed earlier that have viable potential, these leads have been left as scraps to be thrown out or at best recycled.
What if those “cold” leads were just not ready yet? What if these leads were interested prospects who just wanted more information before making a decision? What if these were leads individuals who were going to become customers but became sick, became busy or something else demanded their attention and they simply forgot? What if lead nurturing is the solution and email is the answer? There is enough evidence to suggest that it could very well be just that for many businesses.
Charity Nurtures Leads
Lead nurturing isn’t designed or even expected to show immediate or instant results. Businesses will feel the impact of lead nurturing over the course of time and eventually those benefits will become obvious. Every campaign requires good planning and the right implementation in order to be successful. Email lead nurturing campaigns are no different.
The Non-Profit organization Charity: Water did more than improve the flow of donations and revenue to help their cause. They also engaged their audience, used mobile-friendly communications and used a lead nurturing plan designed to cover 18 months! That is serious nurturing with real results.
Shopify Doesn’t Sell
You don’t have to be a Non-Profit in order to benefit from and use a lead nurturing campaign though. The lead nurturing email campaign that Shopify employs isn’t about using their services to help set up an online store but about “…offering top-notch marketing and small business tips.” Sure, there is a CTA embedded in there and that’s fine. What you won’t find is a push, urgency or pressure to buy anything. Therein lies the secret of email lead nurturing – it just adds up.
The Lead Nurturing Math
If a company sends out two batches of emails per month to those who haven’t responded (the cold leads), an email lead nurturing program can deliver impact even with limited response. As an example, if only a 2% click rate came back on those two batches of sent emails those numbers will add up. To keep it manageable, assume there were 100 people on the “cold” list. That will equate to a mere 4 new viable additions to your lead pool that month but over the course of the year…
How many marketers, if they were told that they could revive 50 dead leads a year with minimal effort, would reject that offer? If you have a team of 10 superstar marketers, what could they do with 500 quality leads? Looks like you might need a bigger office, right?
That is the secret and power of email lead nurturing done right.
Your marketing team can work tirelessly, and your sales team can burn the midnight oil trying to convince people to buy your product, but if you make the #1 Lead Management mistake, much of that effort is immediately lost. This simple mistake can cause lost productivity, loss of revenue, and bad information to feedback into the company and create further issues.
All this can be avoided by simply responding quickly to every lead.
This may seem like such a small aspect of the process, but a quick response from your sales team is exactly what will keep a lead considering your product over the product of your competitors and what will avoid this common lead management mistake. Consider how not responding quickly impacts the return on investment from each of the following marketing efforts.
Targeted Search Engine Advertisement
If you are spending the marketing budget on keyword analysis and then purchasing advertisements for important keywords on search engines, you want every single click through to result in a purchase. However, for every lead that passes unnoticed or is addressed too late, these advertisements still charge the company. This can lead to a lead management mistake that can be found and solved.
By responding quickly to Adwords and other search engine traffic driven by ads, your sales team gets to guide the new customer through the purchase process, rather than encountering them after they’ve either already grown frustrated or chosen a competitor’s product. Creating marketing automation that informs the sales team of new leads from Adwords is an essential component of keeping response times low. Following up on Lead Management may happen multiple times after that initial contact, but the biggest predictor of success is that original response time.
Email Marketing Campaigns
Email Marketing campaigns can be great for gauging customer interest because even a single clickthrough can qualify as a customer inquiry. However, there must be very little time between this inquiry (sometimes in the form of an actual question, other times simply by clicking through your site) and a personalized follow-up from a sales representative. There needs to be a way to filter and find the valid sales leads so that your sales team gets the most revenue generated for the time they spend engaging with leads.
In order to accomplish all of this, a clear lead management workflow is essential because every minute between steps will lose some of your potential leads. Quickly responding in a personalized manner or incorporating that lead into the correct drip campaign is the difference between a customer and a missed opportunity.
How Fast? Faster Than The Competition
Many numbers have been attached to the speed with which sales teams need to respond to different kinds of leads, but the truth is that the main goal of using the alerts within Customer Relationship Management software is to be the first to respond to a lead. After all, most consumers are now using the internet to find multiple potential vendors for whatever they wish to purchase, and the best possible time to sell a product is when the person is already looking to buy. However, if you are the last to respond to an inquiry (or to the fact that they browsed through your website content), you may not get the chance to ask the customer, “How may I help you?”
Instant updates are already the name of the game in CRM software, but structuring your sales team around making sure these leads are followed immediately needs to be a priority. Creating a culture that places the urgent work of lead follow-up above other tasks that are truly not so time-sensitive will yield incredible ROI. An important step in this process is distinguishing any lead from a qualified lead, so that no time is wasted pursuing unlikely opportunities when someone is trying to make a choice about your product as you work with someone else.
How to Respond Quickly Every Time
Finding a lead management solution that works for you requires reliable software, a corporate culture that intelligently segments the leads you receive, and a team that can help you maximize the utility of their product. SalesNexus provides the support you need and the robust software you need to avoid the #1 lead management mistake and take advantage of all this software can offer your business.
A new year is a time to make changes, notice what isn’t working and take the time to begin a great habit for the rest of the year. When it comes to marketing, one place that many companies fall short is within lead management. Of course businesses are working hard to get leads for their sales team through their marketing efforts, spending a lot of money in the process, but are they really managing the leads in such a way as to get the most conversion to sales?
Your company should be different and thus reap the benefits of getting the highest possible return on investment from your marketing expenditures. Resolve this year to take all the necessary steps to nurture leads and manage them without letting anything get lost in the shuffle.
Managing Instant Alerts to Sales Members
Leads, like customer prospects in general, have a “best fit” sales team member; you want to make sure that every lead you generate is immediately allocated to the correct member of the sales team by the marketing team. This person will be the one most likely to have the personalized response that gets this lead to choose your business. However, if you don’t have a great alert system for lead management, the correct salesperson may miss out on that lead.
Late notification can result in even extremely effective sales teams failing to make their numbers because they didn’t know early enough. Both parts of the puzzle must be present: the salesperson who is most knowledgeable on the needs of this particular lead, as well as an instant notification that cues that person to focus in on this potential client.
These outreach efforts should be within 30 minutes, ideally, and making sure that you have a 100% completion rate on these first responses is the first step to actually making good use of your leads. After 30 minutes, the chance that your lead has found another option for them starts to go up.
Managing Persistent Follow-Up Efforts
There is a fine line between too much contact and too little contact with leads, and sales teams usually need to contact a lead at least 5 times if they want to make the best use of the leads. That fifth contact point may be the one that creates a sale.
However, if you don’t have a strong lead automation and management system, it can be hard to know how many times a lead has been contacted. Tracking this information will make sure that sales teams always know what has already been sent to a lead and how often to persist rather than moving on to a new lead.
Managing the Nurturing Pipeline for 6 Months
Marketing wants to be able to keep tabs on leads for longer than you might think; for even as long as 6 months, it is valuable to continue nurturing leads and make sure that they are being pursued. This prevents overlap and helps to make sure that leads who return to your business over time are treated as repeat inquirers or customers, with the customization that will make them more likely to make you their choice.
With marketing and sales both synchronized and keeping track of their leads, you are less likely to experience low conversion rates. In fact, maintaining a good Lead Nurturing strategy increases ROI on marketing and advertising by 10-15%.
At SalesNexus, lead generation will help you find exactly who is most likely to need and want your services, but we can also make sure those leads do all they possibly can for you through marketing automation that maximizes your marketing and sales force.
Developing a campaign that effectively feeds the lead pool is great. Devising an effective SEO strategy that successfully steers traffic toward your business is awesome. Where you go from here, however, that is everything!
Regardless of how good your marketing team is at developing new leads or how well your lead generation program is working, improper lead response will make it all an act of futility. The good news is that we know how to properly handle incoming leads…
The Golden Rules
Like every industry marketing has a set of absolutes, consider these the golden rules of lead response:
The sooner the better:
There is no such thing as being too quick to respond to any incoming lead. This isn’t a dating game where he or she doesn’t want to appear too anxious, in fact, a little excitement can be good. We want the lead to know that we want to serve them, to provide a solution or a product to meet their needs. A quick response is the first indication of that desire to cater to them and potentially the biggest step in the process of making them a customer. One report discussing lead response said that your are “…100x less likely to make contact if the first call is made 30 minutes after submission. The odds of making contact drop by 3000x if the first call is made 5 hours after lead submission.”
Once is not enough:
Respond fast and then wait, at least for a little while. The second golden rule is always follow up. Perhaps your response was overlooked, diverted to the recycle bin or simply ignored. A second timely and polite follow up per their response is never likely to be viewed as inconsiderate. A story cited this statistic that said “80% of sales require 5 follow-up calls after the meeting. 44% of sales reps give up after 1 follow-up.
It may often be that second response (or the third or fifth), that is just the nudge your lead needs to become a customer.
Carry a conversation:
The newest addition to the golden rules is centered around the customer experience movement. Empowered by social media and the advancements in technology, customers now expect to be courted, they are looking for relationships. Marketing is no longer about straight business aspects and “what are you selling and how much” deals. Tell the lead about your business, about you and use these conversations to find out about more about them.
Keys to Improving Your Results
Building on the golden rules and stemming from the newest inclusion to those, we can use these conversations to improve our strategy and our business. These conversations will not only improve our relationship and understanding of one lead but begin to build a profile of our audience. That will avail insights and more effective tactics to improve our marketing efforts. The key here is to have real and mutually beneficial conversations with our leads. This human connection and desire to be heard can be integrated into all of our marketing tools.
“ Emails that were slightly to moderately positive OR slightly to moderately negative elicited 10-15% more responses than emails that were completely neutral.”
That report just states what we have already been talking about, people want connection, emotion and experience – that even includes email. Make those response emails personal and don’t forget, it is about them. Touch on their needs or their pain points, you don’t need to immediately offer a resolution but you do need to connect and relate.
You have put a great deal of thought, time, resources and effort into your campaign, make it count with fast, effective and personal lead responses. It is what your customers want and you want customers – those are tactics that work for everyone.
If your sales reps aren’t closing sales because they don’t have the customer data they need to personalize their communications, your business could be in trouble. If your customer service reps don’t have a history of every contact customers have had in front of them, those customers will conclude you don’t care about them, and many of them will abandon your company.
Enter Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
Customer relationship management (CRM) is software which archives every contact between you and your customers, organizes that information and makes it available to anyone in your business who needs it to improve customer communications. Tech Target defines CRM this way:
“Customer relationship management (CRM) is a term that refers to practices, strategies and technologies that companies use to manage and analyze customer interactions and data throughout the customer lifecycle, with the goal of improving business relationships with customers, assisting in customer retention and driving sales growth.”
The benefits of having the right CRM features for your business are several, including the following:
on average, CRM will return almost $9.00 for every $1.00 you invest
CRM increases sales revenue by more than 40% for each of your sales reps
CRM increases customer retention by almost 30%
sales reps who add social networking and mobile access to their company’s CRM see on average a 27% increase in productivity
You Don’t Need Any CRM: You Need the CRM Features that Fit Your Business
Be simple to use: even the best CRM product is of little use to your business if your in-house team doesn’t know how to use it. Before you sign on the dotted line, make sure you fully understand what your new CRM features can do, and that your people know how to use those critical features.
Be accessible remotely and on mobile devices: make sure the CRM you invest in can be accessed in more than the office. Your people will need to use it at many different locations, like other businesses they visit and trade shows. In addition, it’s important that all members of your team, but especially your sales reps, can access your CRM on mobile devices. Remember: if your salespeople can’t get the sales-critical information about customers and prospective customers when, where and how they need it, they can’t use that information to close more sales.
Have robust analytics capabilities: you can’t make improvements to either your marketing or sales strategy if you don’t measure results, and you can’t measure results unless your CRM is equipped with a strong analytics package. Make sure the analytics you get gives you all the data you need to make informed decisions and create a program of continual improvement.
Be fully customizable: the CRM you buy shouldn’t be the best for any business, but for your business. That means it needs to be adaptable to your business processes. It’s also important to remember that your business isn’t static—it changes (and, hopefully grows) over time. The CRM features you choose should have the ability to grow your business. Look for a product that’s flexible, adaptable and customizable.
Provide support for lead generation, tracking and nurturing: your CRM should help you generate the volume of leads you need to keep your sales pipeline filled. It should also be able to track leads, and to effectively nurture them, moving them through the buyer’s journey using automated messaging, both to customers and to your sales team.
If you’re currently in the market for CRM software, make sure you select a product you understand, and which you can customize to meet your individual business needs. If you already have CRM, make sure it’s ready for the challenges you’ll face in 2018.
At Sales Nexus, we’re committed to providing you with the customized tools you need to drive more sales and help your business grow. To learn more about our CRM features, marketing automation and lead generation services, contact us today.
The position of sales manager can be extremely rewarding or absolutely awful. While the truth is, much of your success depends on your team of salespeople, sales managers have more control over their success and failure than most might imagine.
When things go well, they have a tendency in the sales arena to go very well. The same is true in reverse fashion and when things falter (in particular sales numbers and customer satisfaction rates), it can often be ugly.
The Sales Amplification Effect
Everything is bigger and louder in the sales industry. Unlike a manufacturing facility where a lazy employee might have a subtle impact on the end result, a single salesperson can nearly bring down an organization! Of course, that is a worst-case scenario kind of situation but the point is evident, clear and loud like the impact of your sales team. What would it cost your business if your biggest client was lost?
Fortunately, companies and sales managers have the ability to control and dictate the direction of their sales teams and can help guide them to success.
Great Managers Manage!
Regardless of the industry or the type of business or organization, success is
ultimately dependent on the people who are the hands and feet of the company. The good news is, there are some incredibly talented and capable individuals out there. Great managers will make them even better. The bad news is, there are some who are considerably less talented and capable. With the right management, however, most can be better trained and improve.
Training, guiding and empowering your sales team doesn’t happen by itself, it happens by managing. Using an effective sales management process affords managers the tools they need and the insights necessary to do get the most out of their salespeople. One article describes sales training this way…
“Effective sales training points out the importance of functions such as tracking daily activities, keeping accurate records and analyzing closing ratios.”
This begs the question, why aren’t more managers using such sales management process tools and spending more time doing this type of scoring and monitoring of calls?
Few vocations are as fast paced and hectic as that of a sales manager, perhaps managers are just too busy trying to figure out what’s going on. Maybe the difficulty behind managers getting a handle on their sales team is a lack of collaboration. Many salespeople don’t consistently update CRM systems because these systems are perceived as an annoyance or a hassle.
A sales management process that includes (naturally) a CRM system, shouldn’t be viewed as a necessary evil and it doesn’t have to be. Those superstar managers will introduce these systems early on, they should be integrated into the entire sales training process.
It isn’t bad that your salespeople are goal-focused, busy and always working to earn new business. Helping and teaching your team to understand that these tools will only make them better is vital to getting everyone on the same page.
Information is power and the more data and insights a sales manager has the greater the odds of success become. An effective CRM system will gather and reveal pertinent and applicable information including:
Script Usage – Is your team staying on script? Does it sound natural and free-flowing? New salespeople can often fall into the trap of sounding scripted.
Conversation Skills – Has one of your veteran salespeople fallen into the habit of being too business-like? How is the tone and delivery of your team?
Customer Engagement – Are the conversations with customers upbeat and interactive or narrative?
These tools will give sales managers real time measurements so they can help salespeople improve and grow, every day, every customer and every sale. Don’t be a manager that sucks, be the superstar manager with the right tools to guide and mold your team into winners.
It’s the end of the year and already time to begin planning for 2018. Reaching all of your sales goals will be as difficult as always. With continued changes in technology and consumer behavior, sales teams must adapt and learn to win. They must establish a process and adopt new tools. There are a few steps that teams should take to reach their goals.
1. Set Reasonable Goals as a Team
First, look at the sales numbers for 2017 and how you performed against expectations. Are the contracts you signed long-term? Or are you starting from scratch at the beginning of the year? What sectors or specific clients will you attempt to win over in the coming year?
Make sure to set a reasonable goal that is based on the actual performance of the current year. Of course, increase the number if the market is expanding and assume that the economy will grow slightly.
Get buy in from all members of the team on what actually makes sense for the standard increase. Is a 5% bump reasonable or is a 20% increase within reach?
A sales organization should have these numbers down by heart and seek to improve on efficiency or increase volume of activity. In any case, these will directly correlate with the year end sales goal.
3. Track Sales Behaviors
After the metrics are set to achieve the sales goals, make sure to track them every day. Create an automated system to track the number of calls, emails, conferences, Adwords or other metrics used to get to the stated sales goal. Everything will then be stored on a CRM dashboard. This is critical because hitting the behavior goals helps you reach your overall sales goals.
Be extremely aggressive about monitoring all of these numbers. If sales people or marketers are lagging in their effort in hitting these metrics, make sure to include it in their performance review. You may even tie hitting the metrics to compensation.
4. Create a Transparent CRM Dashboard
Since the metrics are being tracked so closely, it only makes sense to open them up on a transparent CRM dashboard. Create an intuitive, easy to use, shareable solution that updates continuously on all the metrics that the company has identified. While sales goals are still important, all the other metrics that lead to hitting these goals are also crucial.
Allow the sales people to actually compete against one another on the key metrics. Since they can see what everybody else on the team is doing, this creates a tremendous motivation to try as hard as they can to get their metrics up.
5. Praise and Reward High Achievers
Now that you have established an open CRM dashboard, it is easy to create contests between sales people to achieve the best results. Of course, those with the highest sales can be compensated with higher commissions. However, people that make more phone calls, more outreach and have more active clients may also receive rewards.
At the very minimum, those sales people that are giving additional effort should be praised. There outreach will eventually pay off for the firm and result in greater revenue. While they are waiting for their efforts to result in higher sales, sales people and managers can still monitor the increasing outreach activities on the CRM dashboard.
According to Hubspot, 53% of marketers say that at least half of their entire budget is dedicated to lead generation, but more than 90% of the leads they generate never result in sales.
The takeaway: marketers tend to pay far more attention to lead generation than to actually moving those leads through the sales funnel itself, which leads to classic lead nurturing mistakes that you’ll want to avoid.
Consider these statistics on why lead nurturing is so important:
According to Forrester, marketers who have effective lead nurturing strategies see a 20% increase in sales compared to those that don’t
Businesses that “excel” at lead nurturing generate 50% more sales at a 33% lower cost
Less than 36% of marketers actively nurture their sales leads
This just goes to show the effective power that lead nurturing can have on your business!
Why the Disconnect?
Given the clear advantages of a smart, carefully researched lead nurturing program, one can only speculate as to why so many marketing teams fail to develop one. In some cases, it’s a lack of alignment between marketing and sales teams, with marketers assuming that once they’ve generated leads, it’s the job of sales reps to close the deal. In other cases, it’s not understanding best practices for effective lead nurturing.
Whatever the reason, marketers need to develop effective lead nurturing strategies if they want to help sales, and help the companies for which they work grow. That means avoiding the most common lead nurturing mistakes, including the following 4.
Responding Too Slowly
Imagine going to a car dealership and telling the dealer you’ve picked out the car you want and are ready to sign on the dotted line. Imagine the dealer telling you he’ll get back to you within 2 business days and walking away. As absurd as this scenario seems, it’s actually common when it comes to lead nurturing. According to a recent lead response study, the average response time for new leads was 42 hours, and only 16% of companies responded within 24 hours.
That’s a costly mistake because the odds of a lead entering the sales process are 21 times greater if that lead is contacted within 5 minutes compared to 30 minutes. The faster you contact your new leads, the greater the chances of those leads eventually making purchases.
Sending Generic Content
Leads have different needs, different problems, and different pain points. Leads are not monlithic. If you ignore these differences, you’re substantially reducing your odds of making sales.
For example, if you’re a realtor, you wouldn’t want to send million-dollar listings to prospects who make less than $50,000 a year. If you sell appliances, you wouldn’t want to send content about refrigerators to leads who are only interested in dishwashers.
One of the best ways to develop targeted content is by creating unique buyer personas (fictionalized representations of key market segments based on similar demographic and psychographic characteristics). Sending targeted (rather than generic) content to your leads will increase sales opportunities by 20% and help avoid lead nurturing mistakes.
Not Making Enough—or the Right Types of—Contacts
The number of “touches” needed to close a sale will be different for different businesses. On average, however, leads receive 10 such contacts from the time they enter the sales funnel until they make a purchase. Nevertheless, about 50% of marketers include less than 5 touches in their lead nurturing programs.
In addition to sending enough touches, it’s important that your contacts are structured to effectively move leads through the buyer’s journey. For example, early contacts should provide more general information about your business, products and services. As leads move closer to a sale, you should provide more detailed, specific content (for example, information about product details, warranties, return policy, shipping, etc.).
Not Personalizing Content
The more your touches convince leads that you know who they are, the more effective those touches will be. For example, a recent study from Experian found that personalized emails generate on average 6 times as much revenue as those which are not personalized.
Personalization means more than simply inserting the lead’s name into an email. The email should also address their specific concerns, needs or recent actions. For example, if a lead downloads content on your website, you should immediately send them an email reflecting this action—and providing them guidance for next steps. Of course, this degree of personalized responsiveness is most effective when you have reliable CRM software and marketing automation in place.
Effective lead nurturing is one of the best ways to build trust in your business and increase sales—but it’s not the only one.
To maximize results, you need a comprehensive digital strategy that effectively targets, connects and converts while avoiding lead nurturing mistakes.