As a business coach, I am scouring the internet to bring you the best insights into growing your business. The B2B Lead Blog recently covered how to create engaging lead-nurturing conversations that result in more and better selling opportunities in a conversation with Phil Dobbie, BNETAustralia, and Brian Carroll.
Here are the key points, reprinted below:
How can sales people strike perfect balance between nurturing existing leads and getting more sales in the pipeline? Brian explains that this involves both marketing and sales; they can easily duplicate each other’s functions, which is why alignment is critical. Inside sales is bridging the gap between them, Brian points out, and that’s more important than ever as companies are using the internet to research buying options and talking to sales reps later in the buying process.
Stop thinking that your goal is to attain a sales meeting. Lead nurturing is about engaging the right people in the right companies in a memorable conversation. The goal is to offer information that’s relevant. After all, 90 to 95 percent of your marketplace does not recognize they have a need for what you sell, but they will in the future. Lead nurturing engages them in your solution so that when they’re ready to buy, it’s top of mind.
You’re not selling to one or two decision makers anymore. Significantly more people are involved in the buying process, according to MarketingSherpa’s 2011 B2B Marketing Benchmark Report. Brian advises looking at recent sales and existing customers to identify which roles typically championed your solution to the rest of their team. Target similar roles in prospect companies. “These days, most of the selling happens when you’re not there,” he points out.
Research matters. Before you begin cold calling, make sure you have the best data possible. Brian relates how better data reduced the cost per lead by 67 percent for one MECLABS client. (Learn the details by going to timestamp 10:03 in this webinar replay.)
Optimize your teleprospecting funnel. Brian explains how to invest less energy making phone calls and more energy having conversations that matter.
According to MarketingSherpa, 92 percent of B2B buyers are open to receiving cold calls if they’re relevant, points out Brian. Relevancy means understanding their industry, their challenges, and their hot-button issues.
On the video, Brian demonstrates how to use relevant content to gain email opt-in.
Brian explains the power of Customer Relationship Management (CRM). He notes that CRM is critical if you’re going to manage multiple interactions along the buying cycle. Fortunately, it’s accessible to everyone, with free and inexpensive on-demand packages.
Develop a lead generation calendar to avoid the “teeter-totter effect.” That is, when prospecting is up, sales are low and vice versa. Be sure, when you’re involved in closing deals, that time is blocked out every week to do prospecting, and you’re “developing your plan and executing it,” advises Brian.
While Brian only had about 20 minutes to explain the value of lead nurturing in the complex sale, we’d love to know: What would you have added if you were being interviewed? Is there anything else you would have asked if you were the interviewer?
Tove Rasmussen, Business Coach & CEO of Partners Creating Growth, offers business expertise worldwide to help organizations grow, and disadvantaged regions thrive.
Photo credit: Cheryl @ EraPhernalia Vintage