If you've taken any formal course in sales or marketing, you're familiar with the sales funnel. You know, the upside down rounded pyramid used to define every stage of a customer's journey, from discovery to purchase.
The top end is wide to represent the amount of individuals that will discover your product, while the bottom end is narrow, representing the fraction of those same people that will convert into customers.
Your goal is to make your funnel as wide as possible on both ends. The best way to do that? Pay attention to your marketing! What happens at each stage? Which resources are available? You need to help them out! That's where lead nurturing comes in.
Journey Through the Funnel
As an individual treads deeper into the buyer's journey, they signal an increasing desire, a commitment, to complete their expedition by making a purchase. In order to truly guide these travelers to the promised land, you'll need to provide them support and guidance along the way. The easiest method of determining where individuals are in their journey is by using a lead scoring system, a topic we discuss in-depth here. We even offer a free generator to get you using the method immediately.
But back to nurturing those leads in your funnel. Attention is key. You need to, through smart marketing efforts, provide the right content at the right time. Let's look at three ways to how you can ensure you're helping your potential customers become purchasing advocates!
Method #1: Personalize Your Content
Because this is more a "top-of-the-funnel" type of article, it's ability to speak to you on a more personal level is difficult. The explanation is broad and meant to help you begin your journey into inbound marketing. And that's a great thing! As you continue to learn more about this topic and the resources Rizen offers your organization, the more we can personalize the content to what you really need. This can be as simple as sending you an email with more information as you're researching pay-per-click service. The goal is to provide your interested individuals more resources and communication opportunities. This builds trust and credibility!
Method #2: Communicate Often. As a Team.
It's well established that providing opportunities for engagement with interested parties helps close sales. Take a look at this report from the Marketing Lead Management Report which states that on average, prospects receive ten marketing touches from the time they enter the top of funnel until they’re a closed won customers. That's a lot of contact. But providing customers a steady flow of content and moments for communication gives them the chance to act when they're ready. And this doesn't mean you should send 10 emails in 10 days from John in sales. Diversify! In addition to email tactics, try using a variety of content types like blog posts, ebook downloads, videos, social media, or white-papers to nurture those prospects into customers. Work as a team to increase contact "touches" with people in your funnel, and you'll increase their chances of responding and engaging.
Method #3: Pay Attention to Your "Wins" as Much as Your "Losses"
Let's face it. Not every lead converts into a sale. It's not the fault of marketing or sales. It's human nature. Sometimes it's just not the right fit. But don't lose an opportunity to improve your operations by ignoring WHY you lost out on a customer. Study the buyer's journey, look at the content you've designated to each stage, and see what's helping people move through the funnel and where the weak points might be. From there, you can fill content gaps by creating more focused marketing content. Not everyone can be LeBron James every season. But don't lose that LeBron work ethic!
Lead nurturing is one of the most powerful ways to actively move people through your sales funnel and into paying customers. It's an art and a science, and takes knowledge and plenty of practice.
To learn more, check out Rizen's free web guide on Inbound Marketing.