Friday, August 07, 2009

 

A few words (and a free download) about lead nurturing

Smart marketers and marketing-driven companies use educational content to engage prospects. Marketo is no different. But what does make them different is the quality of the content they produce, and the separation they present between the value of that content and the sale of their product.

Sure, all of their content leads one to want lead nurturing all the more. But everything they produce - on their blog, in their white papers, and in their new Guide to Lead Nurturing - has a ton of value on its own. Marketo, in that sense, is a great model for marketers everywhere who want to engage sales prospects in a conversation based on credibility and value prior to the sale.

Speaking of their new Guide to Lead Nurturing, I asked Maria Pergolino, Marketo's Inbound Marketing Manager, to answer a few questions about lead nurturing in general. If you're new to lead nurturing as a concept, these questions are already in a "prospect FAQ" format. If you already know what we're talking about, feel free to skip directly to the download.

You have my attention for a three-story elevator ride. Why should my business prioritize lead nurturing?

Generating leads is often expensive and labor intensive. By turning more leads in your database into sales you will save time and resources, and increase revenue and overall market share.
Companies that excel at lead nurturing can:

My business is too small for lead nurturing, right?
No, if you are email contacts or have an opted-in house database you can do lead nurturing. Nurturing ensures that your prospects get the right message at the right time and can actually save a smaller business money by making better use of their current marketing content. Often, even for smaller companies, the ROI on lead nurturing can far outweigh the investment.

My sales reps already stay in touch with their best prospects, isn’t that enough?
The B2B buying process has fundamentally changed. Prospects are spending more time on the Web doing independent research, obtaining information from their peers and other third parties. That’s why companies are meeting prospective buyers earlier than ever, and is a key reason why having sales attempt to engage with every early-stage lead is premature. Most new leads are not ready to engage with a sales rep, causing the rep to file the lead away. This often causes sales to be frustrated with marketing leads and also puts the lead at risk of being lost, ignored or snatched up by competitors when they are ready to buy. Most non-sales-ready leads will eventually be ready, and it is up to you to both provide them with relevant information and to be there when they are ready to make a buying decision. This is why lead nurturing is so critical and can’t just be replaced by sales rep follow-up.

This sounds like a big project, and I’m already buried. How do I get started quickly & easily?
Start by reviewing The Definitive Guide to Lead Nurturing to get a clear understanding of the benefits of lead nurturing, basic and advance lead nurturing tips, and information on calculating ROI with workbook. Because this book is separated into chapters you can read what you need to know without spending time on pages that aren’t relevant to you.

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