As a B2B marketer, you probably already know the different buyer’s journeys that B2B and B2C buyers take. While business-to-consumer buyers are often led by emotion and advice from friends on social media, with B2B buyer’s the situation is a bit more complicated.
You need qualified leads. But sometimes those leads aren’t taking the next step and you are not making any sales from them. How can you rectify this situation?
There’s only one way, start nurturing qualified leads. In fact, 47% of nurtured leads make larger purchases than non-nurtured leads, according to The Marketing Bender.
Here are the best practices B2Bs should follow for lead nurturing:
1. Understand Your Target Customer
Have you already defined who your ideal customer is? Who are you trying to sell? The best way to do this is to create a “buyer persona” which answers the following questions:
- Who are they? Their age, where they live, do they have a family, children…?
- What is their job and position in the company?
- What are their pain points that you can help solve?
- What are their values?
- Where they obtain information? What is their ideal content format?
2. What is a Qualified Lead for You?
Not all leads are created equal. Because of this, you need to sit with your marketing and sales teams and define precisely what passes as a qualified lead for your company. This will, of course, depend on a number of factors, including your marketing mix, product or service, industry or niche and so on.
At the end of the day, you want everyone to be on the same page and going in the same direction when nurturing leads.
3. Don’t Rely on Just One Channel
If you’re only relying on one channel to communicate with your leads, you probably won’t go very far. The average American, for example, receives 120+ emails every day and barely opens a third of them. The rest end up in trash or, worse yet, as spam.
You can communicate with your leads in more ways than just one. Reach out to them on your social media pages, while on your website or using your mobile app. And don’t forget to call them on their phone.
4. Know Where the Lead is in the Sales Funnel
A buyer’s journey is not a straightforward line. Buyers go from the Awareness or Discovery stag, where they learn about the problem, to the Consideration stage in which they evaluate the best solutions, and finally finish with the Decision stage where they make a purchase.
If nothing, the buyer’s journey can be even more convoluted for B2B buyers than it is for B2C ones. This is why you need to know where your prospects and leads are in the sales funnel. For instance, are they sales-ready? If you go too early (or too late) for the sale, you will likely lose them. Pick your moment carefully.
5. Don’t Stop Nurturing Leads (Until They Tell You to Stop)
A lot of B2B marketers make a mistake of cutting lead nurturing when they don’t receive a response from the other side. If a prospect hasn’t opened or replied to your email, that doesn’t mean you should abandon them, especially if they’ve already gave you permission to email them.
Keep your content and emails highly personalized and targeted and keep nurturing those leads, until they unsubscribe from your list and tell you to stop. Just be careful not to venture into the spam territory and annoy your leads.
Without lead nurturing, you are missing on several big opportunities, like the HubSpot said in this post. I’ve given you here 5 best practices to follow to nurture qualified leads in B2B, the rest is up to you.
Do you want to learn more about digital marketing, SEM, SMM and marketing? Go to my blog Vladimir Writes.
Hi, I’m Vladimir and I write content for different brands and industries and help clients engage their audience since 2011. I’ve had the pleasure to write about everything from freelancing to blogging advice and from internet security to digital marketing. I am always passionate on what I’m writing about and glad when I see that my content is helpful to someone out there. Visit my blog at Vladimir Writes and connect with me on LinkedIn or Twitter.