Lead Nurturing – What Is It?

More and more companies are using lead nurturing to build a relationship with their potential customer. But what does it consist of? What is its purpose? To get some insight into this practice, we interviewed Alexandre Pelletier, president of Perkuto, a Montreal company that specializes in consulting and establishing marketing strategies.

What is lead nurturing?

This practice consists of maintaining a conversation with potential or existing customers through an automated process. These days this process is highly sophisticated. It can involve emails, phone calls, postal mailings, etc.

What is its purpose and what does it aim for?

The objective is that the leads, customers or prospects always have us in mind. So when they move forward in their buying cycle, they will come back to us, because we will be positioned as a trusted company that has relevant information?

Can you give us a concrete example?

Lead nurturing is managed in companies either by the marketing team or the sales team. The marketing department uses email to send information to its prospects on a specific subject. This is added-value content that most of the time leads to a blog, a white paper or a webinar. The sales department creates mini message sequences to connect with potential customers and ask for a meeting. The seller’s approach is often more aggressive than that of the marketing strategist, the former being focused on the product and the sale while the other is aiming for longer-term conversion. So you have to be careful – the seller’s approach is not always the most profitable. An annoyed customer may quickly ignore the messages he receives. You have to quietly prepare the ground.

Give me some good practices to put this type of strategy in place.

The important thing is not to send promotional emails. It must offer added value to the prospect or customer, provide him with information that will help him get ahead with his research. If you only do promotion, you will be quickly rejected. On the other hand, if you do your job well, you will be respected and trusted. As a result, you will have a better chance of being contacted when the time comes.

What type of tools are used?

On the marketing side, there is a variety of specialized software on the market, including Marketo and Hubspot. They allow automatically organizing content sequences while personalizing them to the target. The are commonly called “engagement platforms”. On the sales side, there is Marketo Sales Engaged and Salesloft, which permits automating what a representative usually does one at a time.

What results are being obtained?

The sales cycle is complex. Results cannot be solely attributed to the practice of lead nurturing. It is part of a more global marketing and sales strategy, but in general a significant increase can be seen in conversion of leads who have received content by lead nurturing.

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