Three Steps To Nurturing Your Leads to Sales Success

Leads are the gasoline to a sales driven organization. When you have leads, you have opportunities and when you have opportunities, you can capitalize on them to drive meaningful and measurable results.

In the good old days, lead nurturing was a process that happened over the course of months. In todays world, lead identification, nurturing and closing can happen in the blink of an eye. That said, it’s still an art to be able to identify and move a lead down the funnel as they go through the typical buying process. One of the most important pieces of the buying process is the idea of lead nurturing. Lead nurturing is a system for continuing a conversation with a prospect from initial contact until the person is sales ready and closed lost/won.

Here’s four steps to increase your chances of nurturing a lead all the way to success:

Rate Your Leads
When you rate your leads you have the ability to determine which are worth spending your time on and which are going to be more challenging to close. Lead scoring has forever been a key part of the lead management process for businesses at it helps sales professionals in understanding each lead’s level of interest.

We recognize the importance of lead rating and have developed a LeadScore for a wide variety of industries. We’re using an industry specific LeadScore as it’s important to know that different industries have different buying behaviours. Thus, we take this into account through natural language processing and score leads to deliver our clients with high quality leads.

Scoring leads is an easy way to stay effective and efficient with your sales process. Potential factors that determine a lead’s score include demographics, behavioural activity and relationship data. That said, the scoring process and equation that you used to rank your leads should be specific to your particular business and industry. For those managing the lead relationship, lead scoring will not only make the process easier to qualify each lead, but it will also make it easier to prioritize calls and emails.

Research Your Leads
Once you have identified the value and relevance of a lead, it’s time to get a better idea of who they are. Part of lead nurturing and lead management is the process of understanding a leads specific needs so you can tailor a conversation to your prospect. People want to feel more like a person than they want to feel like a sales prospect and for that reason you want to do a bit of digging.

Look up a lead on Linkedin, read their bio and even scan their previous tweets before you start engaging. It’s important to capture as much information about a lead as possible, find out about their company, their position and even their job description if possible. Even demographic and psychographic information can help you in nurturing a lead down the sales funnel.

The more background information you have on your leads, the better the chances that you will truly understand their pain points and be able to position your product or service as the perfect solution.

Build On Previous Interactions
When you engage with a prospect the first time you really need to make sure it’s under the right circumstances. You don’t want to come off creepy and you don’t want to go in for the sale immediately if the prospect isn’t ready to buy. It’s important to gauge a leads comfort level with social media and come to a clear conclusion around whether or not this lead is hot, warm or cold. From there, choose your first type of engagement and continue to build on that interaction over time.

Set a specific, repeatable approach to your strategy for customer touch-points and track success. It’s important that you have a clear idea and strategy in place as it relates to how often and frequently you reach out to each of your specific leads. For example, you might decide that Hot Leads are contacted 5 times a month while Cold Leads are contacted twice.

Once you’ve identified the level of frequency for touchpoints, it’s time to start thinking about what type of interaction you will have with your leads. Some sales teams like to simply send emails that are “checking in” but those are the bare-minimum approach. Ideally, you will want to work with your marketing team to set up a content plan in which you can deliver your leads case studies, infographics and more to help nurture them through the process.

Identifying Zombie Leads: Because Not All Leads Are Created Equal

Are you ever stuck trying to identify what leads you should be focusing your sales efforts on? Turning social media leads into sales can be a challenging task and one that requires a combination of skill and patience.

This handy infographic breaks down the leads that every sales person is met with that is often unresponsive and cold. Not only does it show you the signs of these “zombie leads” but also provides a bit of insights as it relates to the cure. Meaning, how you can take these zombie leads and start to turn them into qualified leads that can be pushed down your sales funnel.

Here’s how you can fend off those Zombie leads:

Social Media Leads Infographic

Four Steps to developing a Sales Strategy on Social Media

One of the things we truly love about sales and social media in general is your ability to integrate the two to find meaningful measurable results. There’s no fluff, there’s no magic tricks, it’s business as usual with a slight twist.

Many organizations are still trying to get a grasp on how they can take that first step into using social media to generate sales. Well, look no further, here are four easy steps that any sales team can take to developing an excellent sales strategy for social media:

Establish Sales Goals & Objectives
Before you dive into developing a sales strategy for social media you need to understand what you’re trying to accomplish. Immediately you’re going to think that you’re trying to simply achieve an increase in sales. Incorrect. You need to understand the difference between leads, opportunities, visitors and actual customers.

Once you understand the business mechanics of a social media program such as the different types of conversions highlighted above you can start focusing on sales. To do this, start with the bottom line and make your way back to get to your goals. As you do this, integrate your understanding of the objectives and funnels to develop the KPI’s that will demonstrate if you’re on the right track.

Develop Soft Conversion Channels
Developing soft conversion channels is built around the idea of capturing a users attention before they make a buying decision. It’s a great tactic as many prospects may not be ready to make a purchase; however, with soft conversions you have an opportunity to convert relevant leads over time.

Soft leads are people who are willing to provide personal information like an email address or Facebook account in exchange for highly relevant and valued content. This content they see as valuable and relevant could range from an eBook to a Webinar that’s offered for the first 60 people who subscribe. These users are valuable leads who have demonstrated some form of interest in your content; but haven’t necessarily said they want to spend cash on your product.

Upon developing a compelling and relevant email marketing campaign, you will start to push these users through the sales funnel more effectively. As a result you will have a better opportunity to convert what was once a soft lead into a buyer and potential brand advocate.

Identify where leads are talking
Think about who it is you’re trying to target with your advertising. If you’re startup that sells velvet track-suits, you’re going to need to develop the persona for someone who would want this product. Start to think about the channels they use, start to think about how they interact with these channels and what type of content they would find valuable. From there, also understand your potential leads from a real world perspective – What are their general interests? Where do they live? What’s their name?

If you’re able to define your potential buyers it will allow you to be more strategic with your thinking and marketing approach. Defining their persona will help you in identifying your target customer and understand how they will actually search for your business online. This process seems quite simple and a bit silly but it’s one that can play a huge role in increasing your conversions.

Measure, Analyze and Report Stuff
Finally, you have to do something that a lot of people don’t want to talk about. It’s sort of like one of the rules from Fight Club except online marketing club. MARS. Measure – Analyze – Report Stuff.

It’s very important that you understand how you’re doing along the process to ensure you’re able to maximize your dollars spent. The quickest and most cost-effective way to monitor social media is by utilizing tools like Google analytics or Hootsuite Pro. The combination of these two tools will make your life a whole lot easier by demonstrating the number of click-throughs on various links.

Once you have received all the data and measured your results it’s time to analyze. During this phase you want to study cost per impressions, engagements, etc.. You also want to run a mini-SWOT analysis to show your team what strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats are present. If you can do this, you will find success. It’s much more difficult to go somewhere without knowing where you’ve already been.

Have you been using Social Media for developing and generating leads? What have been some learnings from your approach? We’d love to hear your ideas and any learnings you’ve found in your career.