Sales Activity Management

Nurturing Sales Leads In a New Way by LeadMaster

Reading this could be the most profitable four minutes you’ve spent on your business in a long time.
Why Nurture?
The definition of nurture is to help grow and develop according to Dictionary.com. Think about all the things you’ve nurtured, or helped grow and develop, today. You’ve developed your career. You’ve nurtured your family. And maybe you’ve grown a garden. Perhaps you’ve nurtured your hopes and dreams for the future. Most people would agree that nurturing the important things is vital to success and happiness.
So then, why do many companies and sales professionals neglect to nurture the majority of leads that actually provide them with a living?
The statistics tell a sobering story. About 75% of all leads †leads that companies bought and paid for with their marketing dollars †are ignored by salespeople who eagerly harvest the remaining 25% of leads, which are the low-hanging fruit that converts easily and quickly. Then they wait for another batch of leads to come in and again snatch up a small fraction of prospects, ignoring the lukewarm or undecided leads that make up the majority. If you’re lucky, some of those ignored leads will eventually find their way back to you under their own steam and make a purchase, but most are lost.
Know Your Prospects
Whether your company’s industry is competitive or not, you need a lead nurturing strategy to ensure that undecided, wavering prospects aren’t lost. Touching them with an email contact at designated intervals can help maintain and grow their interest in your company’s product.
So we invite you to spend the next few minutes learning how to rescue all those lollygagging leads with a sensible system of lead nurturing that combines automation with a very important ingredient for success †the human touch.
Lead Nurturing 2.0
Remember the auto-responder craze of a few years ago? Companies would create a 3-part or 7-part series of sales letters that would automatically ship on a predetermined schedule to leads who signed up. Sometimes it worked but often it didn’t because the emails were oblivious to each lead’s unique differences and ripening time… everybody got the same form letter on the same schedule. And if they didn’t act by email #7, it was often the end of the road.
Lead management today recognizes that individual and business consumers need to be nurtured in a more personalized way. Instead of one-directional messaging, we need to let them choose the information that’s relevant to them. Would you rather get spam or a juicy, interesting newsletter you signed up for because it’s relevant to you? One message is desired, the other is deleted.
Lead nurturing 2.0 for the new era begins with the 4 â€Pâ€s.
The 4 â€Pâ€s of Lead Nurturing
1.Permission Marketing. Your lead scoring method has determined certain leads are not sales ready and require nurturing. But first, you need to ask their permission to send them your messaging so it isn’t perceived as unsolicited email. This step is about respecting the customer and offering them the choice, which sets the tone for the relationship you’re about to nurture.
2.Preferences. This is where you determine what your prospect wants from you, how often, and in what format. You can offer them useful information and news that’s meaningful to their interests. Include a variety of options, such as white papers, e-books, newsletters, online demos, webinars and in-depth needs assessments.
3.Personal. Drip marketing with email is a fine way to stay top-of-mind with prospects as long as you follow up in a more hands-on manner with phone calls from sales reps or agents who are trained to ask â€you†questions and to listen more than they talk. This leads us to…
4.Pulling. The opposite of pushy marketing, lead pulling draws information from prospects so your sales team can then offer them genuinely relevant content and assistance as they are gently walked down the aisle toward a commitment.
Drip marketing can do a lot of the lead nurturing â€grunt†work. It’s a great time saver that leaves your reps available to connect with prospects via phone and in person.
Tips for Getting Started
Choosing a lead management program that makes it easy for your entire team to get plugged in is one of the most important decisions you’ll need to make before you can develop a lead nurturing strategy.
Most lead management software offers free demos or trial versions, which is great but can be time consuming for the decision maker. Here are a few tips on what to look for up front before you spend the next 5 weeks trying them all out. These are the features that make the job of tracking, managing and nurturing leads easier on your team and easier on your budget:

†Tip 1: Lead management systems that are web-based (cloud computing) have many advantages. They store your data on their servers so you can access it from any browser anywhere. There’s no hardware to invest in, no downloads, fast implementation, and significant savings.
†Tip 2: Find out if the program you’re interested in is accessible on mobile phones so reps and execs can access sales data anytime-anywhere.
†Tip 3: Look for a program that can import leads from a variety of sources automatically (landing pages, web forms, email leads, lead providers).
†Tip 4: Seek out a lead management company that offers auxiliary services like lead generation / call center services, appointment setting, etc. to fill your lead management system with prospects.
†Tip 5: Look for a user interface that’s intuitive, logical, and easy to learn. This helps ensure your staff will get on board with it quickly and easily.
†Tip 6: Keep your eyes open for programs that can be customized to various industries. A program that uses industry terms will improve user adoption.
†Tip 7: Look for drip marketing capability that cues reps when to make personal contact, an intrinsic part of lead nurturing 2.0.
†Tip 8: Look for a provider that doesn’t require a long-term contract, only charges you per employee on the system and lets you scale up or down without penalty.
†Tip 9: Find a lead management system that also automates the attachment to a drip marketing track. This way, you will ensure that all of your prospects will be touched on a frequent basis.
Marketing and sales reps agree that these are the most useful features in their lead tracking and nurturing efforts.
How LeadMaster Keeps Leads Alive
LeadMaster is a web-based system for lead management and sales CRM. As leads flow in they are automatically indexed for search and data mining. Then as sales reps follow up on the leads, a journal of updates records the sales activity for each potential customer. Dashboards and other CRM tools within LeadMaster let managers track the progress of every lead so none get lost or forgotten. This radically simple approach means more leads are handled appropriately, nurtured over time, and ultimately turned into sales.
Conclusion
Lead nurturing 2.0 is about encompassing an all-in-one-place software that manages a company’s automated outreach while helping sales professionals stay on track with personal contact to develop customer relationships with meaningful and authentic prospect-focused service. This new style of lead nurturing ensures more of the leads your company bought and paid for will eventually reward you with a sale… whether next week, next month, or next year.

CMO of LeadMaster, Andy Brownell’s experience spans 20+ years in operations, sales and marketing working for Fortune 500 companies like Apple, Digital Equipment Corporation and Compaq as well as smaller companies and startups. Andy was one of the original founders of Stratitec, which grew from a startup to $100 million in cumulative sales in less than 10 years. He also worked as Chief Operating Officer at ACP, a successful developer of thin client software. Andy’s background includes several years managing software programmers which will provide valuable insight as the LeadMaster platform continues to evolve. Andy holds a BS in Finance from the University of Illinois.

Article Source: http://www.earticlesonline.com/Article/Nurturing-Sales-Leads-In-a-New-Way/752561