As your yearly kickoff meetings are wrapping up, and you’re getting ready to kickstart Q2 and jump into action, here are 3 lead nurturing strategies that span across the entire sales funnel to consider incorporating into your plan:
- Prospect interest based nurture
- Opportunity acceleration nurture
- Customer renewal or upgrade nurture
We will dive into some content ideas for each of these lead nurturing strategies as well as the Marketing Automation and Sales CRM infrastructure needed to successfully automate these programs.
Prospect Interest Based Nurture
While the idea of nurturing prospects isn’t a new type of nurturing strategy, it is critical in helping to advance your prospects into the sales funnel. All too often, I see companies that have one generic nurture flow designed for all prospects. In some cases, I see targeted nurtures based solely on the prospect’s role. And while a generic nurture is better than no nurture at all, it’s not always the most effective strategy. If your company has several products or service offerings in your portfolio, a generic nurture will likely not address the specific pain points that drove these prospects to seek your help in the first place. In order to develop nurtures based on your prospect’s interests or implied interests (based on what content they download or interact with), you may have to update what data you collect and how you collect it. This is a good time to review the questions that are being asked on your website forms. It helps to be consistent across your forms in what you ask for and what you’re able in to imply. The use of hidden fields and progressive profiling or queued questions can help you develop a more robust data set for your prospects and will be helpful in segmentation for your nurture campaign.
It’s also a good idea to communicate with the Sales team and ask them what pain points are most popular with prospects and customers. This type of information is invaluable when creating the content and building out the accompanying workflows.
Opportunity Acceleration Nurture
One of Marketing’s main goals is to help accelerate the sales process. In the cases where opportunities become stalled, an opportunity acceleration lead nurturing strategy is a great way to help move them forward. For this type of program to be successful, you must be able to send relevant content based on where the prospect is in the sales process.
First and foremost, this type of nurture program requires accurate data within your CRM. This means that your sales team must be diligent in keeping opportunity data up to date and that you have a proper integration between your CRM and your marketing automation tool. With accurate data and proper infrastructure in place, you can build automated workflows that trigger emails that address the specific concerns your prospect is facing during the different phases of the buying process.
Early Opportunity Stage Content - In this early stage of the sales process, you must focus on validating the problem they are experiencing. This can be achieved by providing statistics, answers, resources, education, and insights about that problem.
Middle Stage Opportunity Content - As the prospect moves down the sales funnel and they’ve validated their problem, they’ll continue to evaluate and conduct research on potential solutions. This is when you’ll want to verify the solutions that are needed (identifying the specific product or service), and address why this is the answer to their problem and a good fit for their business.
Late Stage Opportunity Content - This is when a prospect has determined that a solution like yours is needed and your main goal is to provide content that demonstrates why they should choose you over a competitor. What makes you stand out?
These emails can be configured to come directly from the salesperson the prospect is working with or from a general company email address. Before you get started on an opportunity acceleration campaign, be sure you communicate and collaborate with your sales team. This is imperative in creating a complementary experience for the buyer, rather than one with conflicting messages.
Customer Renewal/Upgrade Nurture
Customer renewal nurture campaigns can improve renewal rates while simultaneously shortening the sales cycle for repeat customers. The main goal of this campaign is to remind the customer of their upcoming renewal date and reiterate why they should renew with your company. This nurturing campaign can also be used as an opportunity to upsell similar products/services. You may even consider offering small incentives for customers to renew early.
In general, you’ll want to initiate your renewal campaign based on the length of your typical sales renewal cycle. Be sure to engage your customers early to prevent your existing agreements from expiring.
Much like the opportunity acceleration nurture, this type of program will require good data capture in your CRM. Your infrastructure and integration must also be solid in order to get the necessary renewal data back into your marketing automation tool. This will allow you to automate the sending of these emails.
General Tips To Get You Started
Include the sales team when planning all lead nurturing strategies. Not only will salespeople provide insights that Marketing may not have thought about, but getting early buy-in to new campaigns opens the door for direct communication and mutual accountability between teams to meet goals.
It’s important to just get started. Your company may offer multiple products, services, or have multiple segments. To prevent getting overwhelmed, choose one product, or one industry segment, start there, and expand and adjust the program as you move forward.
For optimal deployment and automation of these programs, having your marketing and sales infrastructure set up correctly is key. Making this investment will save you countless hours in manual data collection, list building, and sending one-off emails.
Need help? Have questions?
The Yetis at Measured Results Marketing are marketing automation and CRM infrastructure experts. We are here to help you get all your ducks in a row so that you can execute the above campaigns or any other campaign in an efficient and automated fashion. Contact us today.