The Definitive Guide to Lead Nurturing in B2B
Did you know that 96% of your web visitors are not yet ready to make a purchase? If you don’t have a plan in place to keep them engaged until they are ready, you could be losing potential customers to your competitors. Lead nurturing keeps your leads engaged in the pipeline as they move through each stage of the buyer journey.
Companies that nurture their leads effectively have shown to generate more quality leads, convert at a higher rate, and save more money than those that don’t.
To execute high-quality lead nurturing campaigns, you need to know which channels and actions you want to include. In the sections that follow, we’ll walk through the channels that are most effective for B2B companies, plus proven best practices for success.
- Companies that excel at lead nurturing generate 50% more sales-ready leads at 33% lower cost.
- Lead nurturing is most effective when the process is defined and communications encompass multiple channels.
- Email, retargeting ads, phone calls, content marketing, and social media are all potential channels you can use for lead nurturing.
- Adopting a CRM system and marketing automation tools enable you to save significant time and money without sacrificing the quality of your outreach communications.
What is B2B lead nurturing and why is it important?
B2B lead nurturing is the practice of developing relationships with potential buyers at every stage of the sales pipeline. It involves launching a series of communications that demonstrate the value of your offerings, address buyer questions and needs, and build trust with leads in your pipeline.
Given that leads require 6-8 touches before they convert, lead nurturing is an essential part of every sales process. Companies that excel at lead nurturing generate 50% more sales-ready leads at 33% lower cost. Nurtured leads also make 47% larger purchases than non-nurtured leads.
In other words: lead nurturing is a critical contributor to your ability to generate sales revenue.
Types of B2B Lead Nurturing
A multichannel — or, even better, omnichannel — lead nurturing strategy expands your reach to different buyer segments and helps to vary the ways in which you connect with potential customers. Lead nurturing campaigns that encompass more than one channel keep your brand top-of-mind for buyers as they engage in different activities like checking email, reading web content, and browsing social media.
Let’s explore some of the most effective channels for B2B lead nurturing in 2022.
Email is the most preferred method of brand communication by consumers in all demographic age groups. It’s effective because it connects you directly with leads in your pipeline. Email marketing platforms enable hyper-targeted and personalized messages that create higher levels of engagement.
There are several approaches you can take to use email as a lead nurturing tool, including:
- Direct email outreach from a sales rep to a high-potential lead
- Targeted email marketing campaigns that market the value of your offerings
- Follow-up communication after phone calls, events, or in-person meetings
- Remarketing after a potential buyer interacts with your content on another channel
- Reaching out to cold leads to get them active again in your pipeline
Email marketing platforms also come with analytics tools that help you continuously analyze the effectiveness of your outreach efforts and tweak your strategies as needed.
Retargeting ads are shown to users who visited your website but didn’t take action to convert (i.e. fill out a form, sign up for an email subscription, download a lead magnet, etc.). Research has found that retargeting ads earn about 10X more click engagement than traditional display ads (.7% vs. .07%) and retargeted users are 70% more likely to convert on a retailer’s website.
B2B brands earn 200% ROI on average from retargeting ads — $2 for every $1 spent. Major search and social media platforms like Google, LinkedIn, and Facebook all have formalized programs for helping brands retarget users on their sites. Retargeted ads are a fairly passive but highly effective way to nurture leads who may have otherwise never returned to your website.
Cold calls may be dead, but lead nurturing calls are the opposite. Once a lead engages directly with your brand or a sales rep, follow-up calls can be the perfect way to build connection and guide buyers through the purchase process. Phone calls are an opportunity to learn more about your potential customers, answer questions, and direct leads to other resources and next steps in the sales process.
Real conversations over the phone are often much more effective at uncovering areas of confusion or existing hesitancies on the part of buyers that they may be less inclined to share in writing through other channels.
Lead nurturing calls may be traditional, but they’re not outdated — they’ve stood the test of time as one of the best ways to keep your leads moving.
Content marketing is the practice of frequently and consistently publishing high-value content on your website blog and other channels. Content delivers a number of benefits like increasing brand visibility, attracting new audiences, demonstrating brand authority, and building trust with potential customers.
Content marketing earns 3X the leads and 6X the conversions of other traditional marketing methods — all at 62% lower cost.
In doing so, content also nurtures leads in your pipeline who may not have taken action otherwise. As potential buyers seek confidence in your brand to help them make purchase decisions, your content can be a powerful provider of continued expertise and value.
Social media spurs a number of conversion actions from buyers. The numbers are hard to ignore. When buyers follow brands on social media:
- 91% visit the brands website or application
- 89% buy from the brand
- 85% recommend the brand to others
- 84% choose that brand over competitors
As it relates to lead nurturing, social media has potential to be the best of both worlds. It provides a platform for sharing content to demonstrate brand expertise, while also serving as a channel for engaging directly with leads.
3 Best Practices for Successful Lead Nurturing
Define your process
Defining your lead nurturing activities as a formal part of your marketing and sales process helps guide your sales reps, creates consistency, and enables you to more accurately evaluate what is and is not working for your sales strategy.
Outline when each lead nurturing step should happen, its content and channel, and who is responsible for executing (i.e. your marketing team, the sales rep, etc.).
Target and personalize
Today’s B2B buyers expect a personalized experience that’s attuned to their individual needs. As the seller, it’s important to tailor your content and messaging to each customer segment and, when possible, to individual customers.
For example, a follow up email sent by a sales rep will be most effective when it includes specific mentions of the buyer’s company and needs, rather than a generic message that could be seen as unthoughtful.
Automate with technology
Technology advances make it possible for companies to execute lead nurturing campaigns that are both hyper-targeted and highly efficient. Leveraging your CRM system and email marketing platform to automate lead nurturing actions saves significant time and money without sacrificing the quality of your communications.
Over to You
You can level up your lead generation strategy with effective outbound marketing. RevBoss’s outbound email software and lead gen services are custom-built for startups, consultancies, marketing agencies, and other B2B organizations.
Schedule a quick call with us and find out how we can help you win more clients.