Several studies indicate that lead nurturing is key to improve sales and marketing performance indicators. A recent post from Marketo points out a few studies that found out how much certain metrics improve when lead nurturing is implemented. However, I think that using automated lead nurturing processes to send emails with white papers, trigger calls or invite leads that are not ready (80% of them according to Rain Today) to a webinar is just the beginning and will soon become a standard practice. It probably is already for certain industries and segments. So, the question is how do you differentiate and go beyond what your competition is doing to nurture leads?
The answer is to engage them in real conversations that are not automated and based on “sending” valuable information. Don’t get me wrong, you should do the standard automated lead nurturing explained above in parallel with having real conversations with prospects. You need to do this to play in the same field, but there are many other channels to nurture leads in a two-way communication channel. Here are 6 recommendations to start doing it:
- Find the prospect on Twitter and start following them. Make sure to tweet content that is aligned to what he/she is tweeting about and re-tweet their content also.
- Find if he/she has a blog and comment on their posts.
- Find him/her on LinkedIn and join the groups he/she participates in. Post questions and comments on those groups. Answer and comments his/her posts.
- Find them on other industry relevant online communities and engage with them there.
- Don’t invite them to become friends/contacts right away, engage in a conversation first and then connect with them.
- Once you connect with them in LinkedIn, forward them profiles of people that could become their customers and offer them to make an introduction
Happy New Year!!!