The 5 Fundamental Steps to Nurturing B2B Leads for Higher Conversion Rates

GLOBAL • ADVERTISING & MARKETING

The 5 Fundamental Steps to Nurturing B2B Leads for Higher Conversion Rates

Seedstars Global

MAY 9, 2022

Very few B2B leads are sales-ready when first generated. That impacts negatively on your conversion rates. In our years of experience as B2B growth specialists, I have found this is where effective, active lead nurturing comes into play.

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The challenges marketers face

While the pressure is on to produce leads, many marketers fall into the trap of only running acquisition prospective marketing campaigns to generate hot B2B leads via LinkedIn or Google Ads.

This is typically very costly if you expect them to convert to paying active clients the day you convert them to a lead.

Why?

  • Businesses usually have a longer decision process than people.
  • Companies need to do their due diligence on whom they work with (supplier, product, service) before committing to any.
  • Companies don’t trust you on day one.
  • Companies don’t always have budget availability

What is lead nurturing, and why does it matter?

Effective B2B lead nurturing not only keeps qualified leads in the pipeline but also serves to keep their attention and interest until they’re ready to buy. Why is this important? Because B2B conversions take time.

Strong lead nurture campaigns will improve the quality of your leads and result in more hot leads that are willing to buy when they’re ready and educated.

An engaged customer is a happier customer, resulting in improved closing times and increased customer retention. It also allows you to reuse the improved audience to create look-alike campaigns on Google Ads and LinkedIn for your always-on online marketing strategy!

How to do effective B2B lead nurturing

You’ve spent a lot of money and effort generating your leads and prospects - usually through carefully executed campaigns that point traffic to conversion-optimized landing pages.

Nurturing those leads from the top of the marketing funnel to the bottom takes care, a skilled cross-functional team, great content, and technology.

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Image source: b2b-lead-nurturing-strategies-sales-funnel-example.png (1024×558) (valveandmeter.com)

  • CRM - Different leads require their own strategy for nurturing, and often span various digital channels. There is no one-size-fits-all. Using the sales funnel as a guide, you can use the data captured in your CRM to categorize your leads. If you only have an email address to work with, you will need to put in a little more legwork to understand this lead better and populate your CRM to understand how they can move down the funnel. Group B2B leads by the action they took when engaging your business.

For example, if the lead came through because they downloaded an ebook (top of funnel), you might need to send them two or three nurture emails over the next few weeks, introducing them to other content that they can engage with. This will bring them further down the funnel, giving them many access points to opt out or engage further. Those who have opened every mail, clicked on your content, and engaged with it are then moved on to the sales portion of the user journey. However, for leads that came because they requested a pricing guide or free demo (bottom of funnel), they can be brought directly into the sales portion, as they are more ready to purchase. This is how you can use the data on your CRM to guide you on lead readiness.

  • Email automation - Automatically generated emails in a drip nurture pool are a great way to prevent leads from going cold, educate leads, and offer value. Let it be said that all B2B leads require a human element, but until your sales team can contact the lead, email marketing is a great way to keep them feeling nurtured.

For example, someone has subscribed to your newsletter. What happens to this lead other than receiving the monthly newsletter? Add them to a 3 - 5 mail drip campaign over 6 - 8 weeks. These drip mails are short, very personalized, customer-focused and conversational. You are not selling your products or services in these emails (not yet), you are ‘selling’ trust. The best way to achieve this is to demonstrate genuine concern for their challenges, position your brand as their trusted guide, and add value to help resolve their issue (such as thought leadership pieces, how-tos, and infographics). Over the span of a few weeks, your mails should carefully bring them closer to the bottom of the funnel.

  • Content creation - Providing simplified content that seeks to solve your lead’s problems is another excellent way of nurturing your leads. This could be through case studies, ebooks, infographics, newsletters, and more. The content you provide must be “outcome-based” in that it focuses on the problems clients are facing rather than hard-selling your products and services. When your company is global, it is also vital to include regional stakeholders in the content creation process.

For example, if you are a business software company, your content can be on optimizing business processes, the latest trends in business technology, and how to improve productivity in a dispersed workforce. All of these topics will have a section on business software, but it is more focused on solving the prospective customers’ overarching pain points and partnering with them in the solution.

  • Paid media - Using Google Ads and LinkedIn for remarketing and retargeting, your brand and offering can stay uppermost in your prospect’s mind until they are ready to take the next step.

You can ensure your ads follow people who have visited your website, as well as your competitors, with retargeted Google display ads. You can also ensure your hyper-targeted audience selected in your LinkedIn campaign is reached with your Google Ads by linking your Google display ad to your LinkedIn audience.

  • Measure results at every level - If content or sales tactics are not producing results, these need to be reworked or removed and those doing well are to be replicated. This is only possible through maximizing performance metrics, and this will ensure the content library, lead nurture strategy, and sales teams deliver value to the business and customers.

We make use of UTMs to track every marketing asset we deploy in the digital hemisphere. This way we know precisely which pieces of content, which campaigns, and which platforms brought in the lead, and how to respond accordingly.

If you follow these guidelines, I am positive your hard-earned and paid leads will be carefully nurtured. Using a combination of technology, talent, and targeting, you will ensure your leads stay warm until they are ready to convert, thus improving conversion rates from now on.

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