Nurture those leads
The biggest change in marketing history is upon us, says Logan Wedgwood, and it all depends on a new breed of marketer. In the “good old days” marketing brought in leads and the sales department made quick work of closing a sale – converting those leads into customers. Nowadays, however, it’s safe to say that […]
The biggest change in marketing history is upon us, says Logan Wedgwood, and it all depends on a new breed of marketer.
In the “good old days” marketing brought in leads and the sales department made quick work of closing a sale – converting those leads into customers.
Nowadays, however, it’s safe to say that times have changed.
Sales cycles and lead times have grown, and doing deals has become more complex.
Add to this, too, the fact that marketing activities are having a more difficult time generating genuine leads – warm leads where customers are even close to ready to buy.
So, why is this?
My theory is that we – consumers and customers – are sick of it. We’re sick of the snake oil, the trickery, the noise online, the lack of relevance, the lack of understanding, the lack of genuine effort.
Businesses everywhere are acting like they are trying to make a quick buck and it’s not working for us.
There is a solution, however. Put simply, there’s a new role required – that of ‘the Nurturer’.
Today everything is happening so quickly and there’re so many messages going on.
As a result, today’s leads/prospects/suspects – whatever you wish to call them – need a small window of time to think things over. Marketing have done their job and brought the lead in, but that person is not yet ready to engage with a salesperson and complete their journey towards a sale.
So where does the Nurturer fit in?
The Nurturer’s role is to maintain touchpoints with customers who are not yet ready to buy – generating and delivering genuine value, without an ask, until the lead moves to a state of readiness.
I’ve heard people argue that “pressure closes still work!” and, to some extent, yes they do. While often faster and still sometimes effective, pressure closes are a short-term play at best. You will make a sale now, but rarely will you get more out of the same customer, because ultimately they feel ‘sold’.
Most customers today just need a little time to go through their own buying cycle. They need time to get to know you and to get comfortable with their buying decision. The Nurturer’s role is to help them do that.
The marketing team or the sales team can do this job, or you can create a separate role for a person with this skill-set but, make no mistake, if you want to increase your conversions and invest in a longer-term pipeline of business, you need to take the time to nurture the leads that aren’t yet ready to buy.
So, what do these customers need from you to get comfortable?
- They want to know what you stand for.
- They want to know why you do what you do.
- They want to know how you can deliver value that is different from your competitors.
- They want education and surety that they are making the right decision.
- They want time to make the right decision.
Now, think about your business – how are you delivering this information? Are you delivering it at all? If so, is it deliberate or accidental? Have you designed a nurturing programme that keeps you front of mind without crossing over into ‘annoying’ territory?
If you have leads coming through but your pipeline isn’t converting, consider the nurturing process and whether you could better look after those potential customers who haven’t bought from you yet.
This could very well make all the difference between the sales you make and the ones you don’t.
Logan Wedgwood is an Auckland-based management consultant specialising in marketing and sales.