Is your revenue team ready for what's next?
What is lead nurturing? Lead nurturing is the process of developing and reinforcing relationships with buyers at every stage of the sales funnel—from prospects to existing customers. Lead nurturing primarily focuses marketing efforts on cultivating relationships with leads that are not yet ready to buy, and maintaining a connection until they are.
In practice, lead nurturing can range from targeted email marketing and blog posts to product updates and news. The goal is to build trust, provide information, increase brand awareness, and maintain relevance with your customer, whether they are a prospective buyer or a loyal shopper.
While inbound marketing works to bring new or returning customers into the sales funnel, lead nurturing works to foster those relationships and drive sales.
The lead nurturing process begins with lead scoring, a methodology employed to determine where a customer is in their purchase journey. Lead scoring gives Sales and Marketing teams the ability to prioritize leads based on their likelihood of, and timeline to, purchase. In a 24/7 digital shopping environment, the majority (76%) of companies are now using automation to meet customers during their consideration phase and nurture their purchase journey.
The best AI solutions use marketing data to deliver powerful information about prospects and customers, as well as dig through data to find new prospects or suggest existing leads worth pursuing. The great news is that AI has advanced to a stage where off-the-shelf solutions are able to automate and optimize important workflows for lead generation and conversion for organizations of all sizes and all budgets. The power of AI comes in the form of a robust, personalized user experience that ensures you are targeting the right individuals at the right companies and determining which leads to pass on to sale
Conversation Automation tools, like Revenue Digital Assistants™, scale two-way, human-like outreach that engages every contact to find revenue opportunities faster. Learn how to turbocharge your revenue teams to generate more revenue, faster in this eBook.
Hopefully, there are more leads than the Sales team can properly engage and convert—but how should leads be prioritized to determine which should be sent to Sales? Traditional lead scoring required manually assessing several factors to determine whether a lead was qualified. The process was time-consuming and leads dropped off because they weren’t nurtured in a timely—or efficient—fashion. With the adoption of Conversation Automation solutions, businesses are able to become more precise, and profitable, with their predictive lead scoring.
AI drives the predictive lead scoring process by automatically assessing first-party data (e.g., demographics, firmographics, behaviors) along with third-party data (e.g., technographics and intent) to create a model to determine which leads have the highest likelihood of becoming customers. Predictive lead scoring allows the Sales team to focus on selling to the right people at the right time. With an understanding of the customer’s needs, familiarity with the brand, and intent to buy, a successful lead nurturing strategy will be able to identify sales qualified leads (SQLs) from prospects that aren’t ready to purchase.
Nurturing relationships with your customers is an ongoing process, and one that should be evaluated consistently. A qualified lead today may not be a qualified lead tomorrow. Best practices for communicating with consumers at varying stages of the sales funnel can be boiled down to five core tactics.
Lead scoring: There’s no universal formula that generates a lead score, but there are several customer actions and traffic data to base your business’ scoring on. Factors like requests for product demos, time spent on product pages, or following your business on multiple social platforms are indicators of a hot lead. Reminder: nurtured leads make 47% larger purchases than non-nurtured leads. Lead scoring allows sellers to help hot leads in the present and strategize for buyers with a longer sales cycle.
Targeted content: Today’s customers expect relevant, personalized, and informative content from brands. They don’t want to be bombarded with emails or get excited about deals that don’t apply to them. Targeted content that addresses the customer where they’re at in the sale cycle is how you’re going to see the most return on your investment. For example, more than half of Marketers (53%) cite webinars and email as being two of the best top-of-the-funnel formats that generate the most high-quality leads. A longtime customer familiar with your brand and further down the funnel is not as likely to benefit from an introductory webinar, and would expect a different type of communication based on their relationship with the brand. Targeting your brand’s content to the right audience at the right time is essential for lead nurturing.
Email marketing: As most Marketers will tell you, email marketing is one of the most effective channels to reach your target customer. In fact, email marketing has the highest return on investment for small businesses. Email is one of the primary formats where targeted content comes into play. Leveraging email marketing to communicate milestones, promotions, or campaigns that provide value to the customer is an effective way to engage them via email.
Optimized Creative: One of the greatest benefits of adding AI solutions to your marketing mix is the analytics. Identifying effective calls to action, content with high engagement, or successful campaigns will smartly inform your business’ customer communications. Analytics also allows you to see which lead sources are performing for sales—and which to drop.
AI Solutions: For lead generation, qualification, nurturing, and conversion, Conversation Automation fits seamlessly into the MarTech stack. According to research by the marketing intelligence company Aberdeen Group, 61 percent of B2B marketers report lead scoring as the major driving force behind investing in AI. With AI, you can understand leads better, find new quality leads and convert those leads into Sales. A lead nurturing system identifies interest and buying intent, automatically, saving your human team time and resources.
AI technology manages the early, time-consuming stages of the lead lifecycle: contacting, nurturing and qualifying leads, generating a 10x return on investment. A Conversation Automation solution doesn’t mean hiring more employees or AI experts because AI makes the Marketing and Sales team already on staff more efficient and effective. Lead management software ends up saving hundreds of sales hours annually.
With lead generation and conversion, Conversation Automation is uniquely positioned to engage leads through natural, conversational forms of communication (e.g., email, SMS, and website chat) and nurture them until they become customers. Conversica’s Revenue Digital Assistants (RDAs) strike up a conversation with your prospects and customers—and drive them toward the next best action to generate revenue. RDAs deliver two-way, human-like conversations across email, SMS, and website chat to engage your customers.
Conversica’s RDAs engage, manage and track Internet leads all day every day. The RDA gets through to leads where other methods fail, determines which leads are the best sales opportunities, and alerts a sales rep immediately. The dashboard identifies leads-at-risk, analyzes the best lead sources, and provides insight for better lead nurturing and management. Learn more about how Conversica Revenue Digital Assistants empower lead nurturing and profitability for your business.
Take a deep dive into our technology to find out how it empowers revenue teams with this Essential Guide to Conversation Automation.
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