The Science of Lead Nurturing

Posted by Nick Grant on Jul 8, 2020 8:31:51 AM
Nick Grant
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The best mid funnel approaches will always be those in which marketing and sales are seamlessly aligned. When a rep hits a roadblock, marketing needs to be right by their side to have collateral primed for any given scenario.

 

Many associate lead nurturing as the bread and butter of sales. Yet behind the scenes, marketers are actually the ones who should dictate the success of mid-funnel nurture tactics.

No matter how personable and engaging your reps are, hesitant buyers will always need more than just a value proposition and a good attitude to move forward with a purchase decision.

 

According to Forrester Research, companies that excel at lead nurturing generate 50% more sales leads at a 33% lower cost per lead.

 

The value proposition is something every lead will eventually hear. But this doesn't mean they'll immediately understand it.

To fully convey the value you offer, you will need some amazing, personable content to compliment it.

 

Marketing + Sales = The Best Approach

 

align sales and marketing

 

It may be a common misconception that marketing strictly owns the outbound lead generation process. At the end of the day, marketing and sales share the same goals but each have a different way of going about it. Sales is the direct intermediary between the company and prospect while marketing is the indirect.

Part of the role of an indirect mediator between the company and your audience is providing enough content to reiterate your value proposition. While sales my be the actual voice facing prospects, leads, and customers, marketing is the reason behind it.

93% of B2B companies say content marketing generates more leads than traditional marketing strategies. Furthermore, a study by CSO Insights showed that 89% of companies that aligned sales and marketing lead generation efforts reported measurable increases as a result of continuous nurturing.

 

Leveraging a uniform omnichannel strategy is an easy way for your sales and marketing messaging to stay on the same page. On top of this, seamless internal communication between sales and marketing helps guide success. Whichever virtual workspace your company uses, there's no reason for the sales and marketing teams to be in separate channels or chat groups.

68% of B2B companies will use landing pages to nurture new sales leads for future conversion. Content that supplements your sales team can even originate from terrific web design. Acknowledge the goal of each landing page on your website so you can anticipate how to leverage them for nurturing purposes.

However, the roadblocks that your sales department will run into are all derived from issues that commonly overlap..."it's too expensive"..."I need to check with my supervisor"..."I don't think we'd use it"...or maybe..."we're just not ready for this yet"...can all be answered by relevant content.

That's why the best way to determine your lead nurturing content is to analyze which part of the BANT framework the issue arises from.

 

Leveraging BANT to Augment Your Nurturing Strategy

 

bant nurturing

 

BANT is simply a framework that stands for budget, authority, need and timeline. While it's a great way to understand how ready a buyer is to make a purchase decision, it can also help answer how to nurture them.

 

According to Aberdeen, targeting users with content relevant to their position along the buying process yields 73% higher conversion rates.

While it might be easier to lop every lead who isn't ready to purchase into the same sequence, o
rganizing your data to further refine communication is the more strategic route.

The following are some high-level instances for how to follow-up with content relevant to these circumstances. 

 

Budget

budget

 

Quite frankly, the reason that budget is the first part of the BANT framework is because it's the most important. It's usually harder to nurture these leads as there simply may be better options out there for them.

However, a great asset to have that can help demonstrate your competitive pricing is a comparison page on your website. This can be an incredible resource to send via email or share on social media to show the areas your company is different in.

The best part about having a comparison page like this is being able to choose which product features or price points you'd like to stack your company up against. Although this could come off as biased, it can be a super effective psychological buying trigger.

 

Authority

 

Once budget is approved, the next step is for the key stakeholders to get onboard with the decision. According to The Challenger Sale, there's an average of 6.8 key decision makers involved in any B2B purchase decision. Getting everyone on the same page can be a huge challenge, yet a content-focused omnichannel approach can achieve this.

 

Understanding this hierarchy of buyers within an organization and the roles they play can be very insightful to developing your nurturing strategy. Once you begin to see who are the most important stakeholders, you can start gearing your content to their objectives. 

Follow-up with content that speaks towards a problem directly faced by an individual. According to Marketing Sherpa, 79% of marketing leads never convert into sales, the common cause being a lack of lead nurturing.

 

Tailoring content to this part of the BANT framework should be more personalized and less automated...all geared towards establishing trust within the buying committee.

 

Need

 

needOnce you understand the dynamic of the buying committee, then you can start automating follow-ups and leveraging content that does a better job of depicting your solution. Holding off on content that does this until after budget and authority are approved gives you time to make personal connections before diving into the actual problem you solve for.

Chances are, everyone in the buying committee will be facing similar challenges, meaning they will all have similar goals. Make sure your content delivers a complementary message but communicates it in a variety of channels.

A VentureBeat Insight Study found that 80% of marketers using automation software generate more leads and 77% convert more of those leads. However, using automation too early in your nurture workflows won't allow you to create the relationships you need.

 

Timeline

 

timeline

 

The last step of BANT is understanding when the buyer will be ready to execute their purchase decision. Working with the buyer to figure out their timeline will give help answer what sort of content they need to see.

Implementation of a product can be a time consuming process to ensure onboarding is flawless and the buyer understands how to get the most value out of their purchase. At this point in the buyers journey, it's imperative that sales and customer success leverage easily digestible content such as videos and screen recordings for a great learning experience.

4 in 5 consumers say a video showing how a product or service works is important. Tools such as Vidyard, Wistia, and HippoVideo enable reps to incorporate video answers into emails and provide a more engaging experience.

Research from PWC found that 86% of buyers are willing to pay more for a great customer experience and a Segment Survey found that consumers are willing to spend more when their experience is personalized.

While it's impossible to personalize every video in your Help Center, simply delivering content in a way that reflects a personable relationship will establish more trust and move the deal to close quicker.

 

Nurture With Content Relevant to BANT

 

If your lead nurturing efforts seem to be lacking performance, there's a good chance sales and marketing need to sit down and discuss what sort of content needs to be created.

Once this is locked down, sales will naturally be able to have content at their disposal that will directly address the BANT roadblock and how to move the buyer past it.

Simply sharing out eBooks or blog posts to every lead that doesn't initially want to move forward with a deal won't give your business the results they need...it all starts with sales and marketing being on the same page with the content nurturing strategy.

 

Topics: Marketing Psychology and Science