Getting Serious about Lead Nurturing and Lead Management
Since the beginning of this year, I’ve noticed a recurring theme in my conversations with B2B marketers: This is the year to get serious about lead management and lead nurturing.
It’s not that lead management is a new concept – in fact, many marketers I talk to already have some kind of nurturing and scoring process in place. But many of those same marketers admit they haven’t fully realized all the benefits of their system and need to optimize it.
And now, a range factors are coming together to push those teams to get more out of their lead management systems – while pushing teams that haven’t adopted lead nurturing or scoring to create a system of their own.
Here are a few of the factors I’ve seen:
– Lead nurturing can address some of the biggest challenges B2B marketers reported facing in our 2009-2010 B2B Marketing Benchmark Report:
• Generating high-quality leads
• Marketing to lengthening sales cycle
• Marketing to a growing number of people in the buying process
– Staff and budget cuts brought on by the recession are forcing teams to streamline and automate more of their marketing processes. Things like automated drip-email nurturing campaigns look more like a “must-have” when your staff and budget for campaign execution shrinks.
– On a more positive note, optimism about an economic recovery has some teams thinking about future growth. They realize that the manual systems they use now won’t scale when their volume of leads and sales activity picks up again.
Any of those factors would be a good reason for you to revisit how you manage your own lead flow and qualification process. I have to note that, unfortunately, there’s no quick and easy route to lead nurturing nirvana.
The process requires a lot of work – collaboration between sales and marketing, planning and development of automated campaigns, monitoring and analysis of data, and routine testing and modification of your process, among other tasks.
On Thursday, June 10, I’ll be conducting a free webinar with Jennifer Horton, Best Practice Consultant, Eloqua, that provides research data and case study results to address some of the key challenges in optimizing lead management. (Here’s the registration form with more information.)
But if you’re ready to put in the effort, you can transform the way your marketing team operates, improve your relationship with sales, and make an even bigger contribution to your company’s revenue.