Digital marketing is easy, right? Make something, put it online, people sign up and buy. Sorry to disappoint. It is, in fact, a complicated mix of strategy tactics and execution. It is both an art and a science. An art, in that to be successful one needs to be able to craft quality content that “educates, entertains and delights” the reader. A science in that you need to be able to identify buyer attributes, strategically target your messaging, analyze the data, and know when a lead is qualified (a.k.a. “sales ready”) and when it is, in fact, just a lead that needs to be nurtured for it to turn into something more. Lead scoring plays a big part when and how to make that determination.
Why nurture leads?
There are rare occasions that a single digital touch with a consumer will result in a sale. You find the right person at the right time and things just click. In most cases, however, leads will need to be “nurtured” until ready to buy. In a purely digital sense, this is defined as the process of sending out that relevant, interesting and educational content alluded to above. A true nurture campaign should include outbound calling (think relationship building, not robo-dialing [see B2Bs Win Building Relationships]) as well. That, however, is a topic for another day. For now we’ll stick with the digital.
Check out these statistics, pulled from an Online Marketing Institute blog post:
- On average, organizations that nurture their leads experience a 45% lift in lead generation ROI over those organizations that do not. (Source: MarketingSherpa)
- 79% of marketing leads never convert into sales. Lack of lead nurturing is the common cause of this poor performance. (Source: MarketingSherpa)
- Nurtured leads produce, on average, a 20% increase in sales opportunities versus non-nurtured leads. (Source: DemandGen Report)
- Companies that excel at lead nurturing generate 50% more sales ready leads at 33% lower cost. (Source: Forrester Research)
- Businesses that use marketing automation to nurture prospects experience a 451% increase in qualified leads. (Source: The Annuitas Group) (Read all the stats)
While all of these statistics are important, it’s that last statistic that hits home the most. From our perspective as marketers who use an automation tool and sales professionals who benefit from the increased insight into buyer behavior, the most valuable aspect of marketing automation is the ability to score leads based on a prospect’s digital interaction. Why is this so valuable? With only so many hours in a day, it is far more efficient to call on prospects that have interacted with your online content in some way, than on those who have not — the more interaction, the better the score, the warmer the conversation. Lead scoring, helps set priorities.
More on lead scoring
Marketing automation solution provider, act-on has published an excellent resource that explains seven foundational steps to setting up a functional and cost effective lead scoring strategy. Because it ties in so well to what we’re talking about here – and because NuGrowth is an act-on agency partner – we thought we’d share a few highlights:
- Lead scoring isn’t just a marketing activity. In fact, it’s very important for sales and marketing to work together to build an effective system.
- Take a close look at your marketing automation and website analytics. Even a basic analytics system will show you that successful deals often begin with certain types of behavior – pages visited, content downloaded, forms filled out. The challenge here is to start out simple and focus on a few key indicators of success or failure, rather than starting with dozens or even hundreds of data points and getting bogged down in details.
- Decide what matters, decide what doesn’t matter and set your scoring thresholds accordingly.
- Lead scoring isn’t just about finding hot prospects – it’s also about weeding out the cold ones. That’s why it’s important to build negative lead scoring criteria into your methodology.
- It’s also important to review the data from your marketing automation, CRM and sales force automation systems, looking for patterns that show whether your current scoring model is delivering the goods.
Read the full article then, if you are looking for a partner with the expertise and experience to run a coordinated digital marketing and outbound sales effort, backed by a strong CRM and marketing automation infrastructure, give us a call at 800-966-3051 or fill out a short contact form and we’ll be in touch.