When we think of smart business practices, staying in front of our prospective customers is right up there with keeping current customers happy and staying in business, or so one would think. Unbelievably, over 60 percent of B2B marketers have no established lead nurturing program. Granted that statistic is a tad dated, coming from a study ran by Marketing Sherpa in 2012, but what it reveals remains a topic worth discussing.
If we can pretend to wrap our heads around that shocking statistic for just a couple minutes, the more concerning issue is the “why” businesses choose to skip the nurture step. Let’s look at the excuses for why businesses don’t nurture: it’s too time consuming, a lack of budget and/or resources and the efforts are unjustifiable. To quickly combat these excuses: quality nurturing doesn’t require a substantial budget or the addition of staff members and, once built into your process, the small amount of additional time geared toward the execution of the campaign is minute when compared to the greater purpose. To those who argue that nurturing is an unjustifiable practice – have you considered that your business is not growing at the rate you wish it would because of your lack of participating in such practices?
The question shouldn’t be “how can I afford good nurturing,” it should be “how I can afford not to?”
The main concept that accompanies the practice of pre and post-sales nurturing is that you aren’t always selling, but helping. The main goal of a successful nurture campaign is to position your business as an invaluable resource. It’s more than just being the expert, industry “experts” are a dime a dozen. But being a reliable resource that your leads can come to count on, that’s a horse of a different color.
How many times have you been driven from a store because of an overzealous salesperson’s incessant questions? More times than you can count? And of those stores, how many do you avoid going into now? Chances are pretty good that you have at least considered other options after an unpleasant experience such as that. However, experience also suggests that you have or would return to a store where you felt assisted but not pressured. The same behavior can be expected from your prospective clients, and nurturing can help them feel as if they have a business that can assist in solving their problems.