I hope you’re not tired of hearing about Dreamforce yet, because I still have a lot to say and share. One of the most interesting sessions I was able to attend at the conference last week was “Lead Nurturing Isn’t Just For Marketers,” presented by Pardot. The session leaders were not only entertaining and funny, but they shared valuable information about lead nurturing and how sales can get involved in the process. The bottom line is that sales reps must be proactive and diligent when reaching out and following up with both hot and cold leads, and one way to do this is with a streamlined lead nurturing schedule.
By The Numbers
- The average American sees 5000 ad impressions a day, and we as sellers and marketers only have 10 seconds to create and present value once you have someone’s attention.
- 71% of B2B buyers have been disappointed by content they’ve been sent, and 25% of them will never read your content again.
- 66% of B2B buyers say email affects their trust in a brand
It’s hard to remain top of mind in an advertisement-saturated world, especially when your end goal is to sell someone something. This means that your emails should be attention-grabbing, useful and to the point, while remembering the three reasons people seek content: to escape, to learn, and to research.
- “Escape” content should be fun, light and an overall distraction from the B2B buyer’s usual workday.
- “Learn” content is about how people can do their jobs better, so it’s important to make them the hero with useful and relevant information.
- “Research” content is for those buyers who are ready to solve problems. They’re looking for and comparing solutions, so making sure your brand is top of mind is crucial.
What does this mean for Sales?
By understanding where your prospects are in their content searching journey—escaping, learning or researching—you are able to tailor the emails you send to them during your lead nurturing. Pardot recommended sending five “helpful” emails over ten weeks during the prospect’s time in the sales cycle. Depending on the size of your company, this can be an automated process (making sure that emails are still sent from the specific sales rep) or your reps can pick and choose the most relevant content to send to these prospects.
What about lost deals?
You should still keep in touch with deals that you lose, or those that aren’t up for a solution renewal soon (unless, you know, they tell you to stop contacting them). Pardot recommends setting these prospects up for a “friendly reminder” email 60 days before their existing contract is up. This email, complete with relevant, useful content, will keep you top of mind once another decision is going to be made.
While it’s up to Marketing to create relevant content for Sales teams to share, Sales must understand the prospect’s needs in order to provide the prospect with the most useful content. This means keeping in mind where the prospect is in the sales cycle, his or her role at the company, and whether he or she has identified any pains that your product could solve. And it’s important to note that Pardot’s email sending recommendations are not the end-all-be-all; your best bet might be honing in on your most successful sales rep’s process and streamlining that for all of your reps.