B2B Articles - September 13, 2016

How to Nurture Sales Leads — 5 Tactics that Work

For those wondering how to nurture sales leads into greater opportunities, we round up five tactics that work--distinctly helping to drive leads further into the buying process. Here are five tips on how to nurture sales leads:Sales Nurturing Best Practices for IT Companies

#1 Use progressive profiling

Trying to capture all of a lead’s information in one form would make the initial contact with the site almost as arduous as an AP exam.

Recognize that different audiences are interacting with the marketing at various points in their buyer’s lifecycle. Not everyone is ready to buy; some site visitors may only be realizing they even have a need that your products might address. With progressive profiling you can better understand and vet your lead pool.

Progressive profiling

Progressive profiling technology allows the marketer to set up iterative forms that ask for more specific, detailed information related to the lead’s behavior. Throughout the process the forms are kept short and sweet. By progressively collecting new information based on what is already known about the lead, the marketer gains valuable knowledge while remaining less obtrusive in the conversion process.

Collecting information about the lead through multiple interactions (seeking to gain the critical information earlier on) has several advantages:

  • Shorter forms increase conversion rates
  • Leads need not repeatedly enter information already in the database
  • Encourages audience segmentation and captures more valuable intelligence gathering

The image below is an example of how to set up progressive profiling using a marketing automation tool, in this case, Hubspot. The form fields at the top of the form builder are default questions, and below the default questions are a queue for progressive profiling questions that get slotted to replace previously answered form fields.

Website form and smart fields

Related reading: What is Sales Enablement? 

#2 CRM Prospecting

With Customer Relationship Management software, it becomes much easier to mine available data for opportunities. Both sales and marketing are able to dig deeper into the data to determine who is visiting the website prior to converting and observe and leverage behavioral trends.

With a CRM, sales and marketing can successfully identify, differentiate, interact and customize lead generation and sales nurturing. For instance, a salesperson might browse and search through Hubspot’s database of millions of companies to find new prospects. Additionally, you can use prospect data to better understand your target personas in greater depth, which helps campaign planning and overall marketing to sales alignment strategy.

CRM tracking and sales enablement tools

Related reading: How HubSpot CRM Benefits the Sales Pipeline

#3 Drip Campaigns

Sales nurturing is further supported by e-mail drip campaigns tied to user pain points, roles, and interests. A drip campaign is a set of marketing emails sent out on a schedule — these can also be called automated email campaigns or lifecycle campaigns.

Email marketing drip campaign sequence

With drip campaigns, marketing can nurture leads beginning with the initial contact and continuing until they are sales-ready. The marketing team can educate and nurture leads at different points in the buyer’s journey, providing them with relevant and useful information that is timely too.

Testing drip campaigns and using the full host of marketing automation tools available can help marketing always nurture leads so that a continuous flow of qualified leads is shared with sales.

Email marketing performance report

#4 Lead Enrichment

"Just 56% of B2B organizations verify valid business leads before they are passed to sales". — Marketing Sherpa

Handing over leads to sales that have not been prequalified makes the sales team’s job more difficult and can damage marketing-sales relationships. Lead enrichment improves understanding of your leads through software embedded in CRM systems or API platforms. These tools automatically provide more detail about the lead based on the information gained (e.g. using an email address to add the lead’s role in the company, company profile, career history, and more).


Programmatic lead enrichment Example of programmatic lead enrichment using Clearbit API


Lead enrichment makes a difference in several ways:

  • Speeds up progressive profiling process
  • Makes lead scoring more accurate and efficient
  • Enables deeper customization of sales pitches
  • Supplements to lead file with relevant additional information

#5 Create Great Content

Sales nurturing contentMarketing needs to create a range of demos, case studies, factsheets, infographics, and guides tailored to the buyer’s point in the lifecycle. Develop content that conveys your brand’s professionalism, depth of industry knowledge, and thought leadership. According to Aberdeen research, “aligning content to specific stages in the buyer’s journey yields an average of 73% higher conversion rates, vs. content that isn’t aligned.”

Related reading: B2B Marketing Builds Brand Authority with Quality Content 

Sales nurturing always remembers that the buyer’s journey is no longer a straightforward path with a set start and endpoint. Account for varying buyer behaviors and needs with the best practices outlined here.

Improve lead generation efforts. B2B lead generation agency.

Moravick, A. (2014, December). The nature of lead nurturing: 4 Pillars of Effective Programs. https://www.aberdeen.com/research/10044/10044-KB-Effective-Lead-Nurturing.aspx/content.aspx.aspx

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