Lead nuturing is the procedure of developing relationships with buyers at each state of the sales funnel, and through every step of the buyer’s journey. It focuses marketing and communication efforts on listening to the requirements of prospects, and providing the information and answers they need.
- On average, 50% of the leads in any system are not yet ready to buy (Marketo).
- Almost 80% of new leads never become sales (MarketingSherpa).
- Companies that excel at lead nurturing generate 50% more sales ready leads at a 33% lower cost (Marketo).
- Nurtured leads makes 47% larger purchases than non-nurtured leads (The Annuitas Group).
Effectively developing leads in today’s buyer-driven marketplace means establishing and nurturing buyer relationships with a strategic lead scoring system, and then filling out that framework with a thorough content marketing plan.
How to Score Leads for Nurturing
Marketing and sales need to get together to progress a lead scoring strategy, to pinpoint where a particular lead is within the brand’s buying model. It is the backbone of a strong lead nurturing system, because it identifies when and how to address each buyer with the most timely and significant communications.
The details of any lead scoring system will be specialized to every brand, based on your industry, niche, and unique audience. There are, however, four dimensions of lead scoring that should be evaluated as you progress your strategy.
1 – Lead Fit: Is She Your Type?
Lead fit describes how well a specific buyer matches the brand’s ideal prospect, or usual buyer. This introductory-level data will tell you if a lead is quality pursuing at all, and breaks down into three categories:
- Demographics—The buyer’s job title, company size, location, years of experience, etc.
- Firmographics—The company’s name, size, location, annual revenue, etc.
- Budget, Authority, Need, Time (BANT)—Can the lead afford you? Does he have the authority to purchase? Is there a need you can answer? What is his timeline?
Most of this information is simply collected with forms in front of gated content, email subscriptions, and/or a quick Google search.
2 – Lead Interest: Does She Like You?
Tracking online behavior to determine how impressive your brand is to a buyer is the next state of lead scoring. Is she spending a lot of time on your site? Engaging with social networks?
3 – Lead Behavior: Is She Using You for Your Body (of Content)?
More closely monitoring lead behavior will specify if a lead is serious about buying, or just grabbing info. Assign lower values to introductory behaviors like clicking through blog posts, and higher values to conduct like downloading gated content or registering for a webinar.
4 – Buying Stage and Timing: When to Pop the Question
Scoring for buying state helps determine where a buyer is within the brand’s sales model. One way to score buying state is to align behaviors with the top, middle, or bottom of your sales funnel. Attach higher scores to clicks on pricing sheets and product demos.