If inbound marketing and sales are happenning at a different pace, they’d both might as well shut shop and go home. Only 25% of the leads generated are sales-ready. The remaining percentage needs to be nurtured as not everyone is in the decision-making stage of the funnel. They need to be led there through the buying cycle.
Nurturing leads means doing the following things:
- Assessing the time needed to convert a prospect – for instance if your e-mail campaign workflow doesn’t ride in tandem with your sales cycle, you can’t nurture leads.
- Not short-changing that time for less – if you need 6 months to bring a lead to maturation but have a content calendar for just 4 months, you lose out on prospects.
- Creating enough content to keep the workflow moving for the entire duration of that time – you know you need 6 months’ worth workflow but your content is neither consistent nor sufficient to cater to people at all levels of the buying cycle So you can’t resonate with the right people nor catch them at the right moments. Campaigns need to be extensive, qualitative and successively directive so that customers understand the advantage of your solution to be in a position to commit before you hand them off to the sales team.
- Creating content in a vacuum / directionless content – meaning the buyer persona you took the pains to create is not a pretty tapestry for your wall. You can’t shoot out content on all the wrong hubs or create content that is alienated from your prospect. It will resonate only if it’s found in the right place, addresses the persona’s challenges, and meets them at the right time in their journey.
- Setting realistic, measurable goals – you set your standards high but keep your goals practical, your calendars smart and your aspirations relevant to the success of the business. Specificity and the marking and meeting of deadlines form the base parameters of this metric.
- Not trying to do inbound without blogs – because when you don’t, Google thinks your website is inactive and forgets to crawl it. Content is your platform and invitation to engage in conversation with your prospects. This is where your CTAs will be. Adding blogs on appropriate and pertinent topics gives you better chances of being found and adds to your credibility.
- Consistently and logically moving leads through the funnel – saying hurrah not when you have a lead but when you convert the lead. Your lead may qualify, but until they generate business they are only your virtual happiness. Using your content and CTAs personalise and align to your lead’s needs, subtly but powerfully demonstrating how you are the answer.
- Utilising data to drive decisions about campaigns – the data is there, why aren’t you making use of it? As opposed to waiting for the end of a big period to review your work, utilise data to calibrate and fine tune your strategies and decisions pertaining to them.
- Measuring results and adjusting the strategy accordingly – like listing KPIs and wondering what to do with them. How about use it to measure your success, failure, sore points and embarrassingly sorer points and gauge the areas that need to be tweaked or replaced or maintained going forward from there?
- Not exhausting your energy on email lists that really need to be scrubbed – really, there are actually people out there still doing this??
- Making use of what you already have – optimise, don’t overhaul. Repurpose content. Unless you are a start-up chances are you already of material available in different forms. Use this to begin with and adapt, revise and add where necessary. Build on what you have.
- Not trying to do everything at once – but of course, that’s just common sense, but of course we still try to do it. Even mums will tell you how this is ridiculous. Inbound marketing needs to work within strategic timeframes and has specific gestation and maturation periods. Give it the bloody time!