Most marketers have a regular email program in place. I want to focus on what relevant emails mean to B-to-B and B-to-C marketers. The applications are very different: B-to-B marketers can employ sophisticated lead nurturing programs while B-to-C marketers are more likely to zero in on driving a sale.
In his upcoming book, "The Truth About Leads," Dan McDade explores how the quest for leads can ruin the sales process. Here are seven takeaways that anyone who manages a sales force should consider.
Five is the magic number for Palo Alto, Calif.-based HP Software, says Rod Lehman, the company's senior director of Americas marketing. That's how many touches consumers may require before converting, he told an intimate group of DMA2010 attendees during his session, "Effective Lead Nurturing: The Key to Doubling Conversion Rates."
Most B-to-B marketers are now bought in to the concept of lead scoring. Using a combination of activity and known data to identify who is ready to speak with sales, and who is not, has become an accepted concept for most marketers who are focused on enabling their sales team.
No leads are more valuable than the ones you already have in your database. In its white paper, Action Guide to Lead Management Success, Indianapolis-based integrated, on-demand marketing automation software and database marketing services firm Right On Interactive offers steps to send higher-quality leads to the sales team, nurture leads that have the potential for future purchases and recycle inactive sales leads.
One thing's for sure: If there's a company with an appropriate tool to analyze project performance, it's Jaspersoft. And the most recent project the San Francisco-based open source business intelligence software provider chose to track was its own effort to increase its lead conversions.
"Why can't I get more qualified leads?" the sales manager pleads. "You give us inquiries, but we don't know what they want, when they want it or if they are budgeted. It would help to know if they are qualified to buy." He continues, "You send them a package of literature, and marketing doesn't reach out to them again. How about giving us more qualified leads and skip the raw inquiries?"
If direct marketers want to weather the current economic downturn, they need to create multiple, relevant lead-nurturing campaigns. According to a November 2008 report from Aberdeen Group, only 16 percent of the total leads deemed as “sales opportunities” close, leaving marketers to handle the remaining 84 percent of qualified leads; the difference between a best-in-class company and an average company is how those leads are nurtured.