Often when we think of lead nurturing, we think of inbound prospects that are interested in receiving regular communication from our company because they have found value in previous content. However, nurturing can also help ‘warm up’ a prospect that might be unaware of content relevant to their job or industry.
Instead of waiting for prospects to come to the website and opt-in, you should verbally opt-in prospects during phone calls. Ask if they would like to receive thought leadership relevant to their organization, including tips and tricks, best practices and buying guides. Getting approval to receive an email will be much easier than asking for a meeting or a demo. After you receive approval, start nurturing, waiting until the prospect interacts with content. From there, use the content they consumed as a way to reintroduce your company via telesales.
Here is an example:
A company sells a product that lengthens the life of manufacturing equipment. They have a large list of prospects, however, the telesales team is having difficulty getting prospects to commit to appointments or demos. During their calls, the telesales group gets a verbal email opt-in and then sends an email to confirm the verbal opt-in. An email nurturing program is then deployed, which discusses the issues manufacturing managers face, including ideas about staffing to doing more with less budget, equipment ratings, etc. After the prospect reads or downloads some of this content, telesales reaches out again. The prospect will now be more likely to take the call because they believe the company understands their problems and provides useful information.
Although this example was relevant to manufacturing, it can be applied to almost any industry. The key is to focus on high-value content in the email nurturing program that will relieve some of the pain the prospect struggles with every day. Company-specific promotional materials, such as fact sheets, product briefs, etc. will still be used by the sales team when the prospects need more information about your company later on in the sales cycle.
A nurturing program like this will generate warmer calls, improve telesales results and improve the quality of conversation within the first calls to your customer. The conversation will be more detailed because your prospect is now familiar with your company, plus the prospect will be further into the sales cycle when the telesales team does engage – a win for both your company and your prospects.
For more best practices, check out an excerpt about Cold Calling 2.0 in Aaron Ross’s new book, Build a Better Sales Machine.