When I meet with small business owners they always tell me their biggest problem is that they don’t generate enough leads. And lead generation can be challenging, however, I don’t think lead generations is the real issue–I think the issue is really lead nurturing, and this is particularly true for B2B.
Think about the way you buy as a business or a consumer. Do you usually buy the first time you come in contact with an organization or a new product? You might for a $29 item or something that’s mass produced and you know what you’re getting, but for products and services that are highly customized, you go through the process of getting to know, like and trust the business that’s doing the selling. And yet, in our own businesses, we set up that initial sales appointment with someone and put together a proposal and then follow-up to ask for the sale again, and usually that’s it. And that’s usually done in a relatively short period of time, in relation to your typical sales cycle.
So, let’s learn from what’s already going on in our business. If 90% of our prospects don’t buy right away, the problem they’re trying to solve isn’t that bad, yet. So what are you doing to stay in touch? Staying in touch prevents them from forgetting about you and allows the process of know, like and trust to progress.
Think about the arithmetic of the funnel and the value of staying in touch will make complete sense. Understanding your revenue picture is the first step. Determine what you revenue goal for the year is and calculate what the average new customer sale is worth. Once you’ve established those two numbers , you can start to calculate how many new customers you need in order to attain your revenue goal. Then, determine what your lead conversion percentage is.
With nurturing, the idea is that if you continue to stay in touch with these leads and nurture them, you should be able to increase your lead conversion rate. And if you simply increase your conversion rate from 2 to 4%, you’ve essentially doubled your revenue without increasing the number of new leads.
In order to increase your lead conversion, it’s important to look at your process and see where in the process you lose their interest, you lose clicks, or other points at which there are other undesirable behaviors. After you’ve analyzed your current process, we can identify where some additional points of touch may need to be added to ensure you keep yourself top of mind.
So what might that nurturing process look like? And what might be included? Stay tuned for a future post where we’ll outline some ideas to include in your nurturing or lead conversion system.