Think back to the last time you were in the market for a car. At some point, odds are you probably mustered up enough courage to step foot on a dealership’s lot. Maybe you knew exactly what car you wanted to look at and were ready to buy right where you stood. But maybe you weren’t. Maybe you just wanted to test drive a few cars, see what’s out there, learn about options and financing, and then go home in the same car you came in. However, if stereotypes hold true, you were likely mobbed by a salesperson regardless of your buying intent.
This kind of anxiety felt by perusing car shoppers is exactly why lead nurturing exists. The goal of lead nurturing is to only sell to buyers who are ready to buy. According to Marketo, lead nurturing is the process of developing relationships with buyers at every stage of the sales funnel, and through every step of the buyer’s journey. It focuses marketing and communication efforts on listening to the needs of prospects, and providing the information and answers they need.
Before we get into what lead nurturing is, let’s look at the importance of using it.
- On average, 50% of buyer are not yet ready to buy.
- Nearly 80% of new leads never convert to sales.
- Companies that excel at lead nurturing generate 50% more sales ready leads at a 33% lower cost.
- Leads that are nurtured make 47% larger purchases than non-nurtured leads.
The Stages of Lead Nurturing
The first step in lead nurturing is to map out the buyer’s journey, sometimes called a sales funnel. Each buyer’s journey will be different depending on the product or service being offered, but Hubspot’s three step process is a helpful framework to get started. The buyer’s journey is the process buyers go through to become aware of, evaluate, and purchase a new product or service. The three steps in the process are:
- Awareness Stage: The buyer realizes they have a problem.
- Consideration Stage: The buyer defines their problem and researches options to solve it.
- Decision Stage: The buyer chooses a solution.