How To Create A Lead Nurturing Campaign For Your Inbound Sales Team
Hopefully most of you are familiar with the term “lead nurturing” as it relates to your marketing prospects; if not, then now is the time to learn!
That said, even if you are executing lead nurturing campaigns, I have yet to see many companies applying these campaigns effectively to their sales process. What do I mean by this? Well, allow me to clarify!
Lead Nurturing Campaigns Explained
Typically, email lead nurturing campaigns are deployed when a visitor turns into a lead on your website (usually through a form). Then, a series of emails are sent to them that are designed to address their various pain points and questions.
The desired result through lead nurturing is that the lead moves through your “sales funnel” and turns into a “sales qualified” lead (SQL). Now I know this term “sales qualified” may mean different things to different people, but let’s try to keep things simple today.
In the context of this article, an SQL is one of these 2 things:
- Someone who has raised their hand in some way and said they want to speak with a salesperson from your company, OR
- Someone that you have identified through a lead scoring program that you know fits your ideal customer profile.
Applying Lead Nurturing to SQLs
Now that the lead is an SQL, they expect the same level of thoughtfulness, personalization and care to be put into emails from your sales team. But let’s be real, we know that this rarely happens!
However, not to worry–you can have your marketers help you build and deploy the same type of effective lead nurturing campaign (geared toward more bottom-of-the-funnel questions and problems) that you used to get the lead to move this far in the funnel.
We refer to this sales lead nurturing campaign as a “sales sequence campaign” (yes, we named this after HubSpot’s CRM sequence tool).
Let’s take a closer look at what this looks like and how to deploy it. This sales sequence can be particularly helpful for someone that has gone dark once they hit the sales qualified stage and you can’t get them on the phone.
5 Steps to Creating and Deploying a Sales Sequence Campaign
1. Figure out who they are and what their main problem is
Let me give you a real example. One of our personas is “Marketing Melinda,” and she has a lot questions and issues she is trying to solve. But some of the Marketing Melindas that come through our website have one big issue:
They have just signed up with HubSpot and they plan on doing inbound marketing themselves, but they may need an agency to get things set up properly over the first few months Additionally, they need help from the agency to train their internal team to eventually take things over.
2. Break the main problem down into the top 5 questions or issues Melinda has
- How do I structure an internal team for maximum effectiveness and efficiency?
- What are the steps to creating a solid inbound marketing foundation?
- What are the right metrics or key performance indicators (KPIs) I should be tracking?
- What should I do first, and then next, then next, etc.?
- What is realistic timeline for results, and what are the proper benchmarks?
3. Create 5 emails that answer these more in-depth questions
Now, it’s time to provide value, and I mean enormous value. You need to answer these questions in-depth through a series of emails (one per question). Give Melinda real answers with real data and real examples. No fluff, no B.S., no wasting her time, but real value.
For example, for question number one above, “How do I structure an internal team for maximum effectiveness and efficiency?” you may want to include an accountability chart for the team (this is an organization chart which includes roles and responsibilities for each position).
This should be based on what has successfully worked for your clients, and you should give an example of this. You also want personalize the answer to their company, size and and industry. In addition, make sure you include links to more resources that are actually valuable to them, not some blog post that “kinda sorta” has to do with the topic.
4. Include the “ask or next step”
Too many times salespeople don’t know what the next step is, or they leave things too open-ended. At the end of each email ask the lead to take the next step or to reach out to you directly.
In the case of Marketing Melinda, our salesperson Travis may include something like this in the bottom of his email for the first question:
“If you want to have a more in-depth conversation on how to structure your team just click here to schedule a 15 minute call to discuss. Happy to help!”
This is asking for the close (in this case the close in the next level of engagement). You would be amazed at how many salespeople send out well-crafted emails and then forget to ask the lead to take the next step.
5. Take the time to review the results and make adjustments
Okay, so this may not be intuitive for some salespeople but it should be for us marketers, right? Lead nurturing for a sales sequence campaign should be treated like any other marketing campaign in the sense that we launch it, analyze the results and then adjust our campaign based on what’s working and what’s not.
For instance, if you see that Marketing Melinda is reaching out to your salesperson after the third email “What should I do next…?” then you can try moving this email to the first or second email and see if the engagement stays the same. If so, great, you accomplished what you wanted: for them to raise their hands and speak with your salesperson.
Conversely, if the engagement drops off, you may infer that it takes 3 emails of providing exceptional value for Melinda to feel comfortable enough to speak with Travis. Either way test, rinse, repeat.
You Now Have the Secret Formula
There you have it. You now know how the secret formula for a successful sales sequence campaign.