According to the Webster Dictionary, “nurturing” is the act of furthering the development of someone or something.
In the B2B world, selling opportunities need to be developed over some period of time. Marketing analytics play a critical role over that period of time. They’re critical in what you are nurturing and how you are going about it.
What to “nurture”?
The most important step in the process of growing your pipeline is laying the foundation for what sales opportunities deserve the investment of your limited resources.
Using predictive marketing analytics to build a model for your ideal customer in each of your key products/service offerings can identify the universe of opportunities for cross-sell and up-sell of current customers and identify prospects for acquisition. Sure, new “leads” will be developed over the course of time, but they need to fit the “model” that qualifies the specific accounts and targets that need to be invested in and nurtured.
Setting up a repeatable, predictive marketing analytics process insures you’re on a sustainable growth track.
How to “nurture”?
The simple answer is to nurture the opportunities “in as many ways that you can,” given the resources that can be applied. Certainly there are varying levels of investments from direct sales and direct marketing. They key is to develop the opportunity in a concerted way across your lines of communication. A few real world practices that need to be coordinated to get your mind racing:
- Sales Playbook: Identifies and prioritizes sales opportunities for each individual sales representative directing the nurturing activity with specific strategies and tactics to be communicated to progress the opportunity to closure.
- E-Newsletters: Mac McIntosh’s Sales Lead Insights answers “What are the three best pieces of advice to give to companies that embark on an e-newsletter for the first time?” in a recent blog post.
- Inbound Leads: Often thought of as an important source of opportunities, inbound “leads” need to be qualified and nurtured and fit the model of a qualified target. Another blog post by Mac McIntosh delivers some key observations to think about and execute related to inbound leads.
All the nurturing activities must be coordinated, but they also need to be tracked and responses analyzed to continue to develop the opportunity in the most efficient and effective way.
Through a focused nurturing process, you further the development of your opportunity by gaining awareness, educating your contacts, defining your value proposition, building relationships, differentiating your company/offer from the competition and ultimately achieving the goal of your multi-communication nurturing efforts — closing the sale.
About the Author:
Rick Volz is a Business-to-Business Practice Leader for SIGMA Marketing Group, responsible for the thought-leadership and business solutions in the B2B market. Follow Rick on or connect with him on .