Has this ever happened to you?
You’re researching a topic online. Your Google search turns up a great white paper. You click to enter a landing page with a form to fill out. You submit the form and are taken to a thank you page. From there you download your white paper.
You open the white paper and start to read.
Then, the phone rings…
You reluctantly pick up the phone…and your worst fears are confirmed as soon as the person on the other end starts to talk.
“Hi [your name], I noticed that you just downloaded our white paper about [insert product category here] and I’m calling to see what your time frame is for finding a solution…”
You politely tell this person that you aren’t actually ready to consider purchasing a solution. You were just doing some research.
“I completely understand. When would you like me to call you back to discuss this further?”
You answer that you have no idea, because you’re really just doing some research right now.
“I completely understand. Why don’t I send you some materials about our solution and then call you in 30 days to see where you are with this.”
In exasperation, you say, “Uh, that will be fine.”
What happened to lead “nurturing?”
The above scenario is surprisingly prevalent, even with what we know nowadays about buyer behavior. Thanks to the incredible amount of information available on the internet, buyers can do the majority of their research and deliberation before having to engage with a pushy sales person. Buyers like being able to peruse, download, read and learn in peace, until they feel truly ready to have a serious conversation about purchasing.
Thanks to marketing automation technologies, companies can give buyers what they want – information without sales pressure. Marketing automation helps marketers track buyer behavior and adjust email communications and offers of informative content to fit the needs of buyers. Buyer activities are automatically scored to help determine when it’s really the right time for a salesperson to make a no-pressure, introductory call. With marketing automation and well-crafted lead nurturing programs, marketers are able to respect buyers’ time and desires while gaining credibility and trust in the process.
In other words, companies that do this are building a trusted relationship with buyers well before a salesperson makes first contact with them.
On the other hand, there are still plenty of companies that are investing big dollars in marketing automation and content generation, only to squander it by having a salesperson call a buyer immediately after he or she has downloaded a piece of content, even if it’s the buyer’s first visit to the company’s website.
This is complete insanity.
First, it negates the investment in marketing automation. Why automate marketing communications to buyers if you’re going to circumvent this nurturing and contact the lead immediately anyway?
Secondly, it really annoys the buyer. At best, it’s inconvenient. At worst, it’s downright creepy. And what company wants to have the word “creepy” associated with its brand?
Put that phone down.
If your company has a lead nurturing program in place, then the sales and marketing teams have to agree on when a buyer is truly ready to be contacted, then calibrate the company’s marketing automation platform to accurately score behaviors to give an accurate reading of a buyer’s readiness to be contacted.
Then, everyone has to trust the process.
As you gain experience with the process, you’ll be able to refine it to improve its accuracy. Soon, you’ll have a well-oiled lead nurturing machine. Your buyers will trust your brand more, and your revenues will reflect this over time.
But whatever you do, when a new lead downloads a white paper, leave the phone alone.
We’ve made it easy to design an effective lead nurturing program with our free eBook, “The Essential B2B Lead Nurturing Handbook.” You can download it here. There’s a short form to fill out. And we promise not to contact you after you download the eBook. Unless, of course, you ask us to.
Here’s to the Marketing Champion in all of us. See you in the next post.