Lead generation is core to the business sales process. Feeding leads into the sales funnel, qualifying the leads by phone call, meeting or sales call and then converting the hot prospects into actual sales. It’s a fairly standard sales funnel and fundamentally comes down to a numbers game. Sales-funnel new1000 leads = maybe 100 prospects = 10 actual hard sales – sure the numbers change from industry to industry to the overall theory is the same.

However what the traditional sales funnel doesn’t take into consideration is the not so hot leads, the customers who may be interested in your product but are not quite ready to purchase. They are still just researching products or finding out about your brand – so how do we take these customers into consideration during our overall sales process?

Lead Nurturing
Lead nurturing is building relationships with potential clients even if they are not currently looking to buy a product or service. They may have signed up online to receive your newsletter or follow you on social media, but they aren’t necessarily ready to make a purchase. In the traditional consumer buyer behaviour they are perhaps still at evaluation or awareness – so a hard sales call at this stage won’t work. You need to nurture these leads, help them in their quest for information with email newsletters full of tips and advice, use social media to be an advisor and expert in your specific field.

Lead nurturing raises your company profile and overall product/ service awareness profile in the potential client’s eyes, thus making it more likely that the client will go with the your product or service when it is time to buy.

Lead nurturing starts once a company has a potential client’s contact information and can personalise communication with him or her.

Lead nurturing is a traditional marketing practice, but it has taken on new meaning now that companies can create communities around their products using social media.