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Website: pulsemarketingagency.com

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Nurturing leads: the road to B2B sales success

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Although driving demand is crucial to the success of inbound business to business (B2B) marketing, it doesn't guarantee conversion. Most B2B prospects visit websites to research, not to buy in fact, only a small percentage will close a deal within the first 48 hours of contact. However, studies show that undecided and fickle prospects can make up a significant portion of future sales. For marketers, this means that each unconverted prospect potentially stands at a different point of the decision-making process and should be accordingly - and carefully - cultivated.

In order to maximize conversions, it's important to tailor your offerings to each audience you are courting. The types of online material considered the most valuable will not only vary from one prospect to the next; they'll also likely change as that prospect becomes more informed about your product or service. In general, it's best to begin by offering basic information to engage new prospects, such as a white paper or how-to guide. Then, as each prospect progresses through the evolving cycle, gradually work up to more detailed content like webinars or checklists. Try offering a variety of choices as well - for instance, combine content relevant to the prospect's current decision stage with content that touches on the next stage, or content that poses a call to action. Moving through a series of offers with escalating value is a great way to better define your prospects' challenges and how your service or product can help them, as well as to guide them from one stage to the next in the sales cycle.

Even if your prospect does not convert at first, it's still a good idea to keep in touch (with their permission, of course). Track all your leads in a single database and be sure your records are up to date. Follow up on each lead, even those who walked away. At the very least, this cements your company as a persona in the prospect's mind, and helps keep them aware of your product or service. Potential follow-up information to share includes special offers, education opportunities and any other news that may engage their interests. Triggered email sequences (emails sent automatically when a visitor signs up for an account, downloads a whitepaper or leaves your website without making a purchase) can also be good way to see what your prospect wants to know and adjust your offerings accordingly.

Be sure to watch prospects' online behavior as well. Social media posts, website visits and other trends all indicate how the conversion processes may be changing over time. This allows marketers to tailor content appropriately, keeping it effective and relevant to as many prospects as possible.

Ultimately, lead nurturing is about persistence though clever communication, aimed to build trust and move prospects toward a conversion cycle (which is not always in a straight line). It takes time and patience, but successful nurturing can establish rewarding relationships and brand loyalty and increase overall revenue.

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